KEPSA is the private sector apex and umbrella body set up in 2003, to bring together business community in a single voice to engage and influence public policy for an enabling business environment. over 500,000 direct and indirect members..
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On 17th March 2022, KEPSA hosted the second presidential candidates’ engagement forum on the Private Sector Economic manifesto, with the Kenya Kwanza Alliance Principals at the Villa Rosa Kempinski. The meeting was part of the planned engagements with all Presidential Candidates for the 2022 Elections, aimed at discussing the envisioned economic agenda for Kenya.
Present at the event was the Deputy President H.E Dr. William Ruto who is also a Principal of Kenya Kwanza Alliance together with his co-principal Hon. Musalia Mudavadi; H.E Josphat Nanok – Governor, Turkana County; KEPSA leaders led by CEO Ms. Carole Kariuki, Chair Ms. Flora Mutahi; KEPSA Foundation Chair Mr. Patrick Obath; Chair of Mkenya Daima Steering Committee Dr. Vimal Shah among other guests.
In his presentation on the Mkenya Daima Initiative, Dr. Vimal Shah highlighted the key pillars of the initiative this year while noting that transparency and accountability make the public safety work better.
In her remarks, KEPSA Chair, Ms. Flora Mutahi noted that creating an efficient business environment will expand the scope of doing business beyond the borders of the country and Africa at large. She added that participation, accountability and collaboration between the government and the private are key ingredients to the growth of the business environment. “KEPSA has players that exhibit the ability to be productive. Dialogue between the private sector and the government has been efficient,” she said.
During the presentation of the private sector economic manifesto, the KEPSA CEO Ms. Carole Kariuki noted that inclusivity is the fastest way to build jobs while highlighting on how the digital economy has made strides in providing jobs for our youth. She noted that critical interventions include expansion of existing social welfare services, improvement of a reliable public transport system, provision and access of quality healthcare, access to markets, and guaranteed security.
Highlights from H.E Dr. William Ruto’s Remarks;
The things that need to be done are already in the government books and we don’t need anything new, we only need to provide leadership to deliver on what should be done. This is what these elections will be all about.
The conversations in the political space in Kenya will be about changing the economy and empowering citizens.
Having a limited resource base, we need to deploy the resources we have to get the highest returns in terms of creating jobs, opportunities, wealth and moving everybody to the next level. The limited resources we have should be deployed in areas that are not only quick to give returns but also the highest returns.
The Agricultural and SME spaces are low hanging fruits that are supposed to increase productivity and expand the market for everybody to stimulate the economy. Example increasing the productivity of our farmers, reducing the cost of fertilizer e.t.c.
A total of 600,000 people join labour market every year, but because there are no opportunities, many join the SMEs a sector has a huge challenge in capital access. 15 million Kenyans are on CRB because of access to credit. If we capitalize on SME space to provide affordable finance, good space to do business and law to protect their businesses, they can move from making 2 to 7 dollars per day.
Deploying resources in Agriculture and SMEs will give quick and high returns. If elected, Ksh 50 billion will be allocated to the SME fund to provide access to credit
The Bottom-up economic model is about expanding the market for everybody, deployment of capital in SMEs, agriculture, creating jobs and expanding the tax base through increasing taxes through digitization.
An expansion of the tax base will lead to a bigger pool of persons paying higher taxes.
Our vision is the creation of jobs through increased productivity in the agriculture value chain, increasing access to credit, creating more entrepreneurs and deploying resources in infrastructure space.
Housing Fund: Within the first 100 days in office, we shall unlock resources to create a housing mechanism that will unleash new jobs.
We need to rethink the savings space to create a savings culture in the country.
Use of our social security to fund development. We can do our investments based on the savings we have in our social security fund.
We must deal firmly and decisively with corruption, conflict of interest and state capture. Fight against corruption should be based on rule of law. We promise to operationalize the Judiciary fund and free it to deal with corruption cases. We are clear that the fight against the theft of public funds should be addressed.
The standard worldwide is 2.05% of the budget should be allocated to the Judiciary. I’ll do so on Day 1 if elected so that the Judiciary can deal firmly with corruption cases and discharge its mandate independently.
The office of the IG will have the financial independence to deal with corruption decisively.
Kenyans must be given the opportunity to make a decision after listening to all of us. Elections are not a matter of life and death and should be more about the people
We committed to respecting the decision of the people of Kenya by accepting the outcome of the elections no matter which direction it goes. We must trust that independent institutions will make the right decisions.
Highlights from Hon. Musalia Mudavadi’s Remarks;
We want an economy that works for all. We need to create synergy to work in harmony.
Prioritization in resource allocation by allowing other arms of government and independent institutions to function e.g IG, DCI, EACC and the office of the Auditor-General.
We want to move away from guaranteeing leaders jobs, to guaranteeing Kenyans jobs.
We want strong democratic institutions where the private sector is happy to partner with the government. The private sector should not play the role of opposition.
We’ll look into strengthening the arbitration mechanism to make Kenya a Centre of global arbitration. We should not criminalize partnerships and should be professional with our tax collection and arbitration processes.
We need to look at delays in county governments in submitting their audit reports.
There has been a decline in the cooperative sector. As Kenya Kwanza we are ready to work with the private sector to revamp our once vibrant cooperative sector.
Some of the issues that came up during the plenary session included the gender rule, financing the SMEs and the democracy questions.
In their response, the Kenya Kwanza principals noted that the only thing they agree with about changing the Constitution is on the 2/3 gender rule. On democracy, H.E Dr. Ruto said that there is wisdom in having independent institutions with checks and balances and nobody should sell the narrative of a benevolent dictator.