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Former German leader tips Kenya govt, private sector

  Jun 6, 2014

The former President of the Federal Republic of Germany Horst Köhler, has urged the government to work together with the private sector in bid to create a thriving business climate.

Speaking during a public lecture at the Strathmore Business School on Thursday, Köhler pointed out that it’s the responsibility of leaders in the political and business fields to create a climate in which businesses can thrive.

“It is the responsibility of the government to build trust in and respect for its institutions, otherwise it will be hard to attract the right kind of investment,” he said.

He also said the private sector to exercise responsibility while doing their businesses in bid to create an environment that is free of corruption, and has fair competition.

“Business needs freedom, but freedom also entails responsibility. A business cannot succeed in a society that fails, our track record in Germany shows that especially small and medium sized enterprises have a business culture that takes an inclusive and long term perspective,” he said.

He noted that a well trained motivated work force will be able to deliver sustained profits pointing out that business is healthier if it is rooted in healthy local communities.

“Responsible business also means taking part in the political process. Buying the political system will only further corrupt it while a corrupt political system may be used to benefit of some, no society will be able to flourish within such a system,” he said.

The German leader is in the country leading a delegation of entrepreneurs keen to invest in Kenya.

On Wednesday, Deputy President William Ruto urged the German investors to make use of the existing opportunities in the East African region citing production of green energy as one of the areas that needed to be fully exploited.

Speaking during the East African German Business Dialogue held in Nairobi, Ruto said that the East Africa Community is committed to increased investments in infrastructure development for global competitiveness in the region.

He said this is expected to ease movement of people and goods, create employment and attract businesses.

He also said Kenya was focusing its efforts on providing quality and affordable electricity for the country to attract investors.

The Deputy President noted that the productivity of manufacturing firms in Africa has for long been set back by poor infrastructure, saying their ability to trade and access global market has been constrained.

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