Under the leadership of His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya is realising the goals of Vision 2030 and the Big Four Agenda.
These blueprints will assist Kenya in reaching middle-income status and improving livelihoods for all Kenyans, not to mention placing them on the map as a global competitive player. Penresa had the pleasure to speak with His Excellency to discuss Kenya’s successes and where the country is headed in the near future.
- Kenya improved its ease of doing business index by 56 positions last year and intends to reach the top 50 by 2020. What government actions were responsible for this improvement?
The improvement was aided by reforms in establishing business, construction permits, acquiring electricity, access to credit, paying taxes and trading across borders. We have revolutionised government services and have increased investment and development in the energy sector, embraced ICT and made legal reforms to help fight corruption and ensure a secure business environment. Kenya has a positive investment climate where businesses can start, grow and thrive.
- What other works are in motion to help realise Vision 2030?
Vision 2030 was launched in 2008 as the development blueprint to transform Kenya into a newly industrialised, middle income country by the year 2030. To help achieve this vision, my administration is focusing on the Big Four Agenda, which prioritises Food Security, Affordable Housing, Manufacturing and Universal Healthcare as the four major pillars of economic growth and the wellbeing of our people. The Big Four Agenda is a fast-tracking strategy for Vision 2030 with priority reforms being implemented over the next five years.
The Big Four also functions as a development compass in our engagement with investors and partners. Private partners add value in agri-industrial production to generate jobs for our well-skilled workforce and deploy appropriate technologies to provide modern, affordable housing for our population. We expect these private partnerships to turn the four priority areas into mighty engines of wealth and job creation.
- Agriculture is a major driver for economic growth and employment in Kenya. How can enhancing this sector reduce poverty and create welfare gains?
Even with impressive advances across the economy, agriculture continues to be the bedrock of Kenya’s development and the key to creating equitable and sustainable growth for our people. We cannot achieve significant growth without modernising its agricultural sector.
We have made progress in modernising agriculture in Kenya but we have not yet reached our full potential. We are revolutionising the way we do agriculture, from how we develop policy at the national level, to how we allocate resources in our farming households. Through our 10-year Agricultural Sector Growth and Transformation Strategy (ASTGS), achieving our agricultural goals will ensure food and nutritional security, improve incomes, lower food costs, and increase employment, particularly for women and youth. These are our absolute priorities.
- For the FORBES AFRICA reader and the discerning investor, why is now the best time to invest in Kenya?
Kenya has the largest, most diverse economy in East and Central Africa, serving as the regional hub for logistics and air transportation, financial services, ICT innovations, and international media coverage. We have a clear vision for economic development. Our focus is on implementing more business-friendly policies and reforms to reduce investment costs and enhance the sector’s global competitiveness.
We are a signatory to the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which gives other continents opportunities to trade with Africa as a trading bloc. For this reason, we invite foreign investors to seek opportunities with Kenya as an entry point to East and Central Africa and to the larger African market.
I assure investors that we continue to pursue a free enterprise economy and aim to build the strongest industrial base in the sub-Saharan African region. With a sound economic base and a well-trained workforce, Kenya is ripe for foreign investment opportunities across various sectors including infrastructure development, agro-business, tourism, energy, manufacturing, ICT and financial services.