There is work being done, starting with the increase of their budgets, to enable the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Judiciary to effectively play their part in fighting corruption.
In the short term, the National Assembly can help eliminate the taxes on agrochemicals and farm inputs, approve the policies that will help support local manufacturing and cottage industries, while making it expensive to import products that are being made locally.
The laws and policies needed to further improve the ease of doing business and making the economy competitive to investors can also be identified and rectified in a short span of time.
Some of the areas we agreed on are more long-term. Expanding the tax base, for example, will need well-thought-out policies, more work by the Kenya Revenue Authority and regular and structured engagements with all stakeholders. Streamlining the enablers of the Big Four Agenda will involve work on the Information, Communication and Technology, the Education sector (and the change of the system is a step in the right direction), land laws, energy and mining, and the environment and natural resources sectors.
President Kenyatta’s frank admission, and his refusal to read prepared remarks, at the SME conference at Strathmore University in Nairobi on October 16, should serve as a wake-up call to all three arms of government.
This was an apt reminder that we cannot achieve much if it is business as usual even as we hold big meetings and conferences. With his directives to the ministries and agencies involved in creating the right environment for Small and Medium Enterprises, without any doubt, we hope to see some action within the government.
What the private sector hopes for is consistency by the government. Consistency and reliability will create the environment necessary for business to thrive and for the next four years, to help achieve the Big Four Agenda.
Ms Kariuki is the CEO of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance