Commerce: Reform talks top race to head national chamber
The race to elect a new chair for the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) has entered the home stretch with candidates intensifying campaign to win over delegates to their respective camps.
Outgoing Chairman Kiprono Kittony is set to retire in May when his two-year term comes to an end. However, prospective candidates are launching their manifestos promising radical reforms to revamp the powerful business lobby.
Vice-chair James Mureu who is eyeing to succeed Kittony has promised to build on the successes that the chamber has realised in the past six years if elected chairman.
“We have had tremendous success over the past six years in positioning the country as a preferred investment destination and the goal is to scale up on these successes moving forward,” said Mureu who also heads the Mombasa Chapter.
SEE ALSO :Candidates jostle to succeed Kittony at helm of trade lobby
In his six-part manifesto launched last week, Mureu said his tenure seeks to strengthen the Chamber’s management and resource capacity at the county level and improve membership services. “Our county chapters have for a long time struggled in engaging investors from the local and international market,” he said. “The gains registered in devolution over the past half-decade prove that counties can stand on their own feet if given the right support.”
Dr Ericke Ruto, the proprietor of Eldoret-based Reale Hospital has offered himself for the post of vice-chair and is campaigning on a platform of using the Chamber to raise the profile of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
“The past few years have seen SMEs struggle with pending bills after supplying goods and services to large firms that take longer than required to honour payments,” he explained.
“There is a need to review the Procurement Act, 2015 to ensure large companies pay suppliers on time and do not take SMEs down with them if they are facing liquidity challenges,” he said.
Dr Ruto has also pledged to work on developing policies to strengthen the local manufacturing by having local firms handle large government projects.
SEE ALSO :It’s a three-horse race for trade chamber top seat as polls near
“There is a need to have more local content in mega-infrastructure projects to ensure foreign firms do not dominate the landscape and that we give a chance to our local contractors and developers,” he said.
Cherriesberg Chairman Abdulwalli Shariff is also eyeing the presidency also excluded confidence of winning the polls. [Frankline Sunday]