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PPPs pivotal to Vision 2030 success

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 10 – It is now estimated that over 70 percent of the funding needed for Vision 2030 will come from outside the government, making Public Private Partnerships (PPP) pivotal to its success.

Projects like the multi-billion shilling Tatu City that is entirely privately funded, will become more and more common if Kenya is to attain its middle-income status.

Speaking during a forum discussing the private sectors role in the Vision 2030 plan, Director General Mugo Kibati said investments in the energy sector, manufacturing and tourism should be critical areas of focus.

“The private sector needs to make sure they engage comprehensively and align their strategic plans to Vision 2030. They need to think about exporting out of the country. They need to think out of the box and think big,” he said.

Developing special economic zones (SEZ) Kibati added would help attract more foreign direct investment and create sustainable jobs.

Already, Mombasa, Kisumu and Lamu have been designated as SEZs within the Vision 2030 plan.

As the government puts more focus on land reforms Kibati said the private sector’s involvement in the process is critical to ensure their interests are overlooked.

“We need land laws that will aid not hinder business. We haven’t had a Land Bill in this country in the last 40 years and because of that the lobby for fairness has been very strong. In attempt to get fairness we must engage,” he said

At least eight procedure steps are required to register property in Kenya taking an estimated 73 days, according to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2012 data.

The Vision 2030 Board has made efforts to simplify the land procurement process that for a long time has caused Kenya to lose out in attracting foreign investors.

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As part of its economic pillar the Board has proposed a Land Bank that would preserve property for investor purchase making the acquisition smoother for prospect investors.

Africa as a whole constitutes just two percent of world trade, one percent of which comes from South Africa.

Projects like the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor (LAPSSET) Kibati said will help foster more trade complementing the existing Northern Corridor that accounts for 90 percent of Kenya’s GDP.

Currently, imports into Kenya stand at 38.5 percent more than doubling exports that contribute 17 percent to the GDP.

Streamlining government services, particularly dealing with investment, into a one-stop shop for facilitation of approvals and licensing, Kibati said is necessary to improve Kenya’s image as an investor-friendly country.

Setting up and operating the National Electronic Single Window platform is another effort by the Vision 2030 Board to make ports more efficient.

Updating the Mombasa Port through the Single Window will see the time goods stay at a port pending clearance, reduce significantly from 14 days to three days.

The process has already commenced and the first phase should be complete by June next year, with the second and final phase to be complete by December next year.

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