President Kenyatta roots for greater private sector participation in post COVID-19 recovery
President Uhuru Kenyatta has called on governments to involve the private sector more in their post COVID-19 plans saying the non-state actors had the resources and the know-how to assist in economic recovery.
He challenged global leaders to apply lessons from the pandemic by rethinking their development strategies to include greater private sector participation.
“The private sector will be key in this endevour. The pandemic has demonstrated that, given the right political and institutional support; the sector can complement the public sector to, rapidly create the needed capacity and innovation to beat the virus and catalyze strong and resilient recovery,” said the President.
He spoke during speech delivery at United Nations Global Compact’s Private Sector Forum held on the margins of the ongoing 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA76) in New York on Monday.
Kenya has expanded private sector’s participation in her growing economy by strengthening the country’s public, private partnerships (PPPs) framework.
For countries to “build back better” from the Covid-19 pandemic, challenged the UN Global Impact to become more proactive in ensuring businesses become “a force for good, engine for innovation and a strong partner for the global society”.
“We need to harness the private sector to address the challenge of the global food systems and also sustainable energy production. Approximately 700 million people in the world are today undernourished, and one quarter of the world’s population is food insecure.”
With the food systems, sustainable energy production and climate change standing out as key to succeed inpost-pandemic, President Kenyatta said there was need for multi-stakeholder partnerships at all levels to advance innovative pathways to make them sustained.
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“This should go hand in hand with sound business practices, including the management of chemicals and waste, reduction of food losses, prevention of plastic pollution and zero incidence of corruption. This is a raison d’etre of the UN Global Compact,” the President said.
On his part, UN Secretary General Antonio Guteress said Climate Change and COVID-19 had reversed gains made in achieving Social Development Goals (SDG).
He called for bold transformative changes with governments, private sector and civil society working together in solidarity to reverse the situation.
“The business community, governments and civil societies must urgently and ambitiously work together to pursue green recovery from the pandemic,” the UN Secretary General said.
World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director David Beasley reiterated President Kenyatta’s call to involve the private sector in ending hunger and poverty and challenged private sector to be more magnanimous by expanding their charity and philanthropic support for global end hunger initiatives.