NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 23 – Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has urged developing countries to work closely with the private sector and take quick, decisive and systematic measures to ensure that credit crunches and bank collapses were avoided.
Mr Musyoka, at the same time said there was need to enhance competitiveness and individual comparative advantages to address the current global financial crisis.
He noted that in view of the debilitating impact of the global financial crisis, the international community should take a critical look at past policies and work towards a fair, inclusive and sustainable form of globalisation.
Mr Musyoka said by doing so, it will ensure social protection for all, create jobs and higher income and engender reforms in the global governance structure.
“In spite of the crisis, our opportunity as developing countries lie in enhancing our competitiveness and individual comparative advantages,” said Mr Musyoka.
Speaking during the Pan African Global Financial crisis conference held at the Safari Park hotel in Nairobi on Tuesday, the Vice President said the current financial crisis was threatening to reverse considerably the economic gains of the recent years.
He said that the consequences of the international financial crisis have been felt in a number of ways including the reduction in demand for goods and services particularly exports.
The financial crisis has also led to the reduction in foreign direct investment as foreign investors focus on consolidating their financial position and reduction in funding from development partners as well as increased volatility of the exchange rates.
“In Kenya, our main concern has been the impact of the downturn on the lives of the most vulnerable especially the poor who have been pushed deeper into poverty as the long term goal of poverty elimination and wealth creation remains elusive,” said Mr Musyoka.
The Vice President said that the effects of the crisis were reflected in job losses especially in the formal sector and an increase in the number of people below the poverty line.
“Although Kenya is primarily a rural-based economy, the crisis has had a significant impact on sectors such as tourism and agribusiness, especially horticulture, tea and coffee,” said Mr Musyoka.
He challenged leaders to encourage actualizing regional economic integration.
“Indeed, part of the response to the global economic slowdown is the need to integrate regional economic blocs in Africa, create common markets for goods and services and strengthen trade and investment among African countries,” said Mr Musyoka.
International Management Consultant Dr Victor Koh urged developing countries to enforce strict anti-corruption and mobilize grassroot support in order to achieve development.
He said corruption cases must be investigated properly irrespective of the position one holds in the society.