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“We must develop real shared prosperity by growing the national cake. It is not enough to merely improve our economic output and present rates of investment. We must entirely transform the way our economy operates if we are to deal with the present lack of jobs,” the report says/PSCU

Kenya

BBI admits current economy cannot produce prosperity, proposes a raft of measures to support youth, SMEs

“We must develop real shared prosperity by growing the national cake. It is not enough to merely improve our economic output and present rates of investment. We must entirely transform the way our economy operates if we are to deal with the present lack of jobs,” the report says/PSCU

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 27 – New and small businesses in the country will becomes some of the biggest winners if the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Report is implemented.

The Report, which was presented to President Uhuru Kenyatta Tuesday, proposes radical shift in the country’s business environment, among them offering a tax holiday of at least 7 years to new and small entrepreneurs.

The move is aimed at supporting entrepreneurship among the Kenyan youth and creating jobs for millions of young people who are jobless.

According to Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, Kenya had at least 7 million unemployed people as of 2018, with 1.4 million actively looking for jobs.

“The single most important matter facing Kenyans when it comes to shared prosperity
is generating enough jobs and employment, particularly for young people. It is not
enough to merely improve our economic output and present rates of investment: we
must entirely transform the way our economy operates if we are to deal with the
present lack of jobs,” says the report.

The report also wants the private sector to form a national, no-profit foundation chaired by the President, that provides mentoring, training and support tools to aspiring business owners aged 18 to 35.

Additionally, the report proposal for the formation of an advice desk armed with a business development expert at every huduma centre to help young people form businesses.

“We must develop real shared prosperity by growing the national cake. It is not enough to merely improve our economic output and present rates of investment. We must entirely transform the way our economy operates if we are to deal with the present lack of jobs,” it adds.

BBI also proposes for the broaden of the tax base and lowering the tax rate; here, the report hopes people will be left with more money in their pockets to invest or otherwise better their lives.

It also proposes for the government to deliver a policy that provides legal and regulatory guidelines for banks to lend a part of their portfolio to priority sectors such as micro, small and medium businesses, export credit, manufacturing, housing, education, health, renewable energy, sanitation and waste management and agriculture.

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“The current economy cannot produce the prosperity needed to meet the needs of the people and particularly employment needed for the youth,” says the report.

President Uhuru Kenyatta received the report on Tuesday, in the presence of his Deputy William Ruto, Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga and dozens of select leaders from across the country.

The report arose from the ashes of a contentious election in 2017 and the controversial swearing-in of Opposition leader Raila Odinga as the ‘people’s president’, the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Odinga made a raft of proposals that would ensure the country is unified.

To ensure this, Kenyatta and Uhuru unveiled a taskforce chaired by Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji to oversee the roll out of an initiative that hopes to implement their shared objectives of addressing ethnic resentment and competition, lack of national ethos, inclusivity, devolution, safety and security and corruption.

 

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