US says new law will boost economy

January 22, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, January 22 – The United States Ambassador Michael Ranneberger says the implementation of the new Constitution will impact positively on the economic growth of the country.

The American envoy said on Saturday that the reforms outlined within the new law will ensure increased investor confidence in Kenya.

He called on political leaders to work hard and ensure laws governing the implementation of the new Constitution are put in place.

“If the Constitution is implemented, then I think there is tremendous potential to get this country to achieve double digit growth and to me that is what taking off means,” he said.

“It means achieving double digit growth rates if that happens that will mean there are really has been fundamental reform change. I think Kenya can achieve that but the question is will that happen next year or in the next ten years?” he posed.

Speaking after giving an inspirational speech he underscored the need for the youth to be involved in the country’s reform agenda.

“What is in the balance is the pace of reforms because I think that is going to happen. Pressure is how quickly it is going to happen and I put that responsibility on young people,” he stressed.

 Mr Ranneberger further said that he will not relent in his efforts to empower the youth in the country.

He stated that he has the full backing and support from the US government since he was representing its interests in the country.

The envoy has in the recent past come under sharp attack from politicians who accused him of political mischief.

“I am not freelancing here, I coordinate and when I give a speech, I send it back to Washington and have them review it so that I know that they are comfortable with what I am saying,” he said.

“I report criticism as well as positive things, when the censure Motion was taking place in Parliament and when there were other things happening, I reported back and I was assured of full support,” he added.  

Mr Ranneberger however stated that only a non partisan person can participate in the youth empowerment programme.

“The only restriction we have is that these youth groups cannot be either ODM or PNU and they can’t be for one candidate or the other. They have to be non-partisan so it is important for the democratic process to take place not individuals or parties,” he pointed out.

Speaking during the public forum, he outlined steps being taken to empower the youth in the country.

“What we are doing is to create a Youth Innovate for Change Fund and it will initially going to be 10 million dollars but it can grow,” he said. “We are actually going to enlist the youth to run that fund and to manage it and to screen proposals for micro-enterprises that will come in from Youths across the country.”
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