Chairman's Word

The Pubs, Entertainment and Restaurant Association of Kenya (PERAK) has come in to fill a gap that was existing in the hospitality and entertainment sectors.
Walter Reif, PERAK Chairman
It is not in doubt that the hospitality and entertainment sector is one of the most critical in Kenya. It is usually not recognized that the hospitality and entertainment sector is one of the biggest and most important in the country. I will outline just a few of the points that make this sector such a critical one to Kenya’s economy.

One, we are investors. The total investment that we have made in this sector runs into billions of shillings. And because of the industry we are in, investment is something you have to keep updating.

Secondly, we are employers. Our establishments employ thousands of Kenyans across the country.

Thirdly, we are taxpayers. Over and above income taxes, we collect value added tax at the point of sale on behalf of the Government every day.

Fourth, we are one of the largest consumers of locally manufactured goods in Kenya, meaning that we are major supporters of Kenya’s manufacturing sector. The entertainment and hospitality sectors consume goods ranging from potatoes and vegetables, eggs, milk and meat from Kenyan farmers; glasses, plates, cutlery, napkins, toilet rolls, air freshener, furniture; wheat and maize flour, rice to sodas, beers and spirits, building materials and electronics.

There is no consumer goods production sector in Kenya that does not feel the impact of the entertainment and hospitality sector on a daily basis. No other sector in the country has such a widespread impact on Kenya’s production sectors. Indeed, one of the best regarded companies in Kenya and one of the top tax payers, the East African Breweries, is so successful because we provide the avenues through which their products get consumed every day.

Secondly, our businesses face a myriad of challenges that the Association will be best placed to deal with. These range from the legal to the social environment. As one body, PERAK will seek solutions to these challenges for the betterment of the hospitality and entertainment sector.

We, therefore. decided that a sector whose influence in the economy is so large needs an association. This Association will look into all aspects of the hospitality with a view to streamlining its operations. The following forms our immediate agenda-:

  1. Bring into the fold as many investors as possible through recruitment.
  2. Ensure all our members operate within the constitution and rules, as well as the code of ethics of PERAK.
  3. Liaising with the authorities to tackle such challenges as prohibitive laws, restrictive and unfair trade practices. We will seek a level playing field that enables all investors in this sector a fair chance at making business.
  4. Develop partnerships with hospitality sector bodies, Government agencies and non-governmental organizations that deal with such issues as industry standards, underage drinking and other ills associated with the hospitality and entertainment sector to ensure that we clean up our business environment.

Lastly, I urge all investors in the hospitality and entertainment sectors to join PERAK. This is the only way we can have a strong body capable of dealing with the myriad challenges that confront our businesses from time to time, and have a strong industry lobby that can effectively engage the authorities on our behalf.

Walter L. Reif
National Chairman