Thursday, July 24, 2008



July 24, 2008
By David Ohito
The Standard

Prime Minister Raila Odinga has asked Kenyans in the Diaspora to invest locally.

The Premier said the Government has created a suitable environment for foreign investors.

Addressing a group of Kenyans at the Cumberland Hotel in Central London, on Wednesday, Raila said his mission in the UK was to seek investors, among them Kenyans who remit about Sh63 billion annually back home.

Raila is accompanied by ministers Moses Wetangula, John Michuki, Kiraitu Murungi, Mutula Kilonzo and Mohamed Elmi.


Raila said remittances by Kenyans in the Diaspora were a "very important component of our economy."

"I am an Afro-optimist who believes Africans should develop Africa because we have both mineral and human resources," he said.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga and his wife Ida, with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah at 10 Downing Street, London, on Wednesday. Raila is leading a Kenyan delegation to the UK. Brown has pledged Sh268m for peace building.

He said the Government was keen on making Kenya an attractive investment destination and was instituting a one-stop-shop for investors.

"We are not a begging basket," he said aid was not a solution to Africa’s economic problems.

He vowed that the fight against corruption would continue. "No one is indispensable on corruption."

He thanked the UK for the support that led to the creation of the Grand Coalition Government.

"Every cloud has a silver lining; every crisis has an opportunity," the PM told the Kenyan audience.

"No price is too big to pay for peace,’’ he added.

"Kenyans need to value and respect each other because they need each other," he said.

He said the country had made gains after the Cabinet met to bond and harmonised their manifestoes under the revised Vision 2030.

Working nation

Raila said to realise the projected 10 per cent growth rate, the country must be a 24-hour working nation. He said Kenya must be developed by 2030 and noted that the Government had laid out strategic plans for each Ministry, which had signed performance contracts.

"They will soon be evaluated and this will go down to every sector," he said.