Plane 2030 inches ahead amid headwinds
The government is optimistic about achieving Vision 2030 on schedule despite the major challenges that have hampered its implementation.
Key to the vision was a 10% annual economic growth rate, which is far from being achieved within a decade of the target date due to drawbacks such as perpetual drought and the coronavirus pandemic.
On Friday, the Vision 2030 Implementation Council released three progress reports for flagship projects from the unveiling of the plan in 2008 through last year, grouped into 2008-17, 2018-19 and 2019-20. .
The plan aims to transform Kenya into an economically competitive nation on a global scale by 2030 and is based on three pillars: economic, social and political.
With nine years remaining and regime changes expected in next year’s election, ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru said the plan will still be realized when it is in good hands.
He said Kenya had made huge strides since 2008, when Vision 2030 was unveiled, citing the digitization of government services and the growth of mobile financial technology as highlights.
Platforms like eCitizen and Ardhi Sasa, he said, have transformed lives and put more hours in the hands of Kenyans to build the economy.
“With blockchain technology, that means your title to property is yours and people cannot change it,” Mr. Mucheru said.
“If you’ve already debited your property from one bank and want to move it to another, this shouldn’t be a problem, it should be automated.”
The SC said that due to these advances, Kenya conducted a digital census and analyzed the data in four months compared to four years when the process was manual.
“We have made serious and important progress in our countries and in many cases we do not seem to be happy. Sometimes we focus on the holes and not on the big hits we make, ”he said.
The pillars of Vision 2030 themselves have several catalysts including infrastructure, communication and information technology, science, technology and innovation, land reforms, human resource development, security. , peacebuilding and conflict resolution.
Values and ethics
Others are civil service reforms, national values and ethics, and ending drought emergencies.
The goal was to grow the economy by 10% per year by 2012.
The progress report for 2008-17 documents that 7,646 kilometers of roads have been built or repaired against a target of 8,000 km.
“Some of the challenges encountered during the period included: inadequate financing, high capital investment needs in road construction, high construction and maintenance costs,” the report said.
Other challenges included inadequate enforcement of traffic rules and axle load limits.
The report further shows that in the energy sub-sector, connections to electricity increased to 6,456,516 customers in 2017, up from 1,060,383 in 2008.
The installed electrical capacity increased to 2,333 megawatts (MW) in 2017, compared to 1,310 MW in 2008.
During the 2018-19 financial year, the corresponding report shows that a total of 2,222 km of roads were built or repaired. This was against a target of 1,788 km in the medium-term plan.
The connection to electricity during this period increased to 7,095,039 customers, while the total installed capacity rose to 2,712 MW against 2,341 in 2017-2018.
“To improve connectivity in off-grid areas, two hybrid stations were built,” the report reads.
Real gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to have grown 6.3% in 2018, up from 4.9% in 2017.
“The growth has been attributed to increased agricultural production, acceleration of manufacturing activities, sustained growth in transport and dynamic industries in the service sector,” the report said.
The 2019-20 report, while detailing the resilience of the Kenyan economy in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, highlights the progress made under the Foundations for National Transformation.
The report says real GDP grew 2.9 percent.
Key areas of growth included the construction of 1,489 km of new roads, while 28,847 km were maintained.
Power generation capacity increased by 86.3 megawatts to 2,716.5 MW with over 500,397 homes connected, bringing the total to over 7.5 million customers.
Regarding land reforms, 454,990 titles were registered. Vision 2030 board chair, Jane Karuku, said more can be achieved in the years to come.
“Nine years can be long, but it can also be very long. I think there are a lot of things we can all achieve, but we can also end up not having moved at all, ”said Ms Karuku, Managing Director of East African Breweries.
Ongoing challenges that cut across the three reports include inadequate funding, numerous cases of litigation over projects by agencies and civil society, high cost of resettlement, delays in land acquisition and disaggregated energy data. renewable.
“You know how difficult it is to go through legal battles trying to access infrastructure from one place to another,” said Rita Kavashe, board member of Vision Delivery and CEO of Isuzu East Africa.
“We have experienced these delays, so this geofencing is very critical. ”
The reports call for political goodwill and support from senior leaders at the national and county levels to accelerate the development of key projects and programs.
Former Kenya Private Sector Alliance Chairman Nicholas Nesbitt, who heads the economic pillar committee of the Vision 2030 Delivery Board, said Kenya is on track to achieve the vision as it is now a middle income country. and is heading towards an upper middle income.
“Our main mandate is to move the economy up the value chain and that means moving from an extractive economy where we extract minerals or harvest agricultural products and ship them overseas,” he said. .
“We want to move up the value chain and make sure that there is more value created locally before exporting. ”
Nesbett said that if the economic pillar can be achieved, the country will achieve the annual growth rate of 10% and maintain it beyond 2030.
This growth depends on several sectors including tourism, agriculture and animal husbandry, manufacturing, information technology, financial services, oil and gas.
Nesbitt said the economic pillar also dovetails with the Big Four agenda which focuses on manufacturing and job creation, universal health care, affordable housing and food security.
“As we know, the Big Four Agenda is a derivation of the Vision 2030 strategy, it is not something new. It aims to consolidate the achievement of socio-economic transformation which in turn will propel the goals of the Vision 2030. ”
Juliana Rotich, a tech entrepreneur and also a board member, said the published reports actually showed how far the country has come and how far it still has to go.
“There is a multiplier effect when government agencies do what they need to do to create a favorable environment for this country, and it is very important for our ability to create more jobs and fulfill our mandates in our companies.” , she said. noted.