Kenya’s infrastructure projects are often implemented by foreign companies, with contracts worth significant amounts of money being allocated to these companies.
Unfortunately, most of the funds remitted back to their countries of origin, leaving the local economy to suffer. It is unfortunate that the reasons given for this is that local companies neither have the financial nor technical capacity. This has created a perception that local companies have no capacity and may not implement as required.
In the recent past, international tenders that were floated particularly under the World Bank and other multilateral institutions have hardly attracted local firms. The government needs to encourage local companies to participate and, where necessary, build their capacity. Alternatively, international companies should be required to form joint ventures with local companies and build their capacity.
Infrastructure development is a critical component of economic growth and development in any country. The lack of infrastructure, particularly in developing countries such as Kenya, has hampered growth and development. The construction of roads, bridges, airports, and ports, among other things, is necessary for the efficient functioning of a modern economy.
Unfortunately, in many developing countries, the implementation of infrastructure projects has been plagued by problems, including corruption, lack of technical capacity, and lack of funding. In Kenya, one of the main problems has been the allocation of contracts to foreign companies, leaving the local economy to suffer.
The government has been accused of awarding infrastructure contracts to foreign companies without considering local firms. It argues that local companies lack the financial and technical capacity to implement large infrastructure projects. However, this argument has been challenged by local firms who claim that they have the capacity but are not given the opportunity to prove themselves.
In the recent past, international tenders that were floated particularly under the World Bank and other multilateral institutions have hardly attracted local firms. The perception that local companies have no capacity has led to a situation where international companies are given preference over local firms.
The government needs to encourage local firms to participate in infrastructure projects. One way of doing this is by providing financial and technical assistance to local firms. The government can also provide tax incentives and other forms of support to local firms to enable them to compete with international firms. The government should also ensure that local firms are given a fair chance to compete for contracts.
International companies should be required to form joint ventures with local firms. This will enable local firms to acquire the necessary technical and financial capacity to implement large infrastructure projects. The government can provide incentives to international firms to form joint ventures with local firms. It can provide tax incentives to international firms that form joint ventures with local firms. The government should alsoprovide them with financial and technical support.
-Mr Guleid is coordinator, North East Development Initiative