The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) has today presented a proposed Private Sector Economic manifesto outlining five key thematic areas, in the first series of engagements with the presidential candidates in the run-up to this year’s General Elections.
Speaking this morning after meeting with Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga of Azimio La Umoja Movement, KEPSA Chief Executive Carole Kariuki said the Private Sector was keen to see government interventions in spurring jobs and inclusive wealth creation through investment in the expansion of key growth sectors such as the digital economy, circular economy and enhancing value chains in productive sectors with stronger linkages to Micro,Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)
The government can leverage its large procurement budget to create jobs and wealth organically through a ‘demand-driven consumption’ model for example, by procuring only what is made in Kenya, both locally and by foreign organizations, actualizing supply chain linkages pegged on the 30-40% local content policy in government projects”, SaidKariuki.
Under the second theme of social transformation to reduce inequalities, KEPSA noted the need for government to guarantee good quality of life for Kenyans as a critical component in Kenya’s socio-economic development. The private sector economic manifesto also stressed an improvement focus on factors such as access to education, health, security, quality housing, markets, and transport as well as clean water, all of which come at the expense of rising household expenditures.
Under the third theme of enhanced governance and economic stability, the manifesto outlines the need for continued reformation of state corporations to ensure that resources are optimized and which KEPSA notes is critical for the improvement of public service delivery and shoring up investor confidence.
“Poor governance and corruption stifle economic and social development by increasing the cost of business while creating distortions in public expenditures. We believe that increasing the digitization of government processes will enhance transparency and efficiency within key processes and delivery of services and which can be achieved by the adoption of block chain for quality control, traceability and transparency”, said Kariuki.
Other intervention areas as proposed by private-sector economic manifesto include, spurring cutting edge innovation & investment in competitive human capital as well as creating a globally competitive business environment.
On his part, The Rt. Hon. Odinga noted that the Azimio Government will prioritize development of an export centered industrialization policy to drive the shift from agricultural export of raw materials to finished products.
According to Odinga, the Azimio Government will set up a dedicated body to monitor long term planning of the international trade agenda in close collaboration with the private sector including the championing of an award scheme of the best exporter, tax breaks and government guarantees for the private sector and policy implementation to promote exports in specific industries.
Odinga added that his government would ensure business and trade are part of government diplomacy through Kenya’s foreign embassies and missions which will support Kenyan companies abroad.
Other commitments include renewed attention to MSMEs to tackle the challenges of unlocking foreign markets, and to help level the field for all firms to ensure that MSMEs scale up, increase their efficiency, and match up to the big multinationals.
“During the Grand Coalition Government, we had the Prime Minister’s Round Table with the Private Sector which created a mechanism for the much-needed collaboration with the public sector. The Round Table enabled the two sectors to clear critical bottlenecks for the good of business and the nation.My vision is to see the country empower the Private Sector and make the sector turn Kenya into a trading nation, identified with specific products and services in the African and global export trade market”, he said.
According to Odinga, the Azimio government will also revamp the Export Promotion Council to provide export support services to the private sector and provide firms with political and economic intelligence to assist in exploiting new markets while investing in education and research to improve local labour skills.
The private sector economic manifesto has been developed by KEPSA through a stakeholder engagement process cutting across all sectors of the economy.It draws out key priorities for national development and business sectoral priorities,and which can only be achieved through partnership and collaboration with government and other stakeholders.
The proposed private sector economic manifesto is a development of the Mkenya Daima
initiative that seeks to inculcate good leadership and governance alongside responsible participation in elections by Kenyans as well as encouraging peaceful transition of leadership.Mkenya Daima 2022 will not only focus on peaceful elections and smooth transition, but will seek to build more on Wajibu Wangu, which is rallying call for all Kenyans to be responsible for Kenya and to choose the right leaders at every level.
This will help Kenyans achieve their aspirations of a better future and strive for a country that has good governance and leadership, public accountability, and efficient and transparent systems, as well as create hope, confidence, and optimism among Kenyans.
KEPSA’s vision is to be a world class private sector apex body. The primary mission is to ensure year-on-year improvement in the overall business environment for Kenya by working together with the Government and other stakeholders and being involved in the socio-economic development of the country.