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Private sector role key, says Kibaki

MOMBASA, Kenya, Aug 3 – President Mwai Kibaki has said that the private sector has an immense stake towards the fulfilment of African Government-led visionary initiatives including Kenya’s vision 2030.

The Head of State noted that the Government’s role was to create an enabling environment and infrastructure while other stakeholders contribute to the realisation of national dreams and aspirations.

“Where there is a private sector that understands and translates official visions into appropriate interventions, economies have grown, wealth has been created and business has been harnessed and resultant human development,” said the President.

The remarks were contained in a speech read on his behalf by Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, during the opening of the Second African Governance, Leadership and Management Convention in Mombasa.

The forum brings together the private sector, non-state actors and other stake stakeholders to reflect and brainstorm on common agenda of economic growth and human development in Africa.

The theme of this year’s convention is ‘Harnessing Business Growth and Human Development in the 21st Century in Africa: Claiming the Second Decade.’

The forum was also addressed by the patron and former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo and former South African President Thabo Mbeki among other eminent personalities in the continent.

President Kibaki urged Africans to focus on innovation and improved service delivery in all critical areas both in public and private sectors.

“Our condition in Africa can only improve if we create wealth and align it with people. Quite often, it is taken as a matter of course that creation of wealth and improving the human conditions in any country is the responsibilities of the Government while other stakeholders’ looks on, this is a fallacy of our time,” he noted.

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The Head of State challenged African leaders to live to the expectation of the continent’s heroes of a social- economic prosperous Africa expressed by among others, Kwame Nkurumah, Nelson Mandela, Patrice Lumumba, Julius Nyerere and Jomo Kenyatta.

President Kibaki underscored the centrality of good governance, sound leadership and proper management for both private and public sectors in efforts towards a better continent.

Mr Obasanjo stressed that quality leadership is the cornerstone of the continents development and commended the initiatives by the African Union, the NEPAD and African Peer Review Mechanisms in supporting the continent’s economies.

He noted that Africa has great opportunities for investment including abundant human and natural resources that need to be harnessed for the benefit of the people in Africa.

Mr Obasanjo encouraged public-private sector partnership and entrepreneurship in addressing the problems of poverty that continue to ravage majority of African states.

Mr Mbeki on his part called on professionals in the continent to come up with innovative ways of liberating the continent from economic hardships and help it take its rightful place globally in the 21st century.

Mr Musyoka said that Africa was faced with myriad challenges including global climate change that has caused famine in various parts of the continent, particularly the horn of Africa.

He thanked the international community for partnering with the Kenyan Government in assisting people in drought stricken areas, noting that the situation is the worst ever experienced in over the last 60 years.

However, the Vice President underscored Kenya’s determination in becoming middle income and industrialized nation and claim her position in the 21st century.

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