6 June 2014

Kenya: President Kenyatta to KEPSA - We Will Facilitate You to Do Business

President Uhuru Kenyatta has assured of the Jubilee Government's commitment to facilitating the private sector in its operations.

Speaking during the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) 2nd Presidential Roundtable at State House Nairobi today, President Kenyatta expressed confidence that through public-private sector partnerships (PPP) the country will swiftly achieve its economic and development targets.

"As Government, we believe that ours must be a partnership with the private sector. We are here to facilitate you so that you can help us meet our social and economic development agenda for this country. By creating a conducive environment for you to conduct your business, I know you will also help us create jobs for our youth," the President said.

The President said the Government has embarked on digitization of all payments to make it easy for the private sector to get public services. He added that the Government has also established an e-procurement system that makes contracts more transparent.

"This will improve efficiency for the benefit of the private sector in terms of the time taken to be served in Government offices," the President said.

Noting that a lot of progress has been made on addressing issues that hinder business operations in the country since the first roundtable meeting held in February, the President said the remaining issues should be sorted out by the next roundtable meeting in November.

He asked all Cabinet Secretaries to ensure they meet with private sector representatives at least once a month to iron out any emerging issues regarding improvement of the business environment.

"We want to see those ministerial sector working groups meeting more regularly to deal with issues pertaining to the sectors and not necessarily waiting for this particular forum," President Kenyatta said.

As a move towards improving the business environment, President Kenyatta said Government is reforming parastatals to stimulate economic activity and propel the country's develoment agenda.

"We are working on reforming these public institutions so that we can make them more efficient," President Kenyatta said.

At the regional level, the President - who is the current Chair of the East African Community - said Kenya will continue pushing for rapid integration and removal of hurdles that hinder the operations of Kenya's private sector in the neighbouring countries.

"This is something that I am going to take up at the regional level because we have done a lot towards helping ease business conditions in the neighbouring countries. Partnership means as we help them, they also need to help us," the President said.

On human capital, President Kenyatta said Government is set to establish

60 technical universities that will produce the skilled human capital necessary for the country to achieve its development agenda.

The President said the ongoing restructuring program of the National Youth Service (NYS) will produce the artisans with skills required for the country's economic growth.

"This is where we had a big gap and we believe this will go a long way towards bridging it," the President said.

The Head of State said on his foreign trips he has also been discussing employment opportunities for Kenyans abroad, citing the example of Qatar where 1000 youths are set to get employment.

Speaking during the occasion, KEPSA Chairman Vimal Shah thanked the Government for supporting private sector growth in the country. He noted that since the Jubilee Government came to office, the private sector has been given room to present its concerns freely.

KEPSA CEO Carole Kariuki presented a report on the 1stPresidential roundtable where she said progress had been achieved in most sectors of the economy.

Cabinet Secretaries Charity Ngilu of Lands, Davis Chirchir of Energy, Amb. Amina Mohamed of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Prof. Jacob Kaimenyi of Education, Prof. Judy Wakhungu of Environment, Anne Waiguru of Devolution and Joseph Ole Lenku of Interior briefed the meeting on what their respective ministries are doing to promote the private sector.

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