, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 30 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga has assured foreign entrepreneurs that Kenya remain peaceful in the face of impending general elections and advised them this is the time to invest.
The PM said that with a new political system and a peaceful election, Kenya will take off rapidly next year. The PM asked investors to shun the traditional wait-and-see attitude that has preceded elections in Kenya.
“The time to invest in Kenya is now. Those who wait until after elections will regret because it will be too late. I want to assure you that the next elections will be the most peaceful ever held in this country since independence,” the PM said.
He said the country has learnt bitter lessons from the violence of 2007-2008 and has become wise enough to prevent a repeat.
“They say to make a mistake is human. But to repeat the same mistake is foolishness. Kenyans have learnt and no violence will accompany the forthcoming elections,” Odinga said.
The PM said companies that adopt a wait-and-see attitude because of the coming elections will regret as competition will be stiff for the Kenyan market after the polls.
Odinga gave the assurance on Sunday during a cocktail party hosted for the visiting Chief Executive Officer of General Electrical Jeffrey Immelt at the Nairobi Museum.
Odinga said Kenya’s economy has shown a unique capacity to rebound, saying it recovered quickly after the election violence and also withstood the drought and global economic meltdown that followed.
He reassured foreign investors in the country that the security of their businesses will be guaranteed during the forthcoming general elections.
He asked investors not to fear the politicking going on, saying electoral politics tend to raise temperatures even in mature democracies with accusations and counter accusations.
He assured the investors that their operations will not be affected in any way since the coalition government had placed the needed mechanism to avert a recurrence of events that characterised the result of the 2007 general elections.
He said the role of the private sector was critical in spurring economic growth and for the same reason the government keen to promote investor confidence.
The premier said the government was engaging the private sector in making the vision 2030 dream a reality to ensure that the targeted annual growth rate of 10 percent was achieved within the set time frame.