Keynote Address by PS Julius Korir During the Opening of the Conference on FDI, SMES, Firm Growth and Trade in Kenya

Keynote Address By Julius Korir, CBS - Principal Secretary For Investment And Industry, Ministry Of Industry, Trade And Cooperatives During The Opening Of The Conference On Fdi, Smes, Firm Growth And Trade In Kenya Held At Crowne Plaza Hotel, Nairobi On 29th March 2017

  • Mr. Peter Vowels, Country Director, DFID Kenya
  • Dr. Jonathan Leape, Executive Director, IGC
  • Dr. Kamal Bhattacharya, Country Director, IGC Kenya
  • Colleague Principal Secretaries present
  • Presenters and Panelists
  • Chief Executive Officers
  • Public and Private Sector Stakeholders
  • Distinguished Guests
  • Ladies and Gentlemen


  • It gives me great pleasure to preside over the opening of this historic conference.
  • This unique conference brings together:
    • International Growth Centre’s (IGC’s) international network of world-leading researchers;
    • institutional partners and policymakers from East African countries;
    • Private Sector practitioners
    • Government Officials
  • The conference seeks to address issues affecting trade, firm competitiveness, growth of small and medium enterprises, role of foreign direct investment, and technology transfer in creating job opportunities, wealth creation and promoting economic growth.
  • This conference also acts as the launch of the partnership between the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Co-operatives that has been structured through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
  • The MOU is a collaboration to carryout research and policy analysis on development and implementation of policies:
    • supporting the manufacturing sector,
    • role of productive firms,
    • functioning industrial parks and cities,
    • access to clean energy and affordable credit; and s
    • state effectiveness in facilitating businesses in the growth of Kenya.

Role of the Partnership

  • International Growth Centre (IGC) is a policy and research institute based at the London School of Economics (LSE) and Oxford University.
  • It is a global network of world-leading researchers.
  • Suffice to add, LSE is one of the oldest public research universities located in London, England and a constituent college of the federal University of London.
  • LSE is ranked second in the World for Social Sciences in the QS World University Rankings trailing Harvard University as the first.
  • In 2016, 27% (13 out of 48) of all the Nobel Prizes in Economics have been awarded or jointly awarded to LSE Alumni.
  • Similarly, out of all European Universities, LSE has educated the most billionaires according to the 2014 global census of US dollar billionaires.
  • Partnering with IGC, and by extension LSE, will therefore provide us with opportunities to learn and develop effective and sustainable economic policies from the network of World renowned economists.
  • In addition, the partnership provides opportunities to expand knowledge, skills, attitudes and expertise to create the next generation of Kenyan millionaires.
  • This conference that has been organized by MoITC, IGC and the Private Sector strengthens the “Triple Helix” nexus between Government, Industry, and Academia.
  • IGC is funded by the United Kingdom’s Department of International Development (DFID).
  • I take this early opportunity to thank DFID, through the Country Director for the continued support provided to the Government of Kenya.
  • DFID is one of the key sponsors of the World Bank’s Kenya Investment Climate Program that has significantly impacted on Kenya improved infrastructure and business reforms initiatives.

Why Evidence-based policy making

  • As you may be aware, Governments, including Kenya, make budget and policy choices each year that have long-term effects on both their fiscal futures and the outcomes they deliver for the citizenry.
  • As we read our 2017/2018 budget tomorrow, recognition is growing that we policy makers can achieve substantially better results by using rigorous evidence to inform these decisions, enabling governments to select, fund and operate public programs more strategically.
  • Evidence-based policy making uses the best available research and information on program results to guide decisions at all stages of the policy process.
  • It identifies what works, highlights gaps where evidence of program effectiveness is lacking, enables policy makers to use evidence in budget and policy decisions, and relies on systems to monitor implementation and measure key outcomes.
  • Some of the policies and strategies developed through the evidence-based approach include Kenya’s Industrial Transformation Program (KITP).

Kenya Industrial Transformation Program (KITP)

  • KITP was developed through support from McKenzie.
  • The Ministry, through McKenzie was able to develop a demand driven strategy paper based on international best practices, global investment flows, potential growth sectors for Kenya, and informed by the need to address Kenya’s No. one problem of jobs.
  • With the unemployment rate in Kenya which is currently at 42% and GDP Per Capita of US$ 1,416, the strategy is focused on growing the sectors with huge employment potential such as the Textiles and Garments; Leather and Leather Products and Agro-Processing
  • This call for increasing FDI by 5 times, creating I million jobs and improving the Ease of Doing Business index rankings to below 50 by 2020.
  • KITP, unlike other strategies that do not emphasize on implementation has proposed institutional frameworks of Delivery Teams to ensure full implementation.
  • Based on the evidence based approach, and putting in place realistic and attainable targets, KITP is over 70% implemented to date.

Ease of Doing Business Reforms

  • The EODB Reforms have been ongoing focusing on consolidation of the business processes restructuring and re-engineering.
  • The EODB Reforms are being supported by the World Bank and IBM Research lab.
  • The research lab provides analytical tools that can help us simulate the effect of each reform on Kenya’s ranking.
  • These tools and the business reforms initiatives have enabled Kenya, for the last two years, to be ranked the 3rd most improved economy globally.
  • Kenya has also moved 44 places in the last two years from position 136 to 92 as detailed in the World Bank Doing Business Report 2017.
  • These are just, but a few examples to enumerate the importance and benefits of using evidence-based policy development and implementation.


  • The partnership between this Ministry, IGC and the Private Sector is expected to take evidence –based policy formulation and implementation a notch higher leading to increased competitiveness and productivity at the regional, continental and global level.
  • I wish to thank IGC for choosing to Partner with the Government of Kenya and share its invaluable expertise.
  • I encourage participants to maximize on the knowledge acquisition from IGC’s network of experts during this conference in the five thematic areas.
  • Similarly, I wish to recognize the role DFID has played in funding IGC and hence by extension, this Ministry in furthering the policy space.
  • Lastly, it is now my pleasure to declare the MoITC and IGC’s Partnership/MOU officially launched.



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