Mr. Mark Obuya is the National President of the Federation of Kenya Employers. Mr. Obuya who is the CEO of Corporate Insurance Company Limited was elected at FKE’s 57th National Annual General Meeting held on 28th June 2016. Mr. Obuya replaces former Nation Media Group CEO Linus Gitahi. The CEO of Kenya Bankers Association Mr. Habil Olaka was elected as the First National Vice President while Mrs. Gilda Odera of All About Marketing was elected the Second National Vice President.
The meeting came at a time when employers were expressing several concerns over the business environment due to the fluid situation in the political arena. While delivering his report, the outgoing National President Linus Gitahi stated that FKE will continue to prioritize entrepreneurship development and employment creation as they are critical to business survival in Kenya.
“It is for this reason that we must as employers remain true to this role not only to safeguard our investments but also contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals as they apply to our country.” Mr. Gitahi said.
Employers noted with concern that Kenya’s competiveness declined in ranking to 99 in 2015 from 90 in 2014. Some contributing factors included challenges experienced in the labour market such as existence of skills mismatch, large informal sector, counterfeits, and heightened political temperatures mostly based on negative ethnicity and party lines.
Mr. Gitahi noted that these resulted into low productivity and high youth unemployment which remained a major challenge to the economy. He stated that every year 1.2 million youth enter the labour market. More than 50% remain unemployed and over 80% of those who manage to secure employment get vulnerable employment in the informal sector.
“A rapidly growing young population unless properly managed, presents a major challenge even within a peaceful environment. Persistent unemployment and lack of opportunities can drive the youth into undesirable ventures such as criminal activities, lawlessness and violent actions.” He said.