The Star (Nairobi)

9 August 2014

Kenya Has Established International Arbitration Center to Protect Investors, President Tells Texas Businessmen

The international arbitration center opened in Nairobi last year makes the country friendlier to investors, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.

President Kenyatta told business leaders mainly from Texas, USA, at a luncheon hosted in his honour at the George W Bush Presidential Center in Dallas that the arbitration center was formed to protect investments.

The President said the Nairobi Center for International Arbitration, whose board was inaugurated last year, will make investors comfortable when entering into business ventures.

"The international arbitration center will make our investors know that they are in an environment they are comfortable with," he said.

The board headed by Mr Arthur Rigeria was sworn into office by Attorney General Amos Wako.

Arbitration delivers quicker decisions which are usually easier to enforce than court decisions.

The President told the business executives that Kenya's judiciary was robust and has been undergoing reforms that are yielding positive results.

"Our judiciary was recently voted the 5th best in Africa by a Gallup poll and more progress is being made to make it more efficient," he said.

President Kenyatta told the investors that security challenges that have faced the country over the recent past are being addressed.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Amina Mohamed told the investors that Kenya is one of the best countries to invest in.

"Take your big bucks to Kenya and we assure you will not be disappointed," she said.

The Vice Chairman of the United States-East African Chamber of Commerce Edwin Karuga asked US companies to take advantage of the massive opportunities offered by the rapid expansion of Kenya's infrastructure and energy sectors.

He said the mega infrastructure projects were open to US investors and he assured them that they would find warm and skilled people to work with.

"What makes Kenya a preferred destination for money is its people and America is the right investment partner for Kenya," he said.

Elizabeth Plumblee, a Texas attorney and mediator who has experience working with Kenyans encouraged the American companies to venture more into Kenya.

She said she was amazed by the education and skills of Kenyans even in the diaspora.

"When I meet Kenyans in the diaspora especially in Dallas, I always find myself like the least educated. I don't know how Kenyans have achieved this but they are very educated with so many names followed by academic titles," she said.

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