By Adieri Mulaa
Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Richard Ngatia has urged industrialists to invest in the country to create job opportunities for the youth.
The Chamber president said he was working with the National Government and County Governments to ensure the establishment and growth of special economic zones in all counties.
“We cannot continue promising our youth jobs on paper without providing viable solutions. It is time we change our mind set and develop long term solutions”, said the Chamber President.
He added: “To achieve this objective, we must join our hands both as governments and the private sector and persuade industrialists to invest in this country by providing conducive business environment, good policies and the necessary infrastructure”.
Addressing congregants at the Kariokor Methodist Church in Nairobi last Sunday, Ngatia noted that the move was a definite way of creating job opportunities for the swelling number the youth leaving universities and colleges.
The Chamber president was accompanied by the area MCA Millicent Wambui Mugadi and nominated Senator Beatrice Kwamboka. He told church leaders to encourage their faithful to register as voters and elect responsible political leaders.
Mr Ngatia asserted that there must be deliberate partnerships between the private sector and county governments so that students seeking internships and other support from corporate organisations can get such opportunities.
“It is so unfortunate that it takes our children four to six years to graduate with degrees and they spend another four years or so looking for employment in this country”, Ngatia said.
Ngatia has declared interest in the Nairobi City governor’s seat in the 9th August General Election, through Azimio La Umoja Movement, lead by ODM party leader Raila Odinga.
So far, the Chamber president has held several successful town hall meetings across the city, reaching out to the city residents, traders, university students, private sector movers, Members of Parliament, Members Nairobi City County Assembly and business forums to sell his agenda.
He aims to assemble a people driven manifesto before launching his gubernatorial campaign later this month.
“As a Chamber, he said, we have put in place necessary infrastructure and policies towards development of special economic zones through partnerships, to create job opportunities for the youth”.
But to achieve this, we must ensure our special economic zones are fully fledged so that industrialists and other auxiliary investors could come in and pitch tent in those zones, Ngatia said.
Further, he noted that Export Processing Zones should be established in every county so that we have cottage industries growing in the zones. By so doing, we will be able to create more jobs for our youth, he said.
Mr Ngatia also chairs the General Assembly of Great Lakes Region Private Sector Forum(economic bloc), which comprises twelve member states.
They include Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Angola, Zambia, Congo, Sudan, Central African Republic, Burundi, and Kenya.
He urged church organisations to register at the Chamber the names of youth seeking jobs overseas or within the region for them to be assisted whenever opportunities arose.