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Press Briefing by Manoah Esipisu Secretary of Communication and State House Spokesperson

Press Briefing by Manoah Esipisu Secretary of Communication and State House Spokesperson

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Published by State House Kenya
Press Briefing by Manoah Esipisu Secretary of Communication and State House Spokesperson
Press Briefing by Manoah Esipisu Secretary of Communication and State House Spokesperson

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Published by: State House Kenya on Sep 12, 2013
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STATEMENT FOR PRESS BRIEFINGLadies and gentlemen, Friends
I thank you for coming to my inaugural briefing, here in the grounds of State House Nairobi,one of our capital’s iconic buildings.My intention is to hold regular briefings to bring you up to speed on the President andGovernment’s various initiatives, as well as respond to some of the issues of concern toyourselves and the country.
In the past few days, many of you have sent me messages concerning matters in The Hague.But you will understand that this a matter about which I can say little to nothing.I can certainly tell you that it was a distressful day for the President.The President watched the opening arguments by Prosecutor Bensouda and thecorresponding opening by lawyer Karim Khan. Knowing how far he has come with theDeputy President, and knowing that promoting national cohesion and unity has alwaysbeen at the heart of their approach to politics, the President felt deeply saddened aboutthe whole episode.The approach of the President and Deputy President to the ICC remains the same. ThePresident and Deputy President have always cooperated and will continue to do so, but thismust be within the context of our own Constitutional requirements.Many of you have asked what next after both Houses of Parliament voted for Kenya to optout of the Rome Statute. Government is obviously sensitive to voices of the people, andthose voices are articulated by their duly elected representatives. But the President and hisGovernment have yet to apply themselves to that question.The President continues with his broad agenda to deliver economic growth and improve thewelfare of the Kenyan people.And I will now turn to some of that work.
As you are aware, ensuring that farmers have adequate supplies of affordable fertilizer hasbeen a major priority of the Administration and there has been progress. In quicksuccession, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Felix Kosgei has visited Russia, Argentina andBrazil and, there is progress to report.In Russia, Secretary Kosgei met the Fertilizer Producers Association and the sum result isthat discussions are advanced on the supply of fertilizers at preferential prices. That willresult in prices much lower than the current market prices. Following that visit as well,producers in Ukraine, Slovakia and Belarus have asked that they also be invited to supplyfertilizers and Secretary Kosgei’s team is looking at that.Secretary Kosgei is also exploring the important subject of setting up of a fertilizer planthere for the domestic and regional market. A new Expression of Interest will be posted indue course. There is strong interest from Russia, Japan and Brazil. This project will have theheavy participation of the private sector and Secretary Kosgei is pursuing those alternativesas we speak.During his Latin American visit, Secretary Kosgei re-activated an $83 million (Sh7.2 billion)line of credit, which will essentially go to the supply of farm equipment – from small to bigtractors ranging from 50 to 160 horsepower for our farmers. He also signed an MOU onagriculture cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture in Argentina. We are very big onthis South-South Cooperation and it is bearing rapid fruit.
You would also have realized, by now, that Infrastructure is a major priority of thisAdministration. Earlier this month, President Kenyatta hosted a regional infrastructuresummit in Mombasa where he declared that he wanted to see the port become the biggestand most efficient in our part of the world. Berth 19 was birthed.The Port of Mombasa has now been included among the world’s top 120 performers,alongside only 5 others in Africa including Morocco, Egypt and South Africa and that’s someprogress. Not as good as should be but we are headed in the right direction.New Berths, 20 to 23, are now under construction and will further increase capacity at whatis now recognized as East Africa’s gateway.
This is also accompanied by faster truck turnaround time along the corridor, which is now4.8 days compared to up to 13 days prior to the launch of the initiative on June 19. Thetransit cargo dwell time – for Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi -- has also significantly reducedfrom about 10 days to 6 currently.Linked to that is the question of faster movement of goods and services in the region, andwork on the Standard Gauge Rail is due to start in November – that is, in 2 months time.
As you are aware, smooth operations at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is a top,top priority of the Administration. The President had specifically asked for construction of atemporary terminal with a capacity of 2.5 million passengers a year.An initial tender for that terminal was issued, but cancelled after a few irregularities werenoticed.The Ministry of Transport is now re-launching bids with funds from the AfricanDevelopment Bank. This should go to tender next week.That said, to enhance comfort at the airport, the Garage Facility at the new Terminal Fourhas now been opened for Arrivals. Tomorrow, we will start removing tents. Only the tent inthe area reserved for busing of passengers will remain.Media are invited for a tour of those facilities tomorrow at 11 am.
This Administration is also firmly committed to raising electricity capacity by 5,000megawatts in the next 36-40 months.There are quarters that have suggested that this is very ambitious. But the fact that therewere 1,110 companies that registered at our Energy Open Day this week, and the fact thatthey are committed as we are to the project, confirms that this is a target that we will meetwell ahead of schedule. This energy drive will see investment in the region of $20 billion inthe next 40 months and is the most audacious initiative to improve our economy, and betterthe lives of our people.There is so much interest.

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Edith W. Muriu added this note
The Uwezo fund....it needs some rethinking. The "herd mentality" is not conducive for business. Can it be opened to individuals, or groups of 3 members?
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