Speaker’s Roundtable to Define the Role of the National Assembly in The Big Four Agenda

The Private Sector Engagement with Parliament Forum is set for The First Week of October


October 1st 2018…The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) and the National Assembly will next Friday hold the first Speaker’s Roundtable of the Twelfth Parliament.

The meeting of one of the Houses of Parliament with the umbrella body of the private sector is scheduled to be held at Leisure Lodge in Kwale County, with an estimated 400 in attendance.

Carole Kariuki, the Chief Executive Officer of KEPSA said the meeting will be used to discuss with the National Assembly what the Legislature can do to make it easier to do business in Kenya.

“We view the Legislature as an important part of our efforts to improve business in Kenya. KEPSA has seen much progress since we held the first Speaker’s Roundtable in 2009 and we would like to continue this trend given the important role the private sector has in growing Kenya’s economy,” said Ms Kariuki.

A similar meeting is scheduled with the Senate at a later date.

Ms Kariuki said the Speaker’s Roundtable enables the private sector to conduct structured engagement with both houses of Parliament and to establish useful relationships.

On his part, the Speaker of the National Assembly Hon. Justin Muturis noted that:  “The private sector is a critical engine of sustainable economic growth and development because of the role it plays in generating employment, providing goods and services and contributing to national revenue. Parliament has continued to complement this role by enacting the necessary legislation in order to create a healthy and secure environment for business and investment.”

The Speaker’s Roundtable was formed and formalised under the 10th Parliament, with the first such meeting held in Mombasa under the leadership of the then Speaker, Kenneth Marende. It is one of the high-level Public-Private Dialogue platforms.

The meeting provides an opportunity for Parliament and the private sector to understand relationships between law, economy and business since effective legal systems are required to support an economy and its businesses.

The first Speaker’s Roundtable of the Twelfth Parliament will feature discussions on the Big Four Agenda and what the National Assembly can do to enable the Public-Private Partnerships that are needed to implement the plans.

This year’s Speaker’s Roundtable with the National Assembly comes at a crucial point in Kenya and issues touching on sustainability of economic growth, revenue generation, debt management and effective taxation as well as quality of polity and governance will be on the agenda.

Discussions will focus on defining the role and legislative agenda of National Assembly, working together with the private sector in realising the aspirations of the Big Four Agenda.

The specific objectives of this Speaker’s Roundtable are:

1)    To outline recommendations and a strategy for the conclusion of list of policies, laws and regulations in the areas of revenue generation, debt management, effective taxation quality of polity and governance with will facilitate a conducive business environment, jobs, wealth creation, and inclusive prosperity.

2)    To increase uptake and adoption by Parliament of key private sector recommendations on the legislative agenda as identified by private sector.

3)    To increase coordination between the Legislature and Private Sector on Legislative agenda needed to drive the Big Four development agenda and to unlock private sector investment.

4)    Enhance engagement between the National Assembly and the Private sector through the Parliamentary Department Committees.

There will also be discussions on the policies, laws and regulations the private sector deems necessary for creating a conducive business environment.

KEPSA also seeks to establish a mechanism for coordination between the Legislature and the private sector on the quick wins that can help in the implementation of the Big Four Agenda.

There will also be sessions focused on the effects of taxation on business and what the National Assembly can do to help in the management of the economy and to stimulate growth.

Among the key aspects of the two-day meeting at the coast will be four in-depth sessions where legislators, led by the heads of the departmental committees on Trade, Agriculture, Health and the Transport and Housing, will discuss with representatives from the private sector on the roles the Legislature and the private sector can play in realisation of the Big Four.

There will also be sessions to discuss what the National Assembly, working with the private sector, can do to enable the preparation or enhancement of legislation on energy and extractives, water and waste management in support of the Big Four agenda.

There will also be a similar session on laws on Information, Communication and Technology, Education and financial services.

These in-depth discussions will be led by a presentation of proposed legislative agenda in each of the sectors with an ultimate goal of generating commitment from and support of the legislators to fast-track the enactment/amendments of the identified laws.

Each sector will agree on an implementation matrix that will be used to gauge progress through the respective PDCs. In support of the Big Four Agenda, there will be plenary discussion on the key enabling sectors such as energy, ICT, financial services, water and waste management and education.

The meeting is intended to conclude with concrete agreements between KEPSA and the National Assembly on how they can work together over the next four years to make the quick wins and accomplish the long-term objectives on the Big Four Agenda.