Odinga in the UK to promote investments in Kenya

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Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga leaves for the United Kingdom (UK) Monday, heading a high-powered government and private-sector delegation that will spell out the transformed climate for new investment in the country.

Mr. Odinga will be accompanied by his wife, Ida, who will have her own official programme while in the UK.

The Prime Minister’s Press Service (PMPS) said here Sunday that the focus of the three-day visit, to which President Mwai Kibaki and the Prime Minister were invited by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, will be an investment conference hos t ed by the British government in London from 23 July.

Odinga will deliver a major address at the conference, titled “Investing in the New Kenya”, which will spell out the steps taken by the government to make Kenya one of the world’s most investment friendly nations in the world.

Odinga is expected to explain to British and Commonwealth investors that the urg ent goals of the new coalition government such as enduring reconciliation, far-r e aching reforms and a new constitution, can only be fully met if the country increases its already impressive 7 per cent growth rate of last year to at least 10 per cent.

“Conditions for that level of enhanced economic growth already exist, but will require substantial new domestic and international investment,” Odinga said Sunday .

“To ensure investors of our determination to facilitate their entry here, we have created one-stop investment centre and also eliminated bureaucratic red tap. B o th current and future investors will find plenty of new opportunities in this new Kenya,” he said.

The Prime Minister will also point out that the government is determined to wipe out corruption, and point to the crackdown that has already begun. Corrupt officials seeking kickbacks are a major impediment for investors.

The 22-24 July trip will include an hour-long discussion at 10 Downing Street be tween Prime Ministers Gordon Brown and Odinga, in which ministers from both side s will participate.

Odinga will be introduced here also to the British High Commission designate to Kenya, Mr. Tom Fletcher, the statement said.

There will also be meetings with the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary, David Miliband, the Secretary of State for International Development. Douglas Alexander , and the Minister for Africa, Asia and the United Nations, Lord Mark Malloch Brown.

Odinga will also deliver a lecture to the Chatham House audience on “Leadership and Democracy in Africa” at the Palace of Westminster, where he will be introduced by the Lord Steel of Aiken.

During the Investment conference, the delegation will present Kenya’s case as ‘o pen for business’ and the region’s investment hub and outline opportunities under the recently unveiled Vision 2030.

Kenya is also expected to showcase the opportunities under its flagship growth pillars especially in financial services, ICT, agriculture, including horticulture , tourism and infrastructure development.

The Kenyan delegation will include Deputy Prime Minister and Trade Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Moses Wetangula (foreign affairs) and acting Finance Minister John Michuki.

Others are Tourism Minister Najib Balala, Mutula Kilonzo (Nairobi Metropolitan), Kiraitu Murungi (energy) and Mohammed Elmi (northern region minister).

Also part of the delegation will be Kenya’s business leaders of key sectors which the country is seeking to promote.


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