On Thursday morning, the UK High Commissioner to Kenya, Nic Hailey hosted the Crown Agents and Russell Reynolds Associates’ “solutions series” breakfast meeting which brought together experts in development and the private sector to discuss solutions to barriers to investments across the East Africa region.
As well as being one of the world’s leading experts in public procurement and supply chain management, Crown Agents are an international development company that partners with governments, aid agencies, NGOs and companies in nearly 100 countries.
They support countries to grow their economies, strengthen their health systems and improve financial management. They achieve this by providing consultancy and training in health systems strengthening, trade and growth, public private partnerships, public financial management and governance.
Crown Agents’ Nairobi office was established in 1965 and they have worked with donors including the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Global Fund, USAID and the Japanese government, as well as government ministries and other organisations.
Over the last 50 years in Kenya, they have helped reduce malaria-related child deaths by 40 per cent by distributing more than 12 million bednets and over seven million long-lasting insecticide-treated bednets, procured medicines and contraceptives to prevent as well as manage HIV/AIDS and built capacity in procurement, monitoring and evaluation skills for key government ministries.
Takeaways from Thursday’s breakfast meeting on unlocking investment in Africa included the need for governments to drive a unified investment agenda to accelerate growth, that building the skills of ‘investment champions’ in government is key and engagement with communities is essential.