KAM hails govt on PPPs

August 16, 2008

, NAIROBI, August 16 – The Kenya Association of Manufactures has stressed the need for the private sector to take a leading role in driving Vision 2030.

Chairman Vimal Shah told Capital News that the apparent gaps on the implementation of the Vision would be filled by the success of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs).

Shah said: “A lot of people complain that it does not have the details in it, but the detail is for us, as the private sector. It is giving you a macro goal in terms of direction, the ‘how to’ is all discussable.”

The government, he said, is going to become more and more of a facilitator.

“The public sector and politicians are now talking private sector language; they are talking competitiveness, they are talking cost of doing business, and that’s why it is exciting,” said an upbeat Shah.

Already Prime Minister Raila Odinga has convened several meetings with members of the Private Sector which have yielded deliverables for various government departments. Earlier this month he officiated the signing of the deliverables.

The newly elected Chairman is confident that with the success of the PPPs, the dream is attainable.

The Bidco Refineries’ Chief Executive Officer nevertheless said that the government should focus on making the country more competitive.

He pointed out that lowering the cost of power, enhancing security and efficiency in provision of basic services like health and education are key areas that need attention.

“Insecurity needs to be solved immediately, so that shops can open at night,” he noted.

The Association, he noted, will be lobbying for the review of the recent increases in the cost of electricity.

Last week the government ordered that operations at the Port of Mombasa and the borders be adjusted to 24 hours, 7 days a week. The government has also directed the secretariat of the National Economics and Social Council (NESC) to look into the possibility of expanded working hours in crucial offices such as lands, immigration and infrastructure construction.

Shah said that top on his priority in his new position would be to ensure that Kenya remained competitive in the region.

“We’ve got to make sure we reinvent ourselves all the time; we must not be comfortable with the Status quo at any given stage. There is always a better way,” he noted.

Vision 2030 encompasses the transformation of the country’s economy from one that is dominated by agricultural activity to an industrial one and eventually a knowledge driven one. The government has already launched medium term plans to run between now and 2012.

It was drawn up last year but it was adjusted this year to take in the harmonization party manifestos following the formation of a unity government and the effects of the post election violence.

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