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Chairman's Speech Export for Security Services
Speech by Mr. Hudson Aluvanze, Chairman, Export Promotion Council, during the Inaugration of Secprotec East Africa Trade Fair, held on 25th September, 2013 at The Kenyatta International Conference Center, Nairobi Kenya.
The Cabinet Secretary, East Africa Affairs, Commerce and Tourism, Madam Phylis Kandie,

Security Industry Leaders,

Distinguished Exporters,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you so much for having me here today. It is my privilege and great pleasure to welcome you all to the SecProTec East Africa Trade Fair and I am honoured to be speaking to such a distinguished group of policy and security leaders. I know that some presentations have already been made to you, so I will do my best not to repeat, but rather hope to supplement them.

As you are all aware, the objective of this Fair is to provide a platform for companies in the security sector to showcase their products in Kenya and the EAC region. This event comes at a time when our country has once again been faced with security challenges, leading to lose of innocent lives from all corners of the globe. We convey condolences to those who lost their lives and all who were injured and wish them a quick recovery. We are very pleased that our security forces and senior government officials have ensured that business in the country, including this event, continues unabated.

Be it deterrent security or preventive security; I would like to begin by postulating that Security and/or insecurity is anchored in the basic principles of economics. Why do I say that:  it is because there are four environmental factors that affect human security: population pressure; development; global change and conflict & terrorism. Population trends entail all the trends in human population growth affecting consumption and productivity. Consequently, the state of human and property security get affected by resource competition.

We all know that the objective of security is to protect the vital core of all human lives and property from critical and pervasive threats in a way that is consistent with long-term fulfilment and sustainability.  Aiming for global human security then implies a confrontation with the “menaces that threaten the survival, daily life, and dignity of human beings and their property” and a strengthening of the efforts to overcome the obstacles to security. Such a wide and formidable mandate requires the cultivation of the most pro-social values as well as the best thinking that humanity can offer. Every sphere of human life has a role in moving the world toward security: families, educational systems, trade, media, governance, sciences and technology. The question here is: How can technology contribute to this social contract?
We have a world in which security, protection and technological development is driven by the pursuit of power and profit, the results of which are then conflated with societal advancement. The hegemony of this logic is itself the source of insecurity.

Allow me to quote from a report by the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies of America on Security and Technology – Aug. 2002:…. …….”Prospects for defending against security vulnerabilities through traditional means, such as “guards, guns, and gates,” are dim in light of the new and emerging technologies”............

Ladies and Gentlemen,

While the Government will always provide security, the private sector as is the case in other Developing and Developed countries, needs to play its role in complementing Government efforts. This event provides some of the products that business enterprises and other stakeholders may require in this respect.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Export Promotion Council is a Government agency mandated to promote export of goods and services in the region and international markets. The Council takes cognizance of the fact that security and stability are pertinent enablers for successful international trade. We therefore support this event for purposes of exchange of ideas on security and display of relevant equipment and services. Hopefully, this will lead to increased investment and export of these important services in the EAC and COMESA regions.

The entire region, and indeed the whole of Africa, as you are all aware, is currently going through socio-economic reforms, which have resulted in high rates of economic growth, and which in turn is helping to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the continent and our individual countries. I am therefore glad to note that this event has attracted potential and existing business partners from East and Central Africa, Europe, North America and Asia.

We acknowledge the staging of this important Fair in Nairobi, which is a growing business hub and investment destination in the region. It is my hope that participants in this event will be able to appreciate the importance and potential for security services in the EAC and the wider Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Globally, trade in services has emerged as a significant driving force of the world economy, accounting for about 20% of World global trade, according to estimates by the World Bank.  Kenya has therefore adopted a proactive policy towards widening the export basket for goods and services and has within the same policy, identified trade in services as one of the key sectors to drive export growth and deepening of markets in the current decade.


Based on a study that was conducted by the World Bank, in collaboration with the Export Promotion Council, “Assessment of Kenya’s Export Potential and Supply Capacities in selected Professional Service Sectors”, Kenya has adequate capacity to export services to the Eastern, Central and Southern Africa region. The findings were corroborated by an earlier study that was conducted by the Commonwealth Secretariat and EPC, titled “Strategy for Export Promotion of Professional Services.”

Based on the aforementioned studies; Kenya has established comparative advantage in the following niches of services export:

Professional Services: Accountancy, Architecture, Engineering, Information and Communications Technology/Information Technology enabled Services (ICT/ITES) and Legal Services;

Business Services: Business Process Outsourcing Services;

Financial Services: Insurance and Non-Banking Financial Services;
 
Transport Services: Freight Forwarding Services.


Ladies and gentlemen,

One would ask why I am going round in circles instead of addressing the subject matter of this forum, i.e. Security. Business does not take place in a vacuum.  There has to be adequate security at all times.  Although the subject matter is very broad, I am sure by the end of this forum, the experts coming after me will delve deeper into the forms; characteristics and paradigms of security.

However, it is prudent to note that as we discuss the nexus between security, protection and technology, it is important to recognize that certain security approaches are practical and acceptable under some circumstances and impractical and unacceptable under others.  For example, in the wake of the insecurities experienced world-wide, people are more likely to demonstrate a willingness to endure more time-consuming and intrusive security procedures than before.  Thus, they will be more prepared to spare extra time for additional security measures.  However, in deploying and employing modern day technologies in the provision of security, their effectiveness and impact will not be realized especially if the public views the security procedures being employed as being symbolic than substantive.

It is especially important that the role played by human beings the provision of security be determined not by default, simply on the basis of technological possibilities, but as a result of systematic evaluations of human strengths and weaknesses that can be complemented and supplemented by technology. Human strengths, such as sensitivity to context and pattern recognition, may be difficult or unnecessary to replicate. Indeed, it may turn out that some technologies are not applicable because they are inferior to, or incompatible with, the performance of humans.

Many other nontechnical issues also loom large in the development and deployment of effective security systems. Privacy and civil rights controversies, for example, dominate the debate over biometric technologies used in screening, identification, and surveillance — a debate pertinent not only to the transportation sector, but also to other technology- based realms. Though technological advances undoubtedly continue to offer many new capabilities, some raise new legal and ethical issues that must be addressed long before those capabilities are used.  Sound systems-level research and analyses—addressing operational, institutional, and societal dimensions — have to be considered for effective deployment of technology based security systems.

Ladies and gentlemen;
  In conclusion, I wish to urge all the foreign exhibitors participating in this event, to consider establishing businesses in Kenya in order to enjoy preferential treatment provided by our Regional Trading Partners for goods and services originating from this country. Once you establish business in Kenya, the Council will provide the technical support you require to export your services.

The Council will work together with all of you and other stakeholders in the services sector in designing and implementing specific trade promotion efforts for the export of Security Services. In-fact, we have lined up activities in South Sudan, DR Congo, Nigeria, Uganda and Angola. It is my hope that you will take advantage of these forums to widen your operational scope not only in the region but Africa-wide.

And finally, as I alluded to earlier, in an era of economic crunch and shrinking budgets, companies nationwide are searching for efficiency wherever they can find it. Security systems and services are often the first corners to be cut, and companies replace on-site personnel with video cameras and other security automation.

But financial challenges can also spur innovative business practices, and savvy organizations can find many ways to reduce costs while still ensuring consistently high service for clients. Replacing human security staff with technology, however, is not necessarily the way to go. Technology plays a complimentary role and enhances efficiency. 

Let’s all enjoy this forum that show-cases the best in technology; equipment and software that is specifically tailored to provide and enhance security to humans; facilities; infrastructure and the general environment.

Thank you very much.  Asante Sana.

 
 
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