New Chamber President Richard Ngatia showcases his winner's certificate at the KNCCI Annual General Meeting at the Bomas of Kenya at the weekend.

The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry at the weekend concluded its national elections with Richard Ngatia sworn in as Chamber President while Dr Eric Ruto (282 votes) won the Vice President seat by a landslide beating the second closest contestant Fatma Elmaawy, who garnered 146 votes and Gor Semelang’o, who got 27 votes.

Speaking during the Kenya National Chambers of Commerce & Industry annual general meeting, Ngatia promised to put more focus on small and medium enterprises.

He said there was need to increase attention to access to capital to SMEs, new training opportunities for business people and continued push for the payment of delayed payments held by national and county governments. This he said will be achieved in collaboration with relevant partners such as financial institutions, training facilities and continued advocacy.

“The chamber clearly understands that a good environment for small and medium enterprises can lead to an increase of jobs by 2.5 million a year. We should not strive to create 5 million jobs but to create one million businesses and five jobs shall follow,” said Ngatia.

Ruto has also said he will work with the President in ensuring that there is renewed focus on manufacturing and increasing competitiveness of locally manufactured goods.

Key speaker at the AGM Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa congratulated the smooth transition by the Chamber leadership saying the government was looking forward to working with the new leadership. Wamalwa said the Chamber is better positioned to deal with the government in counties due to presence in every county.

“The cost of doing business is a major constraint of doing business in Kenya and we will be looking forward to working with the Chamber to remove these hurdles. Of priority by the government is to bring the cost of electricity down and we will be making a major announcement by the end of the year,” said Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa.

Outgoing Chamber President Kiprono Kittony said he is proud of the long way the chamber has come from the dark days and is convinced that the institution has the right structures going forward.

“Seven years ago the chamber was barely a cash cow for several individuals, the whole situation was deplorable if not immoral. Seven years on, the chamber is now a formidable force to reckon with. The chamber has risen from the ashes,” said Kiprono.

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Among the elected regional directors are Hassan Wario (Coast Region), Paul Ouma (Nyanza), Baskwony Kiplagat, Jacob Godana (Upper Eastern), George Mbatani (Central Region) and Omar Sadique (North Eastern). Directors from Nairobi, Western and South Rift were elected unopposed.

KNCCI holds its elections every three years to vote for its top leadership from County, Regional and National Level.


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