Kenya pledges engagement with private sector to boost counter-terrorism


Kenya will engage the business community to support implementation of a retooled counter-terrorism strategy that places emphasis on identifying planners and financiers of the vice, an official said on Tuesday.

Martin Kimani, director of National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC), said that participation of local and foreign investors is key to revitalizing action on terrorism, which poses serious threat to national security, economic growth and cohesion.

“As the country prepares new strategies to enhance response to terrorist attacks, the role of businesses in strategic areas like training of private guards, installation of modern surveillance equipment and deradicalization of youth through employment is critical,” said Kimani.

He spoke in Nairobi during the launch of a study on understanding the impact of violent extremism on businesses that was conducted by Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA).

The study, which targeted small, medium and large enterprises in the counties of Nairobi, Mombasa and Garissa that are considered vulnerable to terror attacks, finds that this transnational vice had devastating impact on investments and growth of businesses.

“On the effects of violent extremism on enterprises covered in the study, the findings revealed that 54 percent of businesses across the three counties were affected by loss of revenue due to limited customer flow,” noted the study.

It reveals that on average, a business entity lost 175,396 Kenyan shillings (1,760 U.S. dollars) revenue following a terrorist attack while the value of property destroyed in a given business premises was estimated at 2,012 dollars.

The study notes that Kenya’s capital Nairobi bore the brunt of terrorist attacks that led to an estimated revenue loss of 100,000 U.S. dollars per business entity.

“Businesses should confront violent extremism as part of the broader responsibility to the society. They should support the ongoing efforts by our security forces to thwart terrorism financing through money laundering,” said Kimani.

Carol Kariuki, chief executive officer of KEPSA, said that investors are keen to offer innovative solutions to the threat of terrorism that include training and employment of youth vulnerable to radicalization. Enditem

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