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By Uhuru Kenyatta

On Friday, I hosted a huge delegation from the Kenya Private Sector Alliance for our quarterly
roundtable.

The whole afternoon we engaged in intensive discourse over a wide range of issues and received reports on myriad initiatives aimed at making the business environment more conducive.

At the core of these discussions is a metric that employs parameters which gauge the ease of doing
business in Kenya.

Everything we do at the macro- and micro-level legislation – policy design and the state of national institutions to the cost of electricity and the time taken to complete formal processes like licensing and other transactions – have a strong bearing on the country’s attractiveness as an investment destination.

The way this world works is such that ease of doing business attracts the most sought-after investors.

Improving the “doing business” rating, therefore,delivers a double dividend.

First, strategic, policy and institutional frameworks in place improve to a level that guarantees stakeholder satisfaction and
effective, transparent governance.

Second, national competitiveness rises to a level that creates more jobs, raises incomes and lowers
the cost of goods and services.

So, although the roundtable involved the private sector, investors and the general capitalist class,the discussions addressed issues that have an immediate impact on the life of every citizen.

The highlights of the roundtable included lands,business licensing and security.

More than 1.3 million files were restored into the database at the
Lands registry.

To ensure that files do not
“disappear” again, an online file tracking system has been inaugurated.

We were assured that the time taken to complete transactions has been reduced from 76 days to 16,and further improvement will be reported at the next roundtable.

Over at the State Law Office, it was reported that the time it takes to register a business has come down from 32 days to 24 hours.

On security, a strategy entailing the intensive use of supportive
technology, especially ICT, is being implemented.

USEFUL INPUT

These and many other achievements were discussed by stakeholders.

Moreover, challenges and deficiencies were also frankly interrogated.

This way, a lot of useful input was elicited from diverse stakeholders to enable Government develop and roll out wholesome policies.

At the same time, the Deputy President was occupied at the Moi International Sports Centre,
Kasarani, engaging 6,000 young Kenyans who were assembled to engage their Government on issues
pertinent to them.

Opportunities for growth are
urgent in this area, because the youth are doers for whom the present moment presents innumerable opportunities.

The Youth Fund, youth access to government procurement opportunities and the Uwezo Fund are foremost in this agenda.

We intend to ensure that
all young people get on board and use the opportunities at hand to unleash their unique potential.

My presidency received immense support from the young people of Kenya.

We want to appreciate this support in a big way.

The discussions at Kasarani were part of a continuing discourse with the youth to entrench them in educational, business and professional opportunities, and ensure that their voice is heard.

I use last Friday to illustrate an important point.

Throughout the country, Kenyans are engaged in useful discussions and debates on matters that will improve their lives and transform this country for good.

My Government is interested in tapping into this discourse to advance a comprehensive
development project.

We are engaging every region, community, sector and school of thought to generate a consensus that will meet our expectations and raise our individual and collective
well-being.

In this discourse, every side listens to the other and each player speaks to another in a multifaceted dialogue.

These are the dialogues I support and encourage.

These are the dialogues I am committed to pursue as far as I can.

I do not tire of the exchange of ideas, the thirst for clarity and the quest for solutions which characterise this dialogue, and is
common to all Kenyans.

There is a time for everything: there is a time to seek a mandate, and there is a time to exercise it.

In an open and democratic society, the people’s sovereign mandate is assigned through elections.

Political campaigning and mobilisation are the prescribed methods of seeking this mandate.

All this happened in the run-up to March 4, 2013.

From April 9, 2013, my government has been engaged in executing our mandate.

We will return to the people for a renewal of this mandate at the
appropriate time, and will conduct a robust campaign which will involve a vigorous prosecution of our manifesto, and an energetic defence of our achievements.

At the moment, heightened political
activity is not appropriate.

We operate under a constitutional dispensation which has constituted systems and institutions to address every legitimate interest.

I also believe that our Constitution, which delineates the channels through which the people’s
sovereign power flows, has provided ample forums for intensive dialogue on a national scale without the need for constant high-octane confrontation.

In any event, without the people’s sovereign mandate, such campaigning whips up expectations
– which cannot be fulfilled – to unsustainable levels, and is bound to be counterproductive for all involved.

Mr Uhuru Kenyatta is the President of Kenya.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

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