NESC pleads for political lifeline

May 30, 2009

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 30 – The National Economic and Social Council (NESC) wants the government to fast track the implementation of proposed political reforms to facilitate the entrenchment of an investment climate in the country.

The 17th council session meeting chaired by Prime Minister Raila Odinga heard on Saturday that prompt implementation of the recommended reforms under Agenda Item four of the National Accord was crucial to investment.

“The council was of the view that prompt implementation of the political reforms including the agenda 4 is crucial to enhancing the investment climate in Kenya,” the Premier said in a statement at the conclusion of the two-day meeting.

The council also resolved to review institutional structures set in the post independence era to evaluate their viability and relevance to the regulative and marketing demands of modern economic times.

Mr Odinga said that the meeting endorsed an overhaul of the post independence economic growth plan, amid fears that some of the structures in place outlived their usefulness hence the need to update them to conform to present day challenges.

He told a press conference at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) that the council had backed government plans to put up Special Economic Zones (SEZ), but proposed the establishment of an Import–Export Bank to boost the financial aspect of the project.

The Premier said that the council was eager to see through the implementation of the proposal which entails the construction of modern, world class cities complete with industrial, commercial and residential facilities.

He expressed optimism that the zones when fully established were likely to woo both local and foreign investors, whose presence he asserted would create employment opportunities for thousands of jobless youth.

Mr Odinga said that the council also reflected on the impact and status of the country’s economy in the wake of the global financial crunch, and urged stakeholders in all sectors to embark on a recovery streak by next year, when the ripple effects of the crisis are projected to begin fizzling out.

“The crisis has created an opportunity to transform our economy to realise the goals and aspirations of Kenya’s Vision 2030. The global economy could resume growth in late 2010 and Kenya must position itself to resume the path of rapid growth it lost in 2008,” the PM said.

The meeting was attended by several Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Premier Musalia Mudavadi, Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Muthaura, and chief executive officers from the private sector.

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