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Private sector urged to use Tokyo conference to access International markets

By Graham Kajilwa | March 10th 2016

NAIROBI, KENYA: Japan has been asked to market itself more in order to benefit from the vast investment potential the country has to offer.
This was noted in a stakeholder workshop held on March 4 ahead of the sixth Tokyo International Conference for African Development (Ticad) to be held in the country in August.
A conglomerate of private sector stakeholders from Kenya raised the need for the Asian infrastructure giant to not only allow Kenya a chance to showcase what it has but also Japan should bring what it considers necessary for Kenyan needs.
"The high potentials for private-public partnerships are apparent especially in light of a rapid increase in the number of Japanese companies in Kenya. From 25 in 2012 to 41 companies in 2016. Ticad will focus on what Africa wants and where it is headed," said Japan's Ambassador to Kenya Tatsushi Terada.
This was reiterated by Managing Director, Vivo Energy Kenya Polycarp Igathe who urged private sectors to leverage on Ticad to access the international market.
Kenya Private Sector Alliance Kennedy Manyala noted the need to improve the skills of the sector and transform the education system so that it is responsive to the current trend.
An example is examining subjects that add value to the future and strengthening polytechnics for much needed skills development and coming up with clean energy mechanism.
Main aim of the workshop as put by Ambassador Terada was to highlight the importance of Ticad in bringing about resilient and sustainable growth in the African continent with an emphasis placed on private investment in Africa
"Development cannot be achieved by the government alone or by multinationals. Instead, to transform society it was necessary to deal with issues of inclusive growth especially when it comes to gender, education and social cohesion, governance and democracy, opportunity for, globally competitive service sector among other issues," Prof Wainaina Gituro Acting Director General, Kenya Vision 2030 highlighted.
TICAD was first introduced against a backdrop of deepening poverty in Africa and to aid fatigue of development partners towards Africa. Kenya will be the first host time host of the conference in African soil.

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