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The Joho-Uhuru duel gains momentum as Joho is barred from attending Mtongwe ferry launch in Mombasa

UREPORT
By ERICK KIZITO | March 14th 2017


Kenyans should take advantage of the increased supply of electricity to venture into businesses that will change their lives.

We are at a pivotal point when a conducive environment has been created for businesses. Gone are the days when the country was faced with economic uncertainties created by massive power shortages.

Starting a business is an efficient option that can help Kenya move toward industrialisation and create more jobs.

Currently, KenGen has pumped about 633mw of new energy capacity into the national grid; green sources that have relieved the burden on energy bills.

The country's leading power producer has also set the ground for further production of 721mw of power, of which 630mw will be from geothermal energy. Work on the 140mw Olkaria Unit 5 geothermal plant is set to begin soon.

The cost of doing business has dropped drastically with such an investment in energy and locals should compete aggressively with foreign businesses.

There are commodities that communities should not have to stretch their hands far for. Products such as bread should be baked within the vicinity of a village; distilled water should not be the preserve of urban companies.

And as we live in an age where Information Technology is glorified as all that counts, it would be nice to see cyber café, photocopying and typesetting shops in every Kenyan village. Increased power supply and rural electrification has allowed for that.

In the past, rural economic performance was poor because electricity was not as available as it is today. The availability of green power has lowered energy tariffs and reduced the cost of doing business.

Job creation and industrialisation are important for growth today hence starting a business should become more popular in rural areas.

The notion of entrepreneurship should be well-rooted in our society as the national population soars beyond anticipation and the need of jobs grows.

In the past, business start-ups in Kenya faced many difficulties. Today, local businesses are a key driver of the country's economy.

However, the infrastructure in most parts of the country is still weak. Lack of water supply along with high raw material prices push up the cost of production, which in turn makes it hard for local companies to expand.

They tend to stay small and less competitive than they might otherwise be.

Most areas still lack the ability to innovate and don't have strong industrial chains. Even though they have abundant cheap labour, the high-quality talent, which is key for a company's development, remains scarce.

The ability of a county or a region to produce a certain product depends on its ability to produce a diverse set of inputs, goods and services.

Kenya still lack the critical mass of industrial inputs required to manufacturing production. Many services required have to be imported, which is costly. Compared to foreign companies, local enterprises should get more favourable treatment.

The Government should begin to improve the entrepreneurial environment to encourage local people to find businesses they can start.

The Government should also realise the importance of industrialisation and infrastructure development, and improve legislation that provides favourable tax or duty policies for local industries and enterprises.

Let us make good use of the electricity available.

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