The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Kountable have today convened the Big 4 Dialogue, a platform that brings together thought leaders to explore opportunities and formulate resolutions that will drive the private sector participation in the Big 4 agenda.
The first Big4 Dialogue focused on Housing and saw participation from the Principal Secretary State department for Housing and Urban Development Mr. Charles Hinga who highlighted the various issues that have led to the current housing deficit in the country that currently stands at 1.8 million.
According to PS from State Department for Housing and Urban Development Charles Hinga, the high cost of land is due to large tracks owned by the government, speculators coupled with the high cost of construction which has largely contributed to the low investment in especially affordable housing.
“Land cost in Nairobi accounts for 40 percent of the cost of putting up a building as opposed to 10 percent in other parts of the world, on the other hand the cost of construction is also too high. The Big 4 intends to facilitate for increased investment in this sector so as to bridge the gap with demand expected to surge to just 300,000 housing units annually by 2050,” said PS Hinga, from State department for Housing and Urban Development Charles Hinga.
Further the PS defended the need for a national housing development fund as the only way the government can “immunize the investor” from the market risk in the industry with the state able to acquire units that are constructed by the private sector.
Speaking at the same event Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry National Chairman Kiprono Kittony said the Big 4 Dialogue provides a platform from which the private sector participates in the planning phase of the agenda with their concerns being considered.
The biggest challenge with Kenya’s Vision 2030 is that it lacks the involvement of the private sector and the citizenry and thus the business community has not been fully involved in this well thought vision. To date a majority of Kenyans only know the few projects under the LAPSSET project that are currently ongoing as opposed to the big vision. Our Big 4 Dialogue will thus act as the link between private sector and government and ensure local companies are not left out when national are rolled out.
Following the official launch of the dialogues the Chamber will then proceed to hold weekly talks through the month of August to address the other agendas including: Affordable Healthcare, Manufacturing and concluding with Food Security on the 22nd of August, 2018.