Investment requires a credible government

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Anyone who has considered venturing out into a new business line, new market segment or a new partnership will tell you it is an arduous decision.

To be successful, one must take into consideration many factors including the micro, macro, external and internal environments.  It is a process that requires one to conduct due diligence on the potential partner, the business and regulatory environments among others.

When all is said and done and assuming you have taken all the measures recommended by the most reputable business schools, when it is crunch time… you must make the decision to advance or to cut your losses.

For me, that final decision is often based on a ‘gut feeling’.  I must believe that my potential partner is a credible one.  Perhaps believe that there exists a viable business opportunity whose benefits far outweigh the risk of investment.

I use this example because I know that the running of our country must similarly be conducted systematically.  If indeed we aspire to take over as a regional hub; to attract more foreign direct investment, then we must do more to reinforce positive sentiments of our national image.

It is no longer enough to say that we have a new constitutional dispensation.  Our government must continue to show its dedication to the implementation of the same within the set timeframes.

Think about it… what if Parliament is not able to complete debating and passing the pending Bills?  What does that say of our commitment to issues which may be of lesser importance than the Constitution?  For instance, the implementation of the EA common market protocol?  Can our country then be entrusted with a hefty investment by foreigners seeking to access the EA market?

Another concern is the fact that we always seem to lose focus in the middle of important tasks.  The in-fighting in some of the commissions implementing the Constitution and in Parliament itself is a perfect example of this challenge.

Why is it that we always allow our attention to be diverted to the drama instead of focusing on matters that require tangible actions?  If indeed there is a basis to these accusations, the government arm that is mandated to investigate impropriety should step up to the plate.  But the real work shouldn’t be allowed to suffer.

In my opinion, when we allow ourselves to be consumed by energy wasting activities, then we are displaying to the world and to potential investors our ignorance and it becomes even more difficult to convince them that Kenya is the place to be in the region, especially now when elections are around the corner and the 2008 post electoral violence is still fresh in our memory.

Lastly, I want to say that a huge part of being credible means sticking to all agreements that we are party to.  Such commitments should never be taken lightly, unless of course our sovereignty is the consideration at stake.

When this is not the case, I find it is grossly unjust for our leaders to renege on such agreements in order to protect the interests of a few who are central to government operations.

Such actions demonstrate at a global scale, our unwillingness to fulfill our obligations when the shoe pinches us.  They send a clear message to other countries, bilateral and multilateral organisations, that our leaders will almost always sacrifice the country to salvage vested interests.  This begs the question of who is greater in our eyes; our country or a few well-connected individuals.

In my view, investors want to partner with somebody who is reliable despite the circumstances.  As consumers when we are loyal to certain brands, it is because we know what to expect at any given time and will not feel shortchanged on our part of the bargain.

Essentially, the risks mentioned above send a message to the world that Kenyans cannot be trusted and hence they will always deter our economic growth.

Kenya must be a brand that is credible through the tough times and the good times and we must continue to preserve and protect our desired national image if we are to achieve our visions.

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  • We need this kind of capitalistic thinking right at the core of our governance systems, where someone in leadership will consider the consequences of their actions in light of how it truly affects our national credibility, our ability to be competitive and ultimately our pockets..both collectively and individually.

  • Ali Abdi

    I agree with Chris totally.  The points he has raised are also some of the reasons why many Kenyans have sought better opportunities abroad.  Today many of us would like to come back and contribute to development of our country.  Those in government have to show the people they actually care about the common citizen and put their selfish interests and greed aside. 

    A prime example of this is the severe drought at the moment.  Our leaders have NEVER stepped up to address this issue even though the drought happens every few years.  The Kenyans4 Kenya fund raising is led by average Kenyans and local companies.  In fact I commend the head of Safari com and his counterparts.

    Our leaders are busy bickering over who will get a bigger piece of the pie.  All this while people are dying in our own back yard.  Before appealing to international community for help we have to show we are trying and able to take care of our own people.  Only then will the international Investors have confidence on our leaders.

  • Anonymous

    well written Chris it is no wonder that you do so well in business our government should learn to be credible because if they are not credible as Kenyans we cannot believe them even less other investors.it is one year since the promulgation happened yet the parliament had to wait till the last minute to pass the most crucial bills they should learn from the rest of us Kenyans who are hard working although we earn less we still pay our taxes on time. http://www.tusijisunde.com/2011/good-morning-kenya-is-it-really-a-new-dawn/

  • Rebecca Muli

    “a huge part of being credible means sticking to all agreements that we are party to” “we must continue to preserve and protect our desired national image if we are to achieve our visions” Most politicians tend to forget this.

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