Members of National Assembly led by the Speaker of the National Assembly Hon. Justin Muturi pose for a photo with members of the Private Sector at the Third Speakers Roundtable.
The Speaker of the National Assembly Hon. Justine Muturi today chaired the third Speaker’s Roundtable, bringing together Members of the National Assembly and the Private Sector. During the roundtable the Speaker reiterated the importance of continuous engagement between the private sector and the national assembly to ensure that legislation does not impede economic development.
‘This forum between the National Assembly and KEPSA is vital and is aimed at strengthening the role of private sector as the pillar and engine of economic growth, employment and wealth creation. It ensures that there is formulation and implementation of pro-growth policies that promote Kenya’s competitiveness, encourage domestic and foreign investment, and pursue national, regional and international economic opportunities.’ Hon. Muturi said.
The Speaker urged the Private Sector to directly engage parliament through the various parliamentary departmental committees to enable them participate in the formulation of legislation. On his part National Assembly Clerk Justin Bundi welcomed the support accorded to the national assembly on the development of legislation. The clerk said the national assembly was increasing its capacity to enable it address all issues forwarded to the Clerk’s office and speed up the process of legislation.
‘We experienced challenges at the beginning because we were understaffed and did not have the ability to take up all issues forwarded to the National Assembly. We have since increased both our staff and technological capacity. We now have qualified researchers and secretariat that is now able to take in public input and advice the various committees on the issues before them.’ Mr. Bundi says.
KEPSA Vice Chair Dr. Laila Macharia outlined the benefits of the existing partnerships between parliament and the private sector. Dr. Macharia noted that there has been progress in inclusion of the private sector in the legislative process and the adoption of private sector recommendations in various Bills and Acts due for enactment by the National Assembly.
‘We have fallen short of growing our economy at the required 10% rate in the past because we failed to exploit our secret weapon, which is the business community and the engine for economic growth and development. The private sector cannot thrive without a conducive environment, supportive leadership and progressive policies, laws and regulatory environment.’ Dr. Macharia said.
The roundtable broke into three groups to enable members of the Private Sector engage with the representatives of various Parliamentary committees. During the group discussions the following issues were discussed:
- Fast-tracking of
- Veterinary bill
- Community Land Bill
- Physical Planning Bill
- Historical Injustices Bill
- Agriculture Policy
- Data protection Bill
- A2I Bill
- Critical Infrastructure Bill
- Private Security regulation Bill
- Cybercrimes Bill
- Corners Bill
- Water Bill
- Environment Management and Coordination Act
- Bills yet to be tabled in parliament
- Energy Bill
- Petroleum Bill
- Regulations on local content
- Other issues
- Need to develop a policy to increase and improve access to affordable fertilizer
- Concern over the rate of adoption of Private Sector input into legislations.
- Review of petroleum bill to incorporate local content for the upstream sector
- Interlink the mining bill with exploitation of minerals such as Coal
- Need to increase MPs’ capacity to engage through capacity building by the private sector.
- Development of legislation and policy to foster the adoption of renewable energy by bringing down the cost of access to technology.
Development of policies and regulations amicably resolve or avoid conflict between communities and investors in major infrastructure and mining projects
- Need to strengthen enforcement of contracts
- Need for further engagement between the National Assembly and the Private Sector on biosafety more so on GMOs
- Application of the statutory instruments Act to the Counties
- Review and strengthen transition from primary to secondary schools to address discrimination in form 1 admissions
- Recognition and accreditation of courses provided by Private Sector Institutions
- Use of CDF to improve national schools standardization and accreditation of education institutions
- Health should be devolved gradually;
- Ensure sufficient capacity through adequate resources to counties
- Ensure minimum standards for public hospitals
- Enact Private Security regulation bill to address the mismatch in numbers of police to population
- Develop policies to approach terrorism from different dimension
- Amend alcoholic drinks act to address testing and distribution of drinks
- Consult Private Sector on the Research Bill to facilitate protection of privacy and IP which could infringe on rights through requirement to public research
- There is a need to review the current 2 per cent allocation to agriculture; there is concern on the various levies in the agricultural value chain with the onset of county governments; there is need to better resource commodity–based research
- Removal of duty in the conservation function; KEPSA to forward specific proposals on conservancies
- There is need to constitute boards in bodies in tourism to streamline operations
Members of the National Assembly and KEPSA members during the Third Speaker’s Roundtable
The roundtable resolved to have all issues directed to parliamentary committees through the respective KEPSA Sector Committees. The Private Sector will now write to the Clerk of the National Assembly outlining the various issues to be addressed by the National Assembly. The Clerk of National Assembly will then address the issues to the respective Parliamentary Committees who will in turn invite KEPSA’s Sector Committees to engage the issues.
The Private Sector made a presentation on the case for a ‘Private Sector Bill’ which seeks to institutionalize the engagement processes and participation of the private sector in the policy and legislative process enabling the private sector to constitutionally engage with all arms of government. The bill seeks to entrench the economic pillar of the vision 2030 into law by recognizing the crucial role played by the private sector. MPs present expressed their support for the proposed Bill and commended KEPSA for it. For more on the presentation on the Private Sector bill.
The National Assembly Speaker Hon. Justin Muturi asked Members of the National Assembly to support the Private Sector Bill to ensure that the role of the Private Sector plays its role in economic development and social economic empowerment.