• Exclusive Interview: “Our country is stable!”

Exclusive Interview: “Our country is stable!”

Next August, the upcoming elections in Kenya will be held. A vote perceived as a test for the booming economic country which experienced post-election turmoil in the past. Ken N. Osinde, Director of Cabinet of the president of Kenya, during a stay in Paris, believes that Kenyan model is efficient, with growth of over 5% and 1.4 billion FDI in 2016. Exclusive interview for ANA

Interview by Dounia Ben Mohamed

 

Kenya is one of the most attractive countries in the continent with a growth of more than 5% and 1.4 billion FDI in 2016. But the presidential election next August appears as an efficiency test of the Kenyan model?

Kenya is a democracy. Like all democracies, it renews its government in presidential elections, which does not make the country less attractive. This election concerns only the political class. And there is no impact on the business environment, as every politician is committed to ensuring that this election takes place according to the provisions of our constitution and in serenity. As such, we are truly confident. We now have an operational security system that ensures peace in our country, which will make this stage of August go smoothly. Our country is stable today, we have strong constitution and institutions, and our government, my government, led by President Kenyatta, has assumed its responsibilities and conducted the reforms required to consolidate our democracy. This will be obvious during the August vote.

In economic terms, you position yourself as the hub of East Africa. But you have challengers such as Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda…

Don’t worry about our challengers. Everyone wants to make progress. For us, we focus on our roadmap, we maintain the course of growth. We believe in our model, and in our positioning. We do not compete with our neighbors. We evolve together and have made our region one of the continent’s most competitive.

Your roadmap includes Kenya 2030 vision. Halfway through, what is your assessment of the progress?

I am often asked: Why 2030? What will happen in 2030? It’s just a heading. The one we want to reach, as you have to set a course, a vision, and goals. In this case, we have to be among the emerging nations by 2030. To do that, we have conducted reforms, and launched infrastructure work. We have made the port of Mombassa the port hub of East Africa. We have set up special economic zones and improved the business environment.

In this regard, Kenya is often criticized for corruption, omnipresent, and polluting the business environment…

The problem is that those who talk about corruption themselves have never been victims. Actually, our government has implemented a policy of zero tolerance of corruption. Democracy and meritocracy are now practiced in Kenya. Our constitution ensures the protection of property and persons. The country is stable, guaranteed by the constitution, and we have created the authorities and institutions to support investors and protect their investments. But above all, what we are most proud of is the men and women who make up this country. Kenya has 45 million inhabitants. These include the best trained people in the region and beyond, for we have made human capital our priority, our main wealth. This has been successful such as M-Pesa. The investors who settle here do not have to call on expatriates; they find all the labor they need in the country, including the most qualified. And that’s why our private sector is very dynamic and efficient. International investors can find the partners needed to develop their activities. The law on public-private partnerships exists, and we must avail the opportunities that our country offers not only in Nairobi but also nationwide. We have infrastructure: men. The only question an investor has to ask is why is he not yet there. Do not wait tomorrow to invest in Kenya… but now!


Author : Dounia Ben Mohamed // Photo : Ken N. Osinde, director  off cabinet du président du Kenya © Ken N. Osinde

 

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