Since its inception, Investment News magazine has believed in empowering local entrepreneurs even as Kenya encourages foreign investment. The two are not mutually exclusive.
Rich Kenyans will offer more attractive market for foreign investors because businesses are looking for buyers of their products. If those buyers can be found around where their businesses are located, that much the better.
Wealth that is beneficial to investors whether local or foreign, is wealth that is spread across the country. A handful of millionaires cannot make a market—and that is where we are in Kenya today.
And the reason is that our millionaires are in the main, not people who have worked for their wealth. They have looted it from the public coffers. Count all of them and chances are that there were in public service. You don’t need to be a genius to know that the only way to make money in public service is to steal. In other countries, public servants, even when they are presidents, do not swim in wealth. They live in comfort.
“Public service millionaires”, apart from siphoning away public money, do not have businesses that hire people to spread wealth.
The type of millionaires that Investment News has advocated are those that came out of personal initiative—people whose wealth is a result of providing a service or product to the community.
This type of millionaires have one great advantage—they spread wealth. They establish businesses that hire other people. From one millionaire, you can get 10 others. And that is a great contribution because it increases people with buying power. It establishes a market for other goods and services. And above all, it creates desirable environment for other investors—local or foreign.