Kenyans have been urged to utilize the opportunities created by the government in the business environment to invest in viable businesses.
The Principal Secretary in the State Department of East Africa Community Dr Kevit Desai said the government was strengthening the public-private partnership and investing in youth enterprises to create more opportunities in the manufacturing and commerce sector and open market outlets beyond the East Africa Community.
“We want people to access markets through cross border trade. Fish in Turkana is now sold in Congo through cross border trade,” said Desai.
He added that the government created policy legislation and standards to yield greater levels of trade and economic growth for Kenyans to compete effectively in the market that has a population of 275 million people.
The PS made the remarks during the Fourth Medium Term Plan (MTP) 2023-2027 County Consultation Forum for Nairobi County organized by the National Treasury and Planning held at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development in Nairobi.
The event that brought together stakeholders and the public to discuss and propose county development priorities that will form the basis for the Fourth MTP policies, programmes and projects succeed the Third MTP 2018-2022, whose implementation ends by June, 2023.
Desai said the Fourth MTP will also implement the second last phase of Kenya Vision 2030 and set momentum for transiting into the next long term development blue-print.
“This preparatory process of the Fourth MTP requires participation of all of us at the National and county governments which should be through wide consultation through various forums with stakeholders,” said the PS.
He said the government has involved civil society, the private and public sectors and other stakeholders in the forum so as to achieve Vision 2030 goals, as well as address the challenges facing the business sector among them social-economic, environmental and communities in a bid to find solutions and to create better alignment on policies.
Desai who called upon those undertaking the exercise to take the ideas recommended to full implementation, said the platform has provided equity and inclusivity to all citizens including the youth to transition to opportunities to improve their livelihoods.
He said Nairobi being an avenue of opportunities and contributor of 60 percent of the country’s’ GDP requires stakeholders and members of the public to form collective action, leadership and ownership by coming up with good plans and programmes that will promote the standards of living of the people and attract investors.
The PS said the government achieved the third MTP plan and singled out the various roads constructed within the city and other parts of the country access to markets and provision of conducive environment which has promoted trade and manufacturing.
“The government has created opportunities in Africa and the entire globe as we are now a multi-trillion economy. We are on the right track and what we need to do is to be bold in business,” stated Desai.
He also encouraged Kenyans to make use of the public-private partnerships opportunity to be creative to enable them reap maximum benefits.
The PS said the government is concerned on the welfare of the youth, and has been promoting them through Vision 2030 by creating a conducive environment for them to venture into business, entrepreneurs as well as providing them with the youth fund, bursaries and the Public Service Internship Programmes to acquire relevant skills required by employers.
In her remarks, the Nairobi County Commissioner Flora Mworoa, said Nairobi County has achieved a lot in terms of development through MTP and singled out the 27 kilometre Nairobi Express Highway which is expected to be complete by June this year, the construction of markets, roads, hospitals, improvement of the rail transport and drilling of boreholes.
She said the various development projects and programmes have improved the lives of Nairobians and increased the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
“The Nairobi National County Government has been involving stakeholders in development plans among them the youth, civil society and leaders, a reason we have achieved our goals,” said Mworoa.
Speaking at the event, the Nairobi County Women Representative Esther Passaris, said there is need to use social media to engage the public in planning conversations.
She said with the high population in the city, the government should consider looking for investors in housing who can construct at least 300,000 houses annually to meet the demands of the rising population.
“We need to find a way on how we can address the challenge of housing in the city and in particular, the informal settlement areas,” she said.
By Bernadette Khaduli