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Uhuru Kenyatta Africa Forum for Business and Security Speech

Uhuru Kenyatta Africa Forum for Business and Security Speech

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Our task during this conference has been two-fold. We came together not only to reckon with the nature of insecurity in Africa but also to envision what a secure and prosperous Africa could mean for us, and to identify the best way of getting there.
Our task during this conference has been two-fold. We came together not only to reckon with the nature of insecurity in Africa but also to envision what a secure and prosperous Africa could mean for us, and to identify the best way of getting there.

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Published by: H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sep 14, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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04/10/2013

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Africa Forum For Business and Security
14
th
September 2012 Thank you for your warm welcome and thank you Dr. Elleston for yourinvitation to address this conference today. I am honored to be here.I know that the futures of our nations are inextricably linked and theKenyan government is grateful for the partnership our nations shareand I am confident that this partnership will only grow stronger withtime.Finally, I would like to briefly recognize and appreciate thoseindividuals; institutions and organs of government that safe-guard therights of Kenyans and strive to ensure security for all our citizens. Toooften they are under-appreciated. So today I want to thank our police-men and women; our Ministry of Internal Security officials; our nationalintelligence services and of course our Defense forces who arepresently deployed in Somalia serving in the interests of this greatrepublic and of every peace loving state and person within East Africaand around the world. We thank them, and we thank their families forsupporting them and commit to also supporting their families.Honourable Ministers;Distinguished Delegates;Members of the Business Community;Ladies and GentlemenOur task during this conference has been two-fold. We came togethernot only to reckon with the nature of insecurity in Africa but also toenvision what a secure and prosperous Africa could mean for us, and toidentify the best way of getting there. The prospects for a secure Africa have been emphasized around theworld. At present seven of the worlds ten fastest growing economies inthe world are from Africa. Foreign direct investment in African countrieshas been steadily increasing and potential abounds in the form of minerals, oil, natural gas, and a large labor force.Kenya is no exception.Indeed, ours is a nation of possibilities. Our young innovators, our newconstitution, our discovery of resources ; our reformed and reforming judiciary and our improving infrastructure are sure signs that our
 
national vision is tenable and that that there is great opportunity forprosperity. Yet, though our potential is great our prospects are also threatened.Internally, the forces of ethnic prejudice and religious extremism are,as we speak, spreading societal fear and distrust and distractingKenyans from confronting many fundamental problems. Tragic incidents such as those in Tana River, and in the Coastal regionhave made worldwide impact and are causing alarm and dismayamongst citizens; local leaders; entrepreneurs and foreign investorsalike. While, we will continue to condemn the violence and to standwith all the affected families- we have also take heed of these events.Because, unfortunately, insecurity is not limited to those two regions.Across the country- too many of our citizens simply do not feel safe. They do not feel safe when they are forced to be overly cautious andgo home increasingly earlier because a terrorist threat has beenissued. They cannot feel safe when places of worship are not respected. Whensanctuary is denied them in the most brutal of ways. They do feel safe when a plethora of weapons and a lack of adequateregulation makes them insecure because they have to sleep wonderingwhether neighboring communities will resort to violence as a means tosettle old-scores or advance their agenda.Our youth do not feel safe when education, that golden key we alwaystold them would open the door of success- is less likely that ever toeven get them a job. Young people cannot feel safe when, in some places drug-trafficking;prostitution and violent robbery seem like the only ways to pull ahead;break out of poverty or earn enough to get by. These are the realities that we must contend with Ladies andGentlemen. If we ignore them, if we sweep them under the carpet, if we speak in hushed whispers about them and anxiously wait for thefuture to unfold; if we watch passively as these elements of poverty,unemployment and recklessness aggressively undo our hard-work andundermine the promise of our freedom- we will do our nation and ourcontinent a great, indeed a grave, dis-service.
 
 The challenges that face us are many and they are big: there is nodoubt about that.But Having been to many places in this country and across thecontinent, I am confident that in the face of such daunting challenges-the dignity, strength, creativity and vision that quietly abound in ourcountries are, when brought together, equal to the task of overcomingthese profound problems.And that’s partly why we are here. To bring together the best of manyworlds and work together towards peace and prosperity.We are not here because we are hopeless.We are here because we know that our citizens are still within thereach of reason.We are here because we know that we are all inter-connected andbecause we know that insecurity anywhere in the world- is a threat tosecurity everywhere.We are here because we know all to well, that the economicuncertainty and political unrest and upheaval on the continent andaround the world could pose a threat to all of us .And we are here, Ladies and Gentlemen, because we understand thatthe unique conditions of our time make the discussion on security not just important but ever more personal to each one of us.And because we are here, because we all have a stake in the presentand in the future, because our children will feel the effects of ourchoices- we must continue to stand together, and we must continue tobring together our considerable moral; intellectual and economicresources, to tackle the issues we face- head on.Because many of our nations are at a make-or-break point in ourhistories.Even now, Kenya is standing at the brink of a destiny-deciding momentnamely next years elections. The next elections may, if conducted correctly, give us the momentumto fly. But now, more than ever, a credible electoral process must beensured in order to avert the violence that is characteristic of electoralcycles.

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