, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 31 – President Uhuru Kenyatta began his tour of the Coast region Wednesday, with first hosting a tourism summit at State House, Mombasa.
According to State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu, the summit will bring together the private sector, government, and other groups, the first time the event is held outside Nairobi, which has hosted energy, infrastructure and agriculture summits.
“Few sectors are as important to Kenya’s economy, and its image, as tourism. After significant setbacks, the sector is in full recovery. First, a number of government incentives have made a difference – among them the scrapping of VAT for park entry fees, concessions for younger visitors, and vigorous new marketing campaign,” he stated.
Esipisu explained that the summit will also take stock of the recent recovery and seek ways of sustaining it.
“To take stock of the recent recovery, and to see how the momentum can be sustained, the President will host a Tourism Summit at State House Mombasa during this trip, bringing together the private sector, government, and other groups,” he said.
“As with previous State House Summits, it will be televised live on most TV channels, beginning at 0730hrs. We trust Kenyans will join the conversation.”
On Thursday, President Kenyatta is due to formally open the Agricultural Society of Kenya’s Mombasa International Show, at Mkomani as part of efforts to boost confidence in trade and tourism.
“This year is no different, with exhibitors from across the country and the region displaying their wares; with the county government of Mombasa showing its blue economy projects; and with players from across Kenya’s agriculture sector expected to make their way to Mombasa to make their views heard,” Esipisu said.
On Friday, President Kenyatta is expected to commission the first phase of Mombasa’s second container terminal.
This phase has two berths, the first of which will serve medium-sized vessels, and a second, which can accommodate vessels of 8,000 TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) capacity.
The government of Japan has been a major supporter of the Sh30 billion project, building on the warm relationship about which the President spoke during TICAD last week.
Throughout the tour, President Kenyatta will meet local leaders, and consult them regarding development at the Coast since devolution.