Create jobs for youth, Uhuru challenges private sector

By PSCU

The President said the private sector should emulate the Government – which has implemented affirmative action for youth, women and people with disabilities (File)

President Uhuru Kenyatta has challenged the private sector to scale up job creation for the youth.

He said as the Government entrenches Kenya’s welcoming investment environment by easing the rigours of doing business, the private sector should make deliberate efforts to employ Kenyans.

“In turn, I, and other Kenyans, expect that the private sector will do all it can to help our young people find dignified work,” he said.

President Kenyatta said the challenges the country is facing – including poverty, youth unemployment and inequality – cannot be resolved without the energy and enterprise of the private sector.

The President spoke in Nairobi Friday when he re-launched the revamped Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The autonomous non-profit organization – established to articulate and lobby for the interests of the business community in every sector of the economy – has branches throughout the country with over 10,000 members.

He expressed confidence that the new, more effective chamber of commerce will be an effective partner in national development.

“I am particularly proud of the Chamber’s role in the indigenization of commerce after independence; and its warm relations with Government, which have found the balance between respect for public interest and robust advocacy of its members’ interests,” he said.

Noting the past difficulties arising from leadership and management of the Chamber, President Kenyatta appreciated that the challenges have been resolved and the Chamber’s mandate restored.

The President said the restructuring of the Chamber comes at an opportune time when the country needs visionary leadership to catalyse trade, investment and industrialization while at the same time promoting Kenya’s external trade.

“Your reorganisation puts the chamber in good position for this role,” President Kenyatta said.

He commended the Chamber for promoting and strengthening linkages between the micro, small and medium enterprises, and larger enterprises, saying this has boosted inclusive growth and export expansion.

He acknowledged the diligence with which the Chamber has participated in bilateral agreements with Turkey, China, United Arab Emirates and Nigeria and urged it to build on the successes.

The President said the private sector should emulate the Government – which has implemented affirmative action for youth, women and people with disabilities in public procurement by reserving 30% of all Government procurement – by instituting similar programs for the marginalised groups.

“It would also be gratifying if the Chamber worked with us to ensure the success of the new public procurement policy,” the President said.

He at the same time announced that the Government will soon re-launch e-procurement in Government to ensure transparency in the public sector.

He said the Jubilee Government is working hard to reform the public sector so that it responds positively to the needs of all Kenyans.

“These reforms will ensure that you can apply, monitor through the internet who has won the tender, why they have won it and at what price,” the President said.

Other speakers included Cabinet Secretaries Phyllis Kandie, Ann Waiguru, Ambassador Amina Mohammed and the National Chairman of the Kenya Chamber of Commerce and Industry Kiprono Kittony.