NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 17 – Capital Group Chairman Chris Kirubi is among five prominent businessmen who are travelling to China, where they will spearhead trade discussions that Kenya and China can partner in.
The billionaire and four other moguls are set to leave the country on Saturday evening to join President Uhuru Kenyatta in the discussions aimed at fostering economic relations with the East.
Kirubi told Capital FM News that China had the potential to not only give Kenya an economic facelift but also the entire African continent in mutually beneficial trade agreements.
He added that it was time for Africa to look for new development partners who will strive to ensure that all parties get a fair share of the cake.
“Whether people like it or not China is going to be the preferred partner for this region. The West give us donations to tend to areas of problems and they focus more on problem solving rather than helping us to develop,” argued the businessman.
He further explained that Western companies had pitched camp in Kenya and Africa as a whole long time ago but there was still little to show for it.
Kirubi added that the West normally tied down their local companies from growing which in turn slowed down local development yet they had dominated many companies in manufacturing.
“Many companies that are set up in this region are all part of the international companies from the West and these companies directly control their local sister companies in terms of how far they can aggressively go so you are growing but your hands are tied,” argued Kirubi.
He further explained that he would use his time in China to push for the flow of non-counterfeit goods in Kenya and Africa because they are threatening business empires.
Kenya has been struggling with the influx of counterfeit products, mostly from China. These goods are cheaply produced but of inferior quality and they unfairly compete with genuine products.
“We should also talk to them candidly about discouraging the manufacture and export of counterfeit goods because they are bad for everybody and they destroy partnerships and international trade,” he said.
Kirubi at the same time dismissed concerns that China’s new interest in Africa will start the scramble for Africa all over again.
He instead said that there was need to involve China in mapping all the resources that Kenya has for better planning.
“As long as it is equitable and Africa itself gains to the maximum, I think it is a kick start for the development of long sleeping Africa,” he said.
Kirubi is also on the Harvard University Global Advisory Council alongside that advises global leaders on economic issues that affect the world.