NAIROBI, Kenya, May 18 – Information and Communications Permanent Secretary Bitange Ndemo has urged his colleagues in government to take advantage of the prevailing socio-political climate to implement development programmes under Vision 2030.
Mr Ndemo said on Monday that President Mwai Kibaki’s administration has accorded civil servants freedom from political interferences witnessed in the previous regimes.
“We could change this economy by taking advantage of the leadership that has allowed the civil servants to work without interference,” the PS stated.
Mr Ndemo said that civil servants and not politicians should take the blame for the slow pace in the implementation of development projects in the country.
“The role of politicians is to give us the guidelines. We were given Vision 2030. If something fails, blame Ndemo for not implementing their sections. Because if you blame the political leadership, you are making a mistake as the politicians only ensure that they are re-elected,” he explained.
The PS stated the need for civil servants to support the current regime to implement Vision 2030.
“You can see projects getting finished. There are no longer terminologies in the media about white elephants. What you see around is change, the roads done, a lot of infrastructure,” he said.
“We have spent more money on infrastructure than the past 45 years.”
The permanent Secretary was speaking during a citizen education campaign by Brand Kenya Board (BKB), whose Chief Executive Officer Mary Kimonye said that their principle objectives were to coordinate initiatives for marketing the country, in order to maximise their efficiency and create and maintain the Kenyan Brand distinctively.
The board was established as a state corporation through a legal notice signed by President Kibaki. The notice also mandated the board to establish an integrated approach within Government and the private sector towards marketing Kenya internationally.
It was launched at a time when the country had received bad publicity in the international media following the post-election violence, which was occasioned by the disputed Presidential elections in December 2007.
The board is expected to market the country as a unit and if possible, even positively influence donor sentiments about the country, and at the same time promote Kenya’s standing as a safe tourism and investment destination.
Of late, the Government has intensified its efforts to attract private investments, especially from foreign investors and Mrs Kimonye says that her board is closely working with the Kenya Investment Authority to further this cause.
"We’ve realised that as a country, Kenya doesn’t have an official gift pack that can be given to visitors, including prospective investors when they visit. So we are developing one which we hope will be representative of our diverse culture," she said.
Before the advent of the BKB, the country had enjoyed unparalleled brand recognition largely through its long distance runners who’ve dominated the world stage.
Mrs Kimonye said that the board had developed a strategy that will guide it as it seeks to create a strong and positive image for Kenya.
Citing the country’s rich heritage, diverse cultural heritage, as well as heroes and heroines, she said that the nation had a lot going for it.