President Uhuru Kenyatta woos American investors to Kenya

President Uhuru Kenyatta has asked US investors to make Kenya their investment destination of choice in Africa.

The President said his Administration’s Big 4 Agenda, particularly the manufacturing component where the Government’s plan is to lift the sector’s contribution to the economy from the current 8.4 percent of GDP to 15 percent by 2022, offers limitless investment opportunities for US companies

“The sector (manufacturing) presents major opportunities for local and foreign investors in areas such as agro-processing through value addition in key value chains such as textiles and leather, the maritime sector, construction, iron and steel, oil and gas,” the President said.

President Kenyatta who spoke at a private sector forum hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce and attended by tens of top executives from leading US multinationals said Kenya is seeking sustainable business partnerships with American corporations.Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153

“As we deepen the relationship between Kenya and the United States, it is partnerships with corporations such as the ones you represent, which drive and sustain the relationship,” the President told the executives led by Scott Eisner, President of the US-Africa Business Center who is also the Senior Vice President of the US Chamber of Commerce.

Alongside manufacturing, the President said food and nutrition security, affordable housing and Universal Health Coverage (UHC) are other priority sectors with huge investment potential.

Besides the #Big4Agenda, the President invited the investors to explore opportunities in ICTs, infrastructure, tourism and blue economy. He advised the executives to pay particular attention to Kenya’s financial sector, renown for its world class mobile money solutions.

President Kenyatta said his administration’s target of constructing 500,000 affordable housing units is on course and rallied the American companies to channel their resources into the program.

“More than half of the funding for this program (housing) will be raised from private sector sources. We will also be seeking investments in alternative building materials and technologies,” he said.

On UHC, the President called for partnerships especially in the supply of specialized medical equipment, establishment of pharmaceutical companies, upgrading and management of health facilities, and implementation of innovative health financing options.

Besides the four priority areas, the President invited the investors to explore opportunities in ICTs, infrastructure, tourism and the blue economy.

He advised the American business community to pay particular attention to Kenya’s financial sector where the country is a renown for its world class mobile money solutions.

“The digital finance ecosystem has evolved to provide additional services including insurance, utility payments, pensions, and issuance of government bonds in small denominations, accessible to the public.

“Significant investment and growth opportunities continue to exist in this dynamic and evolving sector,” President Kenyatta said.

The President noted with satisfaction the steady rise in the number of American companies setting up business in Kenya in recent years.

“I am very pleased to note that since my engagement with the business community this time last year, a number of (American) companies have entered the Kenyan market and opened offices in Kenya,” he said.

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