Managers in the private sector and business holders have urged the Government to intensify the war on corruption to address the job losses in the sector which they have attributed to the vice.
While speaking during the Africa Business Ethics Conference, which was held for two days, the private sector heads said that the sector has suffered and youths are rendered jobless as a consequence.
“Corruption is a threat to the growth of businesses and the private sector is therefore committed to assisting governments root out graft through legislation and public awareness on the vice, said Lee Karuri, the Chair of Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) Foundation.
However, CEO of Milestone Resources Fatma El Maawy challenged her counterparts to joinh the fight arguing that the battle cannot be won by only the government.
She said: “In Kenya, government agencies have largely driven the fight against corruption while the private sector seems to remain silent despite the losses that the sector is experiencing due to graft.”
“Corruption has stifled growth of our small and medium-sized enterprises that provide jobs to our youth, so we need to do something very fast,” she added.
She then attached the expanding income disparity between the rich and the poor to corruption which she said has given few people unfair advantage.
“Corruption has made Kenya the most unequal country; which has 10,000 high net worth individuals in a population of 51 million, while 55% of Kenyans in Nairobi live in slums. We cannot have a stable environment with that level of inequality,” she said.
El Maawy said that Kenya’s grappling with insecurity has direct bearing with deeply embedded corruption which needs to be eliminated.
“Corruption provides an environment for terrorism to thrive. All countries in the TI index have high levels of terrorism. We need to create a country that is ethical for the next generation, which is achievable if only we will address the cancer of corruption,” she revealed.
The forum which was supported by the Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) brought together representatives from different African Countries and various speakers.
Top on their chart was the discussion on how to boost viability of Small and Medium sized businesses, promoting cross border trade and deliberating on how to reduce financial risks.
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