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Ruto seeks support from German investors as anti-government protests intensify

President William Ruto on Monday invited German businessmen to invest in Kenya’s micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, saying that Kenya stands to benefit from the world’s most experienced, organised and resourced German establishments.

The President spoke in Potsdamer Platz in Berlin when he met Dr Markus Jerger, the Chairman of Der Mittelstand-German Association of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (BVMW).

He noted that the sector is the backbone of the German economy, generating more than 60 per cent of employment opportunities.

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In his speech, the President noted that the government is committed under its Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda to supporting small enterprises to blossom, which is related to his Kenya Kwanza Alliance plan.

“That is why we have put more than Sh50 billion in the Hustler Fund to provide affordable credit to millions of Kenyans who depend on the MSME sector for a living,” President Ruto said.

He noted that so far, the uptake of the facility has been encouraging.

According to Dr Jerger, BVMW represents the interests of more than 3.3 million individual enterprises in the country.

Dr Jerger said that there are huge opportunities “for us in Kenya’s value addition programme”.

“We can invest in cold storage technology to reduce post-harvest losses. We are already doing it in Senegal,” Dr Jerger said

In a separate meeting with the Federal Association for Economic Development and Foreign Trade (BWA) which was led by its Chairman, Michael Schumann, they agreed on the approaches to bringing more German and international businesses to Kenya.

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The Association cited food processing, the digital economy, and intellectual property rights, among others, as some of the potential areas to invest in.

The President left the country on Sunday for four days, which he will visit Germany and Belgium, and his visit is to focus on strengthening bilateral relations.

His trip comes amidst demonstrations against his administration from the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition.

The opposition, led by the former Prime Minister Mr Raila Odinga, is accusing the President of failing to lower the cost of living for Kenyans as he had promised in his campaigns.

Mr Odinga vowed to continue with his weekly protests until the government meets their requirements, including abandoning the ongoing process of recruiting IEBC commissioners.

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