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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenyan leader vows to speed up reforms to spur investments

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan President vowed on Thursday to continue implementing a raft of reforms aimed at attracting foreign investments in the country.

Kenyatta called on the various state agencies to speed up reforms aimed at boosting the country’s agenda for improving the ease of doing business.

“We are systematically closing down the loopholes in government procurement processes that create easy opportunities for graft,” he told a forum of local investors under the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) and development partners in Nairobi.

Kenyatta reassured the business community that the criminal justice system had been strengthened and its capacity enhanced all the way from the investigative agencies to the judiciary.

“We continue to cooperate with international agencies to monitor and recover the proceeds of corruption,” he added.

He hosted various stakeholders whom he said worked tirelessly to enable Kenya emerge among the top 10 most improved countries globally in the ease of doing business, according to the current World Bank report which was released on Wednesday.

The report—World Bank’s Doing Business 2019: Training for Reform, said Kenya has accelerated business reform agenda, implementing five key reforms in the past year to improve the business climate for small and medium-sized businesses.

It said the reforms earned Kenya a spot among the global top improvers, a merit it has earned four times in the past 11 years.

The report ranks Kenya at position 7 among the 10 most improved economies in the Doing Business Index, a strong statement of confidence by the world about the economy of Kenya, said Kenyatta.

The new ranking marks the fifth year-on-year improvement in the country’s overall ranking since 2014, moving 75 places from position 136 to position 61.

The country’s Doing Business Index has frog-jumped 19 places from the 80th position in the 2018 WB report.

Kenyatta said despite the positive report, Kenya’s reform agenda is not complete adding there is always room for improvement and urged all stakeholders to continue working hard to address areas where the country scored poorly.

He noted that the focus on the “ease of doing business” has made Kenya’s business sector more productive and globally competitive.

The president said Kenya’s investment levels have risen from 350 million U.S. dollars in 2013 to 2 billion dollars in 2017.

“We have more than doubled our collections of revenue from the companies registry from 150 million shillings (1.5 million U.S. dollars) in 2014 to 365 million shillings in 2017, with a corresponding increase in the number of companies registered daily up from an average of 30 per day in 2014 to 200 companies daily as at the end of 2017,” said Kenyatta.

 

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