, DOHA, Qatar, Apr 23 – Qatar has pledged to support Kenya in establishing a financial centre that will entrench its position as a financial hub in the East African region.
Speaking during a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta in Doha on Wednesday, Qatari Finance Minister Ali Al-Emadi said a financial centre in Kenya would stimulate economic growth by providing business with access to funding.
“This will unlock Kenya’s potential as an investment destination and we are ready to work with Kenya in achieving that goal,” the Qatari Finance Minister said.
President Kenyatta welcomed Qatar’s expression of interest in Kenya’s financial sector, saying the move would provide the resources necessary for Kenya’s economic take off.
He said Qatar’s support would ensure Kenya remained a financial leader in the region.
The President called for Qatari investment in Kenya’s tourism sector, saying the implementation of devolution had created many investment opportunities at the county level.
President Kenyatta said his Government recognised the role of the private sector as the engine of economic growth and has put in place a robust policy and regulatory framework that sustains a favourable business environment.
“The Government of Kenya has also developed a strong framework for Public Private Partnerships, which safeguards investment and reduces risks across the sectors of our economy,” the President said.
The President and the Qatari Finance Minister also discussed existing job employment opportunities for Kenyan workers in Qatar.
The Qatari Finance Minister said his ministry would also explore the possibility of funding the construction of Isiolo-Garbatula-Modogashe road to the tune of $150 million.
At another meeting, President Kenyatta held talks with Qatar’s Transport Minister Jassim Al Sulaiti.
The Transport Minister said his ministry was keen to share its expertise in the management of transport systems with Kenya.
President Kenyatta thanked the Qatari Government, which through Karwa Mowasalat -Qatar’s Public Transport Company -signed an agreement with Kenya’s National Youth Service in February to train and supply drivers, technicians and mechanics to the company.
The President noted that Kenyans also served in the Qatar’s transport sector as cabin crew, human resource and accounts managers, engineers, baggage handlers and as lectures at Qatar’s Aviation Authority.
He appreciated Qatar Airways’ plans to commence direct flights from Doha to Mombasa.
Noting that Qatar’s Ports Authority was one of the most effective managers of maritime installations, the President said Kenya looked forward to benefiting from the cooperation with the Ports Authority.