Uhuru Kenyatta explains why Africa is open and ready for business

Kenya is a swiftly growing economy while Kenyans are a resilient and brave people, President Uhuru Kenyatta told the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi.

President Uhuru and US President Barack Obama are co-hosting the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kenya.

“You all know that for a decade now the economies of Africa have been the fastest growing in the world. Behind these statistics is a story of a new generation of Africans committed to the African renaissance,” President Kenyatta told the audience.

President Uhuru Kenyatta

He urged them to tell their friends back at home and around the world that “Africa is open and ready for business.”

President Kenyatta also underscored the resilience of the Kenyan people. “We are a resilient and brave people. You are aware, nearly two years ago the Westgate Mall in Nairobi was the scene of a heart-breaking act of criminal brutality. To the world, it became an emblem of extremist violence and terrorism. I am proud to inform you that a week ago, it reopened and its flagship store proceeded to record more sales on the first day than on any other in the Mall’s history…. We rose above our pain, and resolved to keep marching forward.  We are truly a nation that shames its saboteurs and detractors.”

He appealed to the new generation Africans to complete the task started by their fathers in pursuit of economic freedom.

“It is the time for the new generation of Africans to promote inclusive prosperity. In our pursuit of this prosperity, we have truly embraced the private sector,” he said.

The Kenyan leader said they could no longer afford the luxury of the old language of East versus West. “Kenya is aligned to neither; we are, firmly and irreversibly, aligned to progress,” he said.

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta and US President Barack Obama

“Africa’s relationship with the rest of the world must be premised on mutual benefit, where our people and our resources are leveraged to secure the growth of our economies and prosperity for all,” he added.

President Kenyatta described Africa as “the world’s newest and most promising frontier of limitless opportunity.”

“Gone are the days when the only lens to view our continent was one of despair and indignity. This country, this continent, does not claim perfection – but we can claim progress,” he said.

In an apparent reaction to the US news channel CNN who called East Africa a “hotbed of terror” ahead of President Obama’s visit, President Kenyatta said: “You will discover that Kenya is a hotbed of vibrant culture, spectacular natural beauty, and infinite possibility. Let the world hear a simple message: the narrative of African despair and indignity is false — indeed, it was never true.”