LONDON, 17 APRIL 2018— President Uhuru Kenyatta today assured UK investors that Kenya’s business environment is stable and conducive for investment.
The President said the country had withstood the immense burden of going through two presidential elections within two months at the end of last year.
The President said conducting two presidential elections in 60 days and coming out politically stable with a strong business environment is a feat few countries have ever achieved.
The President, while speaking at a business forum bringing together British investors, Kenyan business leaders and government officials, in London on the sidelines of the ongoing Commonwealth Meeting, said Kenya is open for business and urged the UK investors to increase their investments in the country.
“It is there for all to see that Kenya’s democracy has matured. Our systems have withstood two elections and we have solid democratic foundations,” said the President. He said the democratic maturity is essential for trade and investment.
The President said Kenya has made the appropriate legal reforms for ease of doing business and invested in massive infrastructural development.
“We are delivering on our promise of 10,000 kilometers of roads and major sections of the Standard Gauge Railway are complete,” the President said at the meeting held at the Fourways Hotel, London. He said power connections have been increased from 32 percent in 2013 to current 58 percent.
President Kenyatta said Kenya is known for encouraging private investment and urged UK businesses to invest more in the country.
At the forum, which was organized by the High Commission in collaboration with GBS Africa, investors showed appetite for projects in geothermal power generation, housing and the establishment of an international arbitration centre in Nairobi.
Some of the companies represented at the business forum included Diageo, Quantum Power, Tullow Plc, Arch Emerging Markets, Barclays, Finlay, TLG Group, Denham Capital CDC Group, EBRD, AECOM, Prudential Plc, AFC, Braun & Company, Vodafone, NEX Plc, Eastern Africa Association, Stephenson Harwood LLP among others. The meeting was also attended by representatives from the UK Parliament as well as Kenya’s Parliamentary Committee on Trade and Industry.
The UK is a leading investor in Kenya with at least 220 British companies operating in Kenya running business valued at more than 2.7 billion Sterling Pounds and employing 250,000 people.
At the sidelines of the forum, President Kenyatta held a bilateral meeting with officials of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development who showed interest in funding country development projects. The President said the bank expressed interest in partnering with the Government in financing projects under his Big Four plan for Kenya’s growth
“We are working on establishing the International Finance Centre and this is the right time to invest in Kenya. The increased interest in Kenya signifies international confidence that elections in Kenya are no longer disruptive and are not a reason to stay away,” said the President.
The President was accompanied by Cabinet Secretaries Amb. Monica Juma (Foreign Affairs) and Hon. Adan Mohamed (Industry, Trade and Cooperatives); Principal Secretaries, Dr. Chris Kiptoo (Foreign Affairs) and Mr. Andrew Kamau (Petroleum & Mining); Mr. Nzioka Waita (the Chief of Staff), Hon. James Mathenge Kanini Kega MP (Chairman, Parliamentary Committee on Trade and Industry); Hon (Dr.) Wilberforce Oudo, Phd, MP; Hon. Nixon Korir, MP; Hon Robert Gichimu Githinji, MP; Amb. Lazarus Amayo (High Commissioner of Kenya to the UK), Ms. Carole Kariuki (Chief Executive Officer at Kenya Private Sector Alliance) and other senior government officials.
In his introductory remarks, the High Commissioner of Kenya to the United Kingdom, Amb. Lazarus Amayo thanked the Chief Executives for participating in the Roundtable. He highlighted that the Government valued the relationship between Kenya and the United Kingdom and emphasized that the two countries continued to enjoy solid economic relations. He added that these relations have been strengthened further by the interaction of the private sector in the two countries. The High Commissioner further noted that the UK continues to be by far the largest foreign investor in Kenya and underscored Kenya’s desire to expand the value of trade and investment between the two countries.
Earlier President Kenyatta held a private meeting with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, at the Buckingham Palace.
The President will later in the afternoon deliver an address at Chatham House where he will showcase Kenya’s achievements in making economic growth inclusive and the role it has played in supporting regional peace.
Source: Presidential Strategic Communications Unit (PSCU)