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)

3 Replies to “Why we must foster ‘by Kenyans, for Kenyans’”

  1. I couldn’t agree more. We boast intellectual excellence yet are so quick to second-guess our own in favour of foreign firms. Are we indirectly saying we are not good enough?

  2. There is an urgent need to look into the laws around our tendering procedures. We can’t have each and every tender being held hostage in our courts. Neighbouring countries are experiencing growth much faster than ours. Ethiopia is predicted to hit 12% growth by the end of this year, which is more than double that of ours. Tanzania is building a port at Bagamoyo which will be over 30 times that of Mombasa port and right now we are begging them to sell us their maize. More and more international conferences are being held in Kigali instead of here in Nairobi. This is not to say that we in Kenya don’t welcome competition. We do. But to waste so much time on political bickering and crying foul at each and every tender that is lost and rushing to the courts is not going to do this country any good at all.
    If we are not careful one day we will wake up in this country and realize that we are no longer the economic powerhouse we thought we were.

  3. lawyers represent their intrest not mass intrest their concern is winning irregardless of what, its rilly shameful for lawyers of Fred calibre to challenge award of this contract this is abuse of legal system

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