New Kenyan law boosts economy

August 9, 2010

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 9 – Kenya’s business leaders say the peaceful ratification of a new Constitution has lifted investor confidence in the country and puts the economy firmly on the path towards recovery.

Kenya Association of Manufactures Chief Executive Officer Betty Maina said speedy implementation of key legislations that support business development would be crucial in sustaining regained confidence.

“Our expectation is that Parliament will prioritise its work in lawmaking because we need to move expeditiously. There may be challenges in terms of time but our appeal to Parliament is they make this work,” Ms Maina said.

Successful implementation of a new Constitution has widely been viewed as a stepping-stone towards faster economic growth, with many financial analysts pegging it to growth this year.

The Kenyan economy has taken a severe beating since 2008 due to the negative effects of the global financial crisis, post election chaos and adverse weather conditions, which saw it grind to a near halt.

The economy has however been on a slow path to recovery posting 2.6 percent growth in 2009 and now analysts predict 4.5 percent growth this year.

Private sector players threw their weight behind a new Constitution, openly engaging in a political process arguing the new Constitution had sweeping economic benefits.

Ms Maina said priority ought to be given to the land, judicial and devolution laws that have the potential of spurring business activity locally.

“Kenya awaits a new land dispensation and that will be critical. For a lot of investment it will be important to ensure that framework has been consolidated,” she said.

She said the new Constitution calls for 15 percent allocation of all collected revenue that is meant to take business to the grass root level.

Kenya Property Development Association Chief Executive Officer Dr Leila Macharia said the new Constitution creates structures and institutions that bring good governance and better management of public finance.

“In the past, appointment of public offices has not been as transparent as we would like so what we would like is to see a higher standard of consultation with the private sector,” Dr Macharia said.

They are however of the opinion that implementation of the new Constitution would only be realised if the government will demonstrate willpower to engage in the implementation of the optimistic provisions contained in the new law.

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