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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KEPSA held its 19th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 15th June 2023 in Nairobi. The AGM saw the unveiling of new KEPSA leadership where Mr Jaswinder Bedi of Bedi Investment Limited was appointed to serve as the Chairperson of the Board of Directors and Ms Brenda Mbathi of the American Chamber of Commerce, Kenya as the Vice-Chairperson.
Mr Bedi, who has served as the Vice-Chairperson of the Board since 2021 succeeds Ms Flora Mutahi after her two-year tenure at the helm of the KEPSA Board. The KEPSA Board also received fresh blood from newly appointed Directors replacing the outgoing ones, having served their term (See the list of KEPSA Directors here).
The changes also heralded new leadership at the institution’s Governing Council where various new sector leaders were handed the mandate to steer the sector boards. The outgoing leaders were also appreciated for their diligent service. (See the list of the Governing Council members here).
At the AGM, KEPSA emphasized its unwavering commitment to the growth, support and representation of its members by continuing to foster an environment of collaboration and shared success and ensuring that its members thrive in their respective industries.
KEPSA CEO, Ms Carole Kariuki noted that the organisation will be embarking on the implementation of its new business strategy over the next five years focusing on creating a globally competitive and prosperous Kenya by 2027. “The new business strategy challenges us into building partnerships and shared vision with the government and all other stakeholders to realize an enabling business environment that delivers Kenya’s global competitiveness.” Said Ms Kariuki. The new KEPSA Strategy can be accessed here.
Ms Kariuki also reported that in the recent past, the organization’s membership has experienced a surge of micro and small enterprises who continue to benefit from some of its programs and projects and will be supported further to scale up, including through integration into various priority value chains where larger enterprises operate.
Some of the KEPSA Projects that were highlighted at the AGM to have benefitted SMEs and youth include Ajira Digital Program, SME Accelerator Program, MSME Financing Gateway, Jiinue Growth Program, COAST Project under the Sustainable Inclusive Business – Kenya and numerous inbound and outbound trade and investment missions.
In her remarks, the outgoing KEPSA Chair Ms Flora Mutai thanked the leadership and the entire KEPSA family for the support and collaboration in realising the milestones the organization had achieved in her tenure as the Chair. She also acknowledged the cordial relationship between KEPSA and the government which has been critical in advancing the advocacy agenda of the organisation. Ms Mutahi expressed her confidence in the incoming leadership to steer the organisation to the next level.
In his inaugural speech, the new KEPSA Chairperson committed to delivering a world class competitive business environment leveraging the young and energetic population and also taking the opportunity to unlock the African business potential through African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement.
The AGM was followed by a business dialogue and was graced by the Cabinet Secretary for Investment, Trade and Industry Hon. Moses Kuria in a panel discussion that include Ms Mutahi, Mr Bedi, Ms Mbathi and the newly elected President of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Dr Eric Rutto. Hon. Kuria invited the private sector stakeholders to put the priority of the country first and join efforts with the government for the realization of economic development. The Cabinet Secretary also challenged Kenya’s private sector to think big, noting that the private sector business operations are critical in unlocking the economy.