President William Ruto has voiced his optimism about the inclusion of medium, small and micro-enterprise (MSME) traders in the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) in the future.
Ruto said that on Tuesday when he presided over the launching ceremony of the enhanced NSE marketplace.
The president said he envisages a time when Kenyans in all sectors will grow their wealth by investing in the NSE, which will enable the government to raise more resources for development.
"I look forward to the government of Kenya raising more resources for our development using NSE, whereby many Kenyans grow their wealth using the NSE, whereby that Boda boda guy is trading on his phone as he awaits the next customer, instead of betting. When Mama mboga, when waiting for her next supply, is on her phone buying shares," Ruto said.
Ruto said the time was ripe to unlock the potential of the NSE for the economy’s development. The president also noted there is enough evidence in the stock market of the potential to raise resources the country is currently struggling to raise using loans.
He emphasised that Kenyans can generate the resources the government is looking for locally through the NSE
"It is time to unlock the potential that exists in this institution to drive the economy of our county. There is demonstrable evidence in the stock market that there is potential for us to raise the resources that today we are struggling to raise using debt instruments and others we are looking for in debt capital and multilateral instruments," Ruto said.
"That money that we are so desperately looking for out there, with proper instruments, we can get those resources from the people of Kenya through the Nairobi Stock exchange," he added, "debt is weighing down our government and our companies and so it is important that we go down that direction."
Ruto urged private companies yet to join the NSE for fear of tax issues if they disclosed their financial information to do so because his government was ready to work with them.
"The government is willing to work with you so that we can remove those impediments. We are ready to forgive some sins, let me put it that way, so that we can all move together," he said.