(Nairobi, 5 February 2007) —A UN Global Compact Network has been launched in Kenya as part of a larger Public-Private effort titled “A Compact for Nation-Building and Competitiveness”. The Kenya Network is being implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE), Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) and the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA).
In a statement delivered by Kenya’s Minister for Finance, President Mwai Kibaki said, “I welcome and appreciate the initiative taken by these associations, in working with my government to develop a partnership that sets the stage for a formalized framework for dialogue”. He announced the creation of a public-private forum to address the core issues affecting business in Kenya that will meet every two months, and will be chaired by the President at least twice a year. President Kibaki stated that in order for the country to achieve a targeted growth rate of ten percent in gross domestic product over the next 20 years, Kenya must adopt global practices that will focus attention on private sector development especially in manufacturing and services.
Mr. Kemal Derviş, UNDP Administrator and Chair of the UN Development Group, was in attendance and spoke of the need for governments to “regulate and create incentives for the private sector in such a way that business also delivers goods and services to the poor and engages the poor in the process”. He said businesses can contribute to inclusive growth and poverty alleviation in many ways, including strategic social investments, the development of innovative business models that deliver solutions, and philanthropic activities that lead to broader development priorities in countries and communities.
Nine companies signed on to the Global Compact during the event, bringing the total number of Global Compact Kenya Network members to twenty-one.
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