Kenya must adopt radical measures to attract investors, says Ruto
Deputy President William Ruto has said Kenya has to do more to make the country the preferred gateway to Africa for investors.
He said the country must adopt a radical and progressive stance in reforming the business and regulatory environment.
“An intensified collaboration between the government, development partners and the private sector would firmly drive Kenya into being the continent’s business hub,” he said during the launch of the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business in Kenya 2020 Report on Thursday in Nairobi.
Ruto said despite being ranked 56th globally out of 190 countries on the ease to do business, and first worldwide in the Protecting Minority Investors indicator Kenya should not rest on its laurels if it is to rewrite its economic trajectory.
By putting in more effort in pro-business policies and programmes, the Deputy President noted that more international flows would be realised, and more jobs and wealth generated.
The event was attended by East African Community Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohammed, World Bank Group, Finance Competitiveness and Innovation Regional Focal Point Augustine Langyintuo, Development Partners representative Julius Court, Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua and Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) chief executive Carole Kariuki, among others.
“Positioning on its own is not enough, strategic intent must go with the action. This is what led to the President’s directive in 2014 to embed Doing Business as part of the government’s deliverables in attracting investments, supporting the informal sector and maintaining our competitiveness,” said Ruto.
He said Kenya had for the second consecutive year emerged as the third most reformed country in the world in the business ranking.
He said the country’s target was to reach the top 50 by next year, adding that this “would place the country in a catalytic position in guaranteeing investment flows from around the globe”.
“The deliberate and continued improvement of physical infrastructure is all part of this masterplan of driving our economic development,” he added.
Court said development partners were impressed by the government’s commitment to providing a conducive environment for investors.
“Investor environment continues to improve in Kenya and we must appreciate the efforts of the government on this,” he said.
CS Mohammed said small and medium-sized enterprises had greatly benefitted from the government’s reforms that have led to its improvement in the ease of doing business in various categories.
Kariuki said Kepsa would continue to partner with the government in ensuring a conducive environment for investments to further improve the ease of doing business in the country.