President Kenyatta calls for more Public-Private Partnerships in East Africa

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President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing leaders at the Joint EAC Heads of States retreat in Entebbe, Uganda
President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing leaders at the Joint EAC Heads of States retreat in Entebbe, Uganda

President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged regional blocs to work together to do away with bureaucratic impediments that might affect ease of doing business and development as a whole. Speaking during the opening of the Joint retreat of East Africa Community Presidents in Entebbe, Uganda, President Kenyatta said he is a problem with the same bureaucrats who unfortunately take a very long time, where we have partners who are willing to come on board to do different projects but are frustrated by bureaucrats and it takes sometimes two years to do a project. He said that gvernment officials should facilitate the private sector instead of hampering its operations.

Furthermore, he reiterated the importance of Public-Private Partnerships to East Africa’s development growth. “I’m a strong believer in this PPP model as being one way of financing infrastructure development,” he said. He said Kenya has made big strides in its own infrastractural development as a result of the Public-Private Partnerships.

President Kenyatta said the region must also find ways of attracting more investors, using the example of India, “We have made a lot of reference to India. India succeeded because it sold itself as a market of over one billion people where it became a base for attractive investments,” he said.

On his part, Uganda President Yoweri Museveni lauded Kenya for completing the first phase of the Standard Gauge Railway project, saying costs have been lowered as a result. “It is three times more costly to transport anything on the road even with the old line. With SGR reaching Nairobi, it costs eight cents per dollars per metric a tonne compared to 21 cents dollars by road,” he said. The first phase runs from Mombasa to Nairobi, and the first commercial train ferrying cargo on the SGR from Mombasa to Nairobi on January 1st this year.