President Uhuru Kenyatta and U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on August 27 hold meeting with top American business executives in Washington D.C. as part of efforts to bolster trade and investment ties between Kenya and the U.S.

Kemi Osukoya
August 27, 2018

The new Kenya’s agenda gives local and foreign investors opportunities to invest in areas such as agro-processing, textiles and leather, the maritime sector, construction, iron and steel, and oil and gas.

During the third day of his official trip to Washington D.C, President Uhuru Kenyatta Monday met with and urged American top business executives to grow their business operations in Kenya.

Speaking at a business meeting event attended by the U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and more than 20 American business leaders, President Kenyatta said his administration continues to enhance the business environment in the country in an effort to provide a smooth and expedite environment for the private sector growth.

“Kenya is open for business and all we want to do is package our partnership in a way that it is mutually beneficial to you as a private sector and the people of Kenya,” said President Kenyatta.

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Also attending the meeting were Peter Tichansky, Kenya’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Monica Juma, and Minister Henry Rotich.

The Kenyan President stated that in the past five years, Kenya’s economy has remained buoyant and resilient, registering a 5.5 percent average growth rate, in spite of a historic presidential election and a major drought in 2017.

President Kenyatta added that the country also remains on target to boost its ranking to the 50 top spots by 2020 on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index. He highlighted that in the last four years, the country has improved its spots by 56 spots, moving up the 80 spot from136.

President Kenyatta said his administration’s agenda, crafted under the auspice of the Big Four development blueprint projects, provides investors with several opportunities to invest in various sectors in Kenya that will help boost the economy and improve the livelihood of Kenyans.

The Big Four agenda seeks to bolster the manufacturing sector’s contribution in the country to 15 precent from 8.4 percent by 2022 to create jobs, food security, provision of affordable housing and universal healthcare coverage.

President Kenyatta said this gives local and foreign investors major opportunities to invest in areas such as agro-processing, textiles and leather, the maritime sector, construction, iron and steel, and oil and gas.

The President told the American business leaders that the time is now ripe to build on U.S.-Kenya’s long and well-established partnership to increase business engagement and outlook for both countries. 

He said he is encouraged by Overseas Private Investment Corporation’s $5 million investment in Twiga Foods in the agricultural sector that will help improve food security and creates jobs in Kenya, saying more such investments were needed. 

President Kenyatta said his administration plans to invest in the country’s health sector to provide its citizens with quality and affordable universal healthcare coverage by upgrading and improving healthcare facilities, rolling out innovative health insurance choices, and setting up local pharmaceutical companies. 

“Given our long and well-established relationship, we can do more together and I invite the U.S. companies to walk with us on the ‘Big Four’ journey,” said President Kenyatta.

President Kenyatta said his administration will continue to work to remove any hurdle that could delay the American private sector’s operations in Kenya.