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, PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE FORCES OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA DURING THE AFRICAN TRADE INSURANCE AGENCYS 13TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING AT SAROVA STANLEY HOTEL, NAIROBI ON 15TH MAY, 2013 His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, The Chairman of the ATI General Assembly, Honourable Ministers, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, It is my pleasure to be with you at the opening of the 13th Annual General Meeting of the African Trade Insurance Agency. I am not a stranger to ATI, having had the opportunity of presiding over previous events of this African institution. I am therefore familiar with the important role that the agency is playing in expanding private sector activity and business opportunities in its member countries. I am pleased that ATI has remained a solid organization and continues to facilitate both domestic and foreign trade and investments in the continent, thereby making an important contribution to the strong economic growth experienced in Sub-Saharan Africa. Despite the difficult global conditions, Africa has maintained its economic resilience and its output is now growing at a faster pace than any other region in the world today. Regional output is set to rise in 2013 with overall economic growth projected to increase at an average of 5.6 percent. Factors that influence this growth include high public investment spending, strong commodity export prices, new resource exploitation, and increasingly diversified trade with growing emerging economies such as China, Brazil and India. Ladies and Gentlemen, We however still need to work towards reducing our vulnerability to external shocks, especially volatility in the Euro zone - a region which provides a large market for many African exports including Kenya. The European Union for instance accounts for 26 percent of Kenyas total exports. There are several steps that we can take at the country level to safeguard our gains and insulate our economies from external contagion. We need to create and sustain conditions that are conducive to private sector development. We also need to remove structural impediments that stand in the way of businesses in our countries as well as lower the administrative barriers that impede trade and investments. In Kenya we are improving the policy framework for the private sector and this was central to our election manifesto as the Jubilee Government. Our manifesto and Kenyas Vision 2030 identifies a number of elaborate policy interventions aimed at enabling, guaranteeing and funding the economy.

Notwithstanding the efforts made by individual governments to remove institutional bottlenecks to business as well as the democratic change sweeping across the continent, there is a strong case for adopting common regional approaches in increasing Africas contribution to the global economy. Given the small sizes of many of our economies, regional co-operation will help us to exploit the synergies that exist in our countries and speed up our integration so that we can be key players in the globalized economy. Ladies and Gentlemen, The creation of ATI by African governments is a part of this regional approach to development. The establishment of ATI came out of a need to address the negative perception of Africa. For too long our continent had been perceived as a region where unstable political leadership and governance problems were posing unacceptable risks to foreign businesses. By creating a credible mechanism in which governments were agreeing to take responsibility for losses caused by political risks, member countries were committing themselves to being the ultimate risk takers in this insurance arrangement. We in Kenya have just come out of a complex election process in which we managed to navigate our way without major disruptions to the economy and in our society. This is solid evidence that the continent is coming of age and the democratic culture is taking root. Notwithstanding these gains in democratic governance in Africa, it remains our responsibility to enhance business confidence for both domestic and foreign investments and this is where ATIs role is important. The ultimate objective of ATI is to facilitate economic development of our countries through the provision of investment and trade credit insurance; facilitation of bank lending for trade and investments; assisting exporters to reduce the cost of trade finance and improving terms under which financing is made available by banks, and the diversification of the exports of member countries. I am happy that ATI has continued to achieve major milestones towards the fulfillment of these objectives. The agency has facilitated the flow of investments and financing to support productive activities for contracts in excess of US$ 7 billion. These are investments and trade flows which would not have taken place without ATIs support. I am also pleased to note that Kenya is a major beneficiary of ATIs activities with cumulative investments of more than US$ 2 billion having been supported in diverse sectors, including road and port infrastructure, agribusiness, power sector, and the banking sector. ATI has thus made significant contribution to Kenyas economy and I believe this is true of all ATIs member countries. I need to recognize ATIs support during Kenyas election. The Agency provided financial security to key sectors of our economy, ensuring that several businesses continued to operate. Apart from increased trade and investment activities in our economies, ATI has

also helped to increase capacity and innovation in our insurance and financial sectors, and contributed to the growth and competitiveness of our exports. In conclusion, I wish to urge African countries that have expressed interest in joining the Agency to hasten their internal processes so as to enable ATI extend its services to businesses in those countries. Expanded membership has the added advantage of speeding up the economic integration of Africa and enhancing the regions ability to compete effectively in the global marketplace. I wish to congratulate the new countries which have joined the Agency and those which are in the process of joining. These include Benin, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone and Ghana. Finally, I wish to thank our partners and shareholders who include the World Bank, the African Development Bank, our Governments and various International Export Credit Agencies for their continued support to the Agency. I wish you a productive session and trust that your deliberations will be guided by what is best for our collective development as a continent. THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU ALL