Uhuru job as chair of African, Caribbean and Pacific well cut out

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019 00:00 | By
President Uhuru Kenyatta chatts with the incoming ACP Secretary General Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti and his predecessor Patrick Gomes during the official closing ceremony of the 9th African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Summit the Kenyatta International Convention Centre.

Kenya’s position as chair of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states puts the country in pole position to not just reinvigorate this critical economic bloc, but to ride on its back to push its domestic agenda.

The bloc, comprising 79 member states, a population of 1.5 billion people and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $1.5 trillion (Sh156 trillion) is a potential platform for the exchange of goods, services, cash and movement of people.

Its viability will be key to eradicating poverty, enhancing development and catalysing integration of member countries into a global economic powerhouse.

With President Uhuru Kenyatta chairing the bloc, the country hopes to reap big from his vision and leveraging the new role to ensure favourable trading terms among member states and other markets.

The timing of the privilege bestowed on Kenya—during the ACP Summit in Nairobi—is especially appropriate, just when the byword across the globe is partnership to mitigate the current economic uncertainties.

Kenya, like other member states, should leverage its strengths, especially in agriculture, horticulture, floriculture and tourism to access a market for its products.

President Uhuru must make it his singular mission to ensure the bloc works in unity to overcome challenges posed by threats to multi-lateralism, environmental degradation, climate change and natural disasters.

He can only  succeed if he turns the energy invested in political rhetoric into action, and ensure members commit financial resources to make ACP a viable economic bloc.

Above all, Uhuru must ensure the strong political declarations and statements in favour of a reinvigorated ACP meet with intent for enterprise.

For instance, he must ensure that a new partnership between the bloc and the European Union starts bearing fruit as well as push for the right environment for growth of micro, small, and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The nations must also create an environment that supports innovation and technology transfer which would go a long way in developing industrial development powered by the private sector.

Kenya must be in the frontline in delivering these promises if the re-energised bloc is to bear fruit.

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