TRADE TIES

Corruption main hurdle to trade in Kenya - survey

According to the report 66 per cent of the respondent companies in Kenya experience negative impacts on their business from corruption.

In Summary

•37 per cent of respondent companies report financial impacts through loss of annual earnings or future investment.

•Annual losses of earnings relating to integrity lapses are valued at 23 per cent, while losses of future investment are valued at 20 per cent.

Ministry of East African Community and Regional Development Principal Secretary Dr.Kevit Desai,British High Commissioner Jane Marriott and British Chamber of Commerce chairperson Sonal Sejpal after signing a partnership to enhance business climate.PHOTO/ENOS TECHE
Ministry of East African Community and Regional Development Principal Secretary Dr.Kevit Desai,British High Commissioner Jane Marriott and British Chamber of Commerce chairperson Sonal Sejpal after signing a partnership to enhance business climate.PHOTO/ENOS TECHE
Image: ENOS TECHE

Corruption stands out as a major threat to Kenyan companies, according to findings by the British Chamber of Commerce (BCCK) Business Integrity Market Survey.

According to the report 66 per cent of the respondent companies in Kenya have been negatively impacted by corruption.

Of these, 37 per cent of respondent companies report financial impacts through loss of annual earnings or future investment.

Annual losses of earnings relating to integrity lapses are valued at 23 per cent, while losses of future investment are valued at 20 per cent.

This has seen Kenya sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with BCCK to promote the country's business climate reforms agenda.

The MoU signed on Wednesday will address some of the survey's findings.

“While corruption is a global issue, it is a concern that has been raised in our discussions with businesses and international investors," said East African Community Principal Secretary Kevit Desai

"This MoU will create a platform to reaffirm Kenya’s commitment to strengthening the business climate and will also build private sector participation in the digitisation and automation of government services in procurement, revenue collection and cross-border trade," he said.

BCCK chamber and the Ministry of East African Community Development will establish a joint programme to identify and recommend areas for reform, host public private workshops, and build private sector capacity.

"Business integrity is the foundation of international trade," Desai said.

Recommendations for reforms include accelerating the digitisation of government service delivery and including more integrity content and programming in industry standards and professional development.

Survey respondents also called for extension on debarment of companies and directors found culpable for integrity lapses.

The UK High Commissioner to Kenya, Jane Marriott, said that improving business integrity underpins both the UK-Kenya strategic partnership and the building of a prosperous, safer, and healthier Kenya.

“The lessons from anti-corruption efforts in the UK, and globally, show the importance of building coalitions across government and civil society, as well as working with reformers to make incremental gains,” Mariott said.

BCCK chairperson, Sonal Sejpal, said the work done by the chamber to generate evidence-based recommendations for changes to integrity policies and practices, has shown that Kenya has a strong legal framework to combat corruption.

“The focus of this MoU is to support the private sector, the government, and its development partners on enhancing enforcement and implementation,” Sejpal said.

The MoU follows a Public Private Dialogue on Integrity hosted by BCCK in Nairobi this month, which was funded by the UK – Kenya Anticorruption Programme.

It is comes after a successful road show in the where investors saw the progress Kenya has made on business reforms.