Anti-graft fight is aimed at improving business environment, President Kenyatta tells investors

PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta today assured investors in Kenya that the war against corruption will continue so as to make the country’s business environment better.

The President said the government’s commitment to make Kenya a preferred investment destination in Africa is reflected in the latest World Bank Ease of Doing Business Ranking where Kenya is placed at position 56 in the world.

The President, who spoke at the UN Complex in Gigiri, Nairobi when he opened the 2nd American Chamber of Commerce US-East Africa Trade and Investment Forum challenged the private sector to play its role in the fight against corruption by fully implementing its anti-graft code of conduct.

“While the means to fight corruption are entrenched in laws such as the Bribery Act 2016, the private sector, as a whole, should also ensure the Code of Conduct developed a few years ago to self-regulate and tackle business enterprises engaging in corruption, is implemented to the letter. It is only by working together we can be assured of conquering the corruption dragon,” the President said.

The President assured investors that the intensified war against corruption will be sustained so as to rid the country of the vice and improve the environment for businesses to thrive.

“We will strive to uphold good business practices and keep the business environment transparent and fair and ensure that all businesses in Kenya have a level playing field, regardless of whether they are local or international companies,” he said.

The Head of State thanked the American Chamber of Commerce for organising the summit and challenged the forum to take the strategic partnership between Kenya and the US to new heights.

The President called on US companies to invest more in Kenya by emulating General Electric and Phillips. The two American multinational businesses have continued to expand their presence in the country by taking advantage of the nation’s expanding economy.

President Kenyatta said Kenya’s sustained investments in infrastructure development in recent years has resulted in the reduction in the cost of doing business in the country.

“Since last year’s summit, the Mombasa-Nairobi railway line has been extended to Suswa, near the geothermal centre and the site of a soon-to-be opened industrial park. You are invited to consider putting your investments in this Park,” the President said.

He said the Big Four plan provides good business opportunities and asked US firms to be first in line to partner with Kenyans in delivering the development blueprint.

“My administration is seeking to create at least 6.5 million jobs over the next five years so as to ensure that Kenyans, and, in particular, the youth, can secure and maintain good jobs,” he said.

The President noted the low trade volumes between Kenya and the US, and expressed optimism the newly agreed strategic partnership between the two countries will help lift the numbers.

“I am convinced we can do better than this; and there is a lot to build upon. I, however, note with satisfaction that a wide range of U.S. companies are investing in Kenya and across the East Africa region,” said the President.

Trade CS Peter Munya and Constance Hamilton, the Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa also spoke at the event that was attended by participants from across the East African region.