, NDOLA, Zambia, Jul 5 – The private sector, innovators and the youth are the keys to drive Africa’s growth and governments should formulate the right policies for them to play a bigger role in the economy, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.
The President urged governments to create favourable environments for businesses to operate and also enable the youth to participate in economic activities so as to achieve an all inclusive socio-economic development.
He said the private sector in Africa should also create links with each other because international trade and investment is the main driver of international relations in today’s world.
“I know that we are all determined to seize the day; to make up for lost time; and to raise Africa to its rightful place in the world. But these will remain little more than dreams if we do not unleash the energy and imagination of our entrepreneurs, our innovators, and our young people,” the President said.
President Kenyatta said one of the reasons Kenya is hosting the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in July is to tap into the potentials of international trade and investment driven by the private sector.
Several global leaders including the President of the United States, Barack Obama, are scheduled to attend the summit.
The Head of State, who spoke in Ndola, Zambia, where he was the chief guest at the 51st Zambia International Trade Fair, said Kenya is keen to foster closer economic partnership with the southern Africa nation.
Kenya won the award for the best international exhibition at the fair.
Kenyan companies have regularly taken part in the Zambia International Trade Fair with 12 Kenyan firms having stands at this year’s event.
“This year, 12 Kenyan companies from a wide range of sectors are exhibiting their products; they will, I am sure, forge the links that will strengthen them in growth and production,” said the President.
He invited the Zambian business community to have a bigger participation at this year’s Nairobi International Trade Fair, which will be held between September 28 and October 4th this year.
The Nairobi Fair is the largest in the Eastern Africa region, offering opportunities for regional, continental and global exhibitors to market their products.
“I am convinced the Fair will provide a good platform for Zambian firms to sample market opportunities for their products in Kenya and forge business to business linkages with their Kenyan counterparts,” the President affirmed.
President Kenyatta invited his host, President Edgar Lungu, to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Summit.
“We trust you will make time to join us for the conference, given our old friendship, our long ties, and the opportunities that are certain to present themselves.”
He said Kenya and Zambia share a long history of shared values and have a firm commitment to supporting prosperity and independence of the people of Africa.
President Kenyatta said the agreements the two countries reached in Nairobi last month, during the 9th Session of the Kenya-Zambia Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation (JPCC), is a reflection of the strength of the ties between the two nations.
President Kenyatta said Zambia is one of Kenya’s closest allies and he feels honoured to be the chief guest at the event.
“It is essential to mention, and to appreciate, your government’s help in matters of security. Given our long history, and our friendship, we regard you as an ally. And you have not faltered: you stood with us in some of our most trying moments,” he said. “Zambia and Kenya, with other troop-contributing countries serving with AMISOM, in Somalia will work tirelessly to bring peace, and prosperity to our brothers in Somalia. Meantime, we salute our men and women in uniform for their sacrifices.”
President Lungu, on his part, directed ministers and agencies in his government to ensure Zambia is represented well at the Nairobi International Trade Fair.
The Zambian leader, who earlier hosted President Kenyatta to a State Luncheon, said it is time for the two nations to start exploring more investment opportunities between them because the existing potential is underexploited.
President Kenyatta and his host had earlier in the morning visited various stands at the show where they saw creativity and innovativeness of different kind including making of clothing and shoes using waste material.