By MOSES NJAGIH
Nairobi, Kenya: President Kibaki Wednesday led the groundbreaking ceremony for the Konza Techno-City, challenging the country’s incoming leadership to ensure continuity of infrastructural development projects he has initiated.
Kibaki told those aspiring to succeed him not to focus on assuming power alone, but also on ensuring the country does not veer off from the development path it has embarked on under his presidency.
The President told the leaders not to be carried away by the “little things” that have so far been achieved, but instead focus on more projects that can help develop the country.
“You cannot keep celebrating these little things, do not be too fond of celebrations, instead we should make it part of us to look for projects that we can initiate to ensure that the country remains on the path of development,” said Kibaki.
He caused laughter when he told off those who take every opportunity to remind him that he is due to retire, saying he has always been ready to leave the presidency at the end of his term.
He urged such leaders to pre-occupy themselves with how to ensure the country’s economy continues to grow.
“There are those who take every opportunity to remind me that I’m headed for retirement, but I want to tell them that I have not forgotten and neither has it come sooner,” said Kibaki in his off-the-cuff speech.
Kibaki said the establishment of Konza City, which in one of the key flagship projects of Vision 2030, will position Kenya as the region’s Information and Technology hub besides creating employment for over 200,000 youth.
He said the city will create opportunities for investors interested in providing social services to many and transform the economic activities of its surroundings.
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“Many of you may not believe that we will create these 200,000 jobs, but you better keep watching,” said Kibaki.
The President warned against construction of slums around the city, saying it may erode the status of the techno city.
He said the city should be a game-changer to the country’s social economic status, adding that it would make Kenya a global leader in ICT.
Kibaki said the status of the city would be boosted by the development of infrastructure from Konza to Nairobi, adding plans were also afoot to construct a dual carriageway from Athi River to Konza starting January next year.
Kibaki said as a way of encouraging foreign investment, Kenyans must ensure peaceful elections.
“We must send a clear message to the world that our democracy has come of age and that we are tolerant of different shades of opinion. A peaceful and just elections and smooth transition will consolidate the many gains we have made as a nation,” he said.