, KAMPALA, Uganda, Jun 6 – The private sector must be facilitated to undertake development projects that accelerate economic growth and improve the lives of the people of East Africa, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.
He said East African governments need not struggle to raise funds to implement development projects while its vibrant private sector has capital and can do the projects.
“We do not lack capital for development projects in our region. We just need to facilitate and create an enabling environment for the private sector to undertake these projects,” President Kenyatta said.
He added: “I know, personally, I will push that agenda.”
The President spoke on Friday night in Kampala during an interactive dinner hosted by the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum for Heads of State and members of the private sector from Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.
During the occasion, President Kenyatta, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda welcomed the participation of the private sector in the Northern Corridor Integration projects.
President Kenyatta expressed satisfaction that progress has been made in the implementation of the Northern Corridor Integration projects.
“I think we have made a lot of progress. We are committed to making more. And personally, I am looking forward to working very closely with you as we march to shape the destiny of East Africa, to create prosperity for our people and a great future for our children,” President Kenyatta told the private sector.
He said consultation and working closely with the private sector will unlock bottlenecks that could otherwise slow down project implementation.
The three East African leaders affirmed their commitment to the Northern Corridor Integration projects, saying their frequent meetings are an indication of the existence of political will to see the projects succeed.
President Museveni said projects that drive the economy should be implemented using cheap sources of funds so that they can provide affordable services to citizens. He commended President Kenyatta for streamlining operations at the port of Mombasa, saying it has significantly reduced the cost of transporting goods across the Northern Corridor.
President Kagame talked against bureaucratic red tape, saying the vice should not be allowed to derail implementation of projects.
“I think we need to join hands and work together to root out this vice. Governments have to play their part and so do the private sector,” President Kagame said.
Delegates from South Sudan, Burundi, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) attended as observers.