Why we must foster ‘by Kenyans, for Kenyans’



During the recent US-Africa Summit, it was very clear that the objective was to get investors who would partner with the Kenyan people (local firms) to develop the country.

It was also an eye opener for the Government to see how the US Government partners with local firms to enhance development in their country and create opportunities elsewhere.

As the private sector we have made it clear that Government needs to work with local firms to develop this nation and not only award ‘big’ tenders to foreign companies who will come with their own working terms and conditions.

As a Kenyan businessman, it is very sad when I see some people opposing the decision to award a local company a big tender such as the Lamu coal project tender, while fighting for ‘foreign’ companies to be awarded.

It is embarrassing how we all talk about dealing with unemployment yet we are not ready to empower credible local firms to create employment for young people.

I wonder if at all those opposing are indeed patriotic Kenyans and want to profit the Kenyan people. It is high time Kenyans benefited from tenders of this magnitude.

My friends, sometimes it is not about what you will spend but rather the outcome of your expenditure. The outcome must be of more value. Honestly, I am happy for the 37,000 plus shareholders of Centum who have won this tender.

This is a step in the right direction and we look forward to Government partnering with credible local owned firms that are result oriented to develop this country and its people.

The youth of this country will develop the coal plant and it will create a livelihood for them and their families. We have the capability to do much more if we partnered together. Let’s give Kenyans a chance to develop their own country.

(Dr Kirubi is a Kenyan industrialist and a shareholder at Centum)

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