“Take one of the counties, invest, and you will become a billionaire,” he says.
While appreciating the role of the media, Kirubi insists that it was time for foreign investors not to solely depend on getting all the information from the media and rather interact more with local investors if they are to make concrete decisions of setting shop here.
“Please guys, although I am a media man, don’t read, don’t listen to anything we the Kenyan media say to you. We just look at the other side of the coin. Again, the media is a ‘propaganda’ machine. They hook you onto their propaganda,” Kirubi said.
He said despite the many reports on the challenges facing the tourism sector, much was being done to revive it, calling on the need for them to seek other big opportunities in Kenya.
“We have oil, we have gold, rare metals… we have gas, name them. But everybody talks about tourism only. Tourism is one of the little things we do for leisure,” he says as those at the meeting laugh.
The industrialist says his consistency in speaking positively about Kenya is because a great percentage of his wealth has been and is in Kenya for the longest time.
He says the private sector and government are working hand-in-hand to tell the world that despite the challenges facing Kenya like insecurity, opportunities are there hence not need to fear.
“These people who keep on saying Kenya is dangerous to visit, they later put their money where their mouth wasn’t. I believe, for example the British are the biggest foreign investors in Kenya. Though some people like to confuse that Chinese are the biggest, they are not,” he challenged.
Kirubi said Kenya is open to all investors but emphasised the importance of partnerships with local investors for better guidance.
“If you come here, don’t stay alone. Ask who are the business people here. Come and join us, we can lead you and show you the way. Don’t run around amok, not knowing where to go,” he urged the investors who keenly listened to him.
The Kenya International Investment Conference is aimed at helping the government and the private sector showcase the opportunities in the country as well as partner with foreign investors.
“After this, look for me. You have arrived,” Kirubi told them.