As it appeared in the daily nation of July 21st 2015
by Lucy Kiruthu
This week many investors and visitors from around the world will be in Nairobi for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2015 (GES2015). Many of us keen on business are aware about this global event. Some of these investors and visitors will be visiting Kenya for the first time while others have been here previously. It has been reported that all the five-star hotels in Nairobi are fully booked. In addition to staying at the hotels and attending the summit it is likely that some of those coming for the Summit will visit other places in Kenya. More importantly they will interact with many Kenyans from all walks of life from housekeeping staff, to waiters, to security officers, to drivers, to airport staff, to entrepreneurs, to company executives and the political class. What is their experience going to be like?
Many upgrades have been ongoing; I understand that Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) is all spruced up. I have noticed work progressing on Uhuru highway and Mombasa road among other roads for quite some time and I suspect this is to give our visitors a smooth ride and give them a great spectacle. As always, we seem to be trying to put our best foot forward. I do hope we are doing the same at the key points of entry and exit and other places that our visitors may visit. Those visiting us get their first and last impression about Kenya at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) a few others may fly Kenya Airways (KQ). Flying KQ means that the first impression starts way before arrival at JKIA and our visitors carry their last impressions way into the skies.
As I have been watching the ChooseKenya Campaign spearheaded by the President, I have wondered why I have chosen to stay in Kenya. I have visited a number of countries in Africa, in Europe and lived in the USA but I chosen to stay in Kenya. This is not only because Kenya is my motherland but also because I believe in Kenya and there is something unique about Kenyans and about Kenya. Most of the positive stories I have heard from those visiting Kenya is that we are friendly, we are professionals and that we work hard. In addition we are country with natural beauty all year around. We have great attractions from the Masai Mara with its Wild beast migration to the Mt. Kenya and Mt Kilimanjaro views to the great coastal beaches. Though we may still be learning to be more courteous on our roads we have made great milestones towards providing great experiences worth coming back for in most of the facilities in Kenya.
I choose Kenya because I know that the GES2015 will add value not only to the entrepreneur whose business may find an equity partner but also the local Nairobians who will continue to enjoy the beauty of Uhuru highway way after the summit. I do however wish that we not only get ready for our out of country brother but that we may also pay keen attention to make daily experiences more pleasant. Every day we have an opportunity to make Kenya a better country for all by being at the service of our country and of one another.
Lucy Kiruthu is a Management Consultant and Trainer and can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org/old or via twitter @kiruthulucy