, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 1 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has promised that his government is committed to grow the consumption of goods and services produced locally.
The President who spoke at this year’s Madaraka Day celebrations says changes will be made to government procurement rules to ensure this is achieved.
“My government shall in the new financial year strictly ensure that as a minimum, 40 percent of all goods and services procured by government at all levels are locally produced. Additional policies to open up new sectors such as the creative arts and sports sectors are being earnestly pursued,” he told Kenyans who braved the chilly June weather to commemorate the day at the Nyayo National Stadium.
He also said there is a deliberate move to open up new sectors to boost local art and talent.
“We are committed to ensuring that our large pool of talent benefits from their hard work; that they rightfully receive a significant portion of the billions of shillings generated by the media, communication, arts and sporting sectors,” Kenyatta pledged.
Some 8,464 companies have won tenders worth billions of shillings since the government started an initiative to ring-fence 30 percent of all tenders in government institutions for marginalised groups: youth, women and persons with disabilities
“My measure of success will be the moment when the presently earmarked opportunities will be exhausted, requiring my government to go beyond 30% in order to further entrench youth, women and persons with disability in our industrial and entrepreneurial system,” the Head of State noted.
The Youth Fund, the Women’s Enterprise Funds and Uwezo Fund were capitalized with a total of Sh13.2 billion from which youth, women, and persons with disability can obtain subsidized loans to start businesses.
President Kenyatta said the government is taking deliberate steps to lower the cost of doing business in the country to make Kenya a more attractive investment destination so as to create more jobs locally.
President Kenyatta assured Kenyans of the government’s commitment to the fight against institutional corruption citing the recently commenced action to bring accountability to various allegations of corruption involving government officials.
“My government is committed to follow through and take the entire initiative through the due process. It was the beginning. We are serious about this and we will succeed,” he added.
The President asked Kenyans to support the war on graft to augment the integrity-assurance and corruption prevention frameworks throughout the public service put in place by the government.
“On this Madaraka Day, I urge everyone to commit to turning over a new leaf and expel the culture of bribery, extortion, kickbacks and other conspiracies and contrivances against the public interest. As I see it, fighting corruption and restoring integrity has three principal components.”
President Kenyatta added; “The first is by delivering accountability for economic crimes already committed. Secondly, by enhancing vigilance and prudence in order to detect and disrupt corruption that is underway. Finally, we must establish a robust framework of making Kenya graft-proof going forward.”
In April, the President released a dossier containing names of public and State officers including five Cabinet Secretaries who are alleged to be involved in graft.
So far, two Cabinet Secretaries have been cleared while the Director of Public Prosecutions has directed the prosecution of Transport Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau.
The President had given the Ethic and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) 60 days to conclude investigations in the allegations.