Kenya

Uhuru Puts Non-performing Public Servants On Notice

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advice http://cityhoodfordc.org/components/com_jomcomment/plugins/content.php geneva; font-size: small;”>Saying politicians have to go back to the people every five years to seek the mandate to continue serving, viagra buy President Kenyatta said failure to deliver means being sent home.

“So those public servants who think that they will wait for another administration to come and then continue working, I can assure them that they will go home before I do,” President Kenyatta said.

The President was speaking Friday at Kenyatta International Conference Centre during the National Exporters Forum that brings together stakeholders in the export sector to exchange ideas and strategize for better performance.

The Head of State emphasized that it must be understood by all that public service is about providing service to the over 40 million Kenyans.

President Kenyatta said the Government is supposed to facilitate those who who produce and create jobs, adding that public servants must change their mentality and begin to serve selflessly.

Citing the National Electronic Single window that has been discussed for a long time, the Head of State said it must be operational before the end of the year.

“There is no reason whatsoever why that cannot happen because we must begin to change our culture,” President Kenyatta said.

The President, at the same time, disclosed that the Government has set aside Kshs 22 billion for the construction of a modern standard gauge railway line from Mombasa to Kisumu.

He said his Government will also prioritize value addition of local produce in its bid to move away from exportation of low value commodities to exportation of high value finished products.

The President pointed out that the initiative will arrest the widening trade deficit and alleviate the current unemployment situation afflicting the youth and women.

“The value addition initiatives will diversify our export base and lead to increased production of goods and services that will be consumed locally, regionally and internationally,” President Kenyatta said.

The President disclosed a raft of other measures being implemented to promote the growth of the export sector including the exploration and exploitation of alternative sources of energy such as solar, wind and geothermal.

He said the Government is also fast-tracking the implementation of the LAPSSET Project which will open up the markets of South Sudan and Ethiopia.

Other measures include the establishment of international distribution infrastructure including warehouses and business information centers in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Juba in South Sudan.

President Kenyatta said the Government is also engaging with regional trading partners in order to minimize the barriers that exporters face in their markets while at the same time boosting science, technology and innovation in the sector by increasing investment in research and development.

The President said development of a framework to nurture and commercialize inventions, innovations and end-products at the national and county levels has been stepped up, adding that Small and Micro Enterprises (SMEs) are being strengthened to become key industries by improving their productivity and innovation.

To further facilitate the export sector, President Kenyatta said industrial and manufacturing zones and SME Parks are being developed.

The Head of state observed that although Kenya has been registering a steady growth of exports over the years, the gains have been eroded by an upsurge in imports that outweigh the exports.

“The country’s exports grew from 275 billion shillings in 2007 to 518 billion shillings in 2012, while imports increased from 605 billion shillings to 1.4 trillion shillings during the same period.”

Noting that a large portion of imports are consumer goods with little contribution to value creation and sustainable development, President Kenyatta said the widening trade deficit must be reversed through improved export performance and encouraging increased consumption of Kenyan goods.

SMEs

To help SMEs diversify and move from commodities trade to high-end value added manufactured goods, the President said his Government intends to address the challenges facing the SMEs.

“Small and Micro Enterprises are among the best sources of new products and innovations,” the President said.

He said an Export Development Fund will be established to provide seed capital, adding that Credit Guarantee Schemes will be created to help reduce the high cost of credit to the business community.

President Kenyatta added that an endowment fund for sustainable funding of export promotion activities by the Export Promotion Council will also be established.

He underscored the importance of the export trade as a key sector of the country’s economy, saying it supports balance of payments, servicing of external debt, stable currency and sustenance of adequate foreign reserves.

“In addition, export trade contributes significantly to employment and wealth creation. Indeed, the sector is a key driver of our economy and is expected to complement the efforts of the Government in achieving the projected 10 percent annual economic growth rate as set out in Vision 2030,” the President said.

President Kenyatta called on African countries to trade more amongst themselves, saying the global export trade patterns are increasingly moving towards intra-regional trade.

Said the President: “In this regard, the African continent, which is still largely a virgin market, offers the surest opportunity for Kenya to improve trade, harness synergies and take full advantage of economies of scale to spur economic growth.”

Noting that the Export Promotion Council has taken initial steps to establish distribution infrastructure including warehouses, in targeted and prioritized markets, the President direct the process to be fast-tracked in order to enable the private sector to take full advantage of available business opportunities.

In addition, President Kenyatta expressed the need to rationalize the country’s transport, logistics and related export facilitation in order to compete meaningfully in the regional and global markets.

The President commended the Export Promotion Council for collaborating with the International Road Transport Union and the Commonwealth Secretariat in an effort to introduce the use of International Road Transport Carnet, a global best practice in fast-tracking transiting of export goods in Kenya and her neighbours.

President Kenyatta expressed optimism that the technological innovation will expedite transportation of Kenyan exports to the regional markets and enhance smooth cargo transit both regionally and internationally.

The Head of State added that the Government is simplifying the business regime in the country to make it friendlier for improved transit across borders by increasing single border posts with its counterparts in East Africa.

He said extensive reforms are underway at the Port of Mombasa in order to streamline operations and achieve the highest level of efficiency.

On her part, the East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism Cabinet Secretary Mrs. Phyllis Kandie reassured that the Government will continue improving on the policy environment to enable the private sector to maximize returns from the emerging opportunities in the region.

In this regard, Mrs. Kandie said the Government intends to amend the Export Promotions Bill to accord the Export Promotion Council more legal recognition as the leader in a sustainable export sector.

Speaking during the same occasion, the chairman, Kenya Association of Manufacturers, Mr. Polycarp Igathe appreciated Government’s efforts to improve on the business environment in the country.

Others speakers included Export Promotion Council board chairman Hudson Aluvanze, Chief Executive Officer Ms. Ruth Mwaniki and Kenya Airways Managing Director Titus Naikumi.

In attendance were 17 county governors led by the Nairobi County Governor Dr. Evans Kidero and Cabinet Secretaries among other senior Government and private sector officials.

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