PM Odinga to market Kenya in UK

July 20, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, July 20 – Prime Minister  Raila Odinga leaves for the United Kingdom on Monday night, heading a high-powered government and private sector delegation that would spell out the transformed climate for new investment in the country.

The focus of the three-day visit is to show case Kenya as an investment hub where the PM is expected to address an investment conference on Wednesday.

Following a cabinet meeting on Thursday the President mandated Odinga to lead a Kenyan delegation to the conference to be hosted by the U.K government at the invitation of the Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

During the Investment Conference, the delegation would present Kenya’s case as ‘open for business’ and the region’s investment hub and outline opportunities under the recently unveiled Vision 2030.

They are also expected to showcase the opportunities under its flagship growth pillars especially in financial services, ICT, agriculture including horticulture, tourism and infrastructure development.

The Prime Minister will deliver a major address at the conference, titled "Investing in the New Kenya", which would outline the steps the government has taken to make the country one of the world’s most investment friendly.

He is expected to tell British and Commonwealth investors that all the urgent goals of the new coalition government, such as enduring reconciliation,  far-reaching reforms and a new constitution, can only be fully met if the country increases its already impressive seven percent growth rate of last year to at least 10 percent. 

"Conditions for that level of enhanced economic growth already exist now, but will require substantial new domestic and international investment," the PM said on Sunday.

"To ensure investors of our determination to facilitate their entry here, we have created a one-stop investment centre and eliminated bureaucratic red tape. Both current and future investors will find plenty of new opportunities in this new Kenya."

The Prime Minister will also point out that the government is determined to wipe out corruption, and point to the crackdown that has already begun.

The July (22-24) trip would also include an hour-long discussion at 10 Downing Street between Prime Ministers Brown and Odinga on Wednesday, in which ministers from both sides would participate.

The Kenyan delegation includes Deputy Prime Minister and Trade Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula, Acting Finance Minister John Michuki, Tourism Minister Najib Balala, Nairobi Metropolitan Minister Mutula Kilonzo, Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi and North Eastern Minister Mohammed Elmi.
Also part of the delegation would be business leaders of key sectors the country is seeking to promote investment in and where opportunities abound.

The Prime Minister will also be accompanied by his wife Ida Odinga, who will have her own official programme.   
Meanwhile Deputy Premier and Minister for Local Government Musalia Mudavadi left the country on Sunday to attend the 24th Universal Postal Union (UPU) Congress to be held in Geneva, Switzerland.

Mudavadi is expected to preside over the official opening of the week long conference that would begin on Wednesday.

Accompanying the Deputy Prime Minister are Information and Communication Minister Samuel Poghisio, Acting Director General of Communications Commission of Kenya Peris Nkonge, Postmaster General Charles Njoroge and Ambassador Bishar Hussein who is the UPU Chairman Designate.

Kenya was scheduled to host the 24th UPU congress but the conference was moved to Switzerland in February due to disturbances in the country following the December general election, which saw the United Nations down grade parts of Kenya as no travel zones for UN staff.

Had Kenya hosted the conference Nairobi would have been the second African city to be to be accorded the opportunity as a host.


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