The Jubilee administration has pledged to reverse the negative trend of job losses and initiate an ambitious programme to create 1.5 million jobs annually for the next five years if re-elected.
In its revised manifesto launched last evening, the ruling party says it has prioritised youth employment and targets to have created at least 6.5 million jobs by 2022.
Against the background of few firms hiring, high food prices and high cost of living in their time in office since 2013, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto said they have a strategy to turn the tide and grow the economy.
“Employment creation is at the heart of the next Jubilee administration’s priorities,” President Kenyatta said at the launch of the policy document at the Safaricom Indoor Arena. “We will concentrate investments in the sectors that are growth-oriented and job-creating.”
In 2013, the duo pledged a million jobs a year but had a shortfall of 200,000 with 10 per cent of that in the formal sector, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics figures show.
Creation of formal jobs reduced by a third last year from 128,000 in 2015 and 134,200 in 2013, the KNBS report, also known as the Economic Survey 2017, showed.
The revised manifesto is an expansion of the 2013 document, in which the regime targeted industrialisation, security, jobs and national unity—things it did not achieve.
In most cases, the manifesto seeks to correct the mistakes realised from 2013.
While it intends to continue with the Youth Fund and Uwezo Fund launched in 2013 to provide loans to the youth, Jubilee says it will launch Biashara Bank while a Youth Development Council would facilitate training and mentorship for youth.
The Jubilee Party manifesto pledges that its next government would publish an annual report of contractors hired by the government. Critics have often said that ‘tenderpreneurship’ has thrived.
Build more roads, complete the Lamu Port, expand the Port of Mombasa, extend the standard gauge railway to Kisumu and expand the Mombasa-Nairobi highway to a six-lane thoroughfare.
Make Jua Kali a formal sector by 2022 and launch an industry in every county.
Establish the General Services Agency (GSA), which will procure all supplies and office space for the government.
Sovereign Wealth Fund will save at least 5 per cent of extractive industry revenues.
Gradually lower exportation of raw agricultural materials and double export of processed agricultural products.
Achieving a 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary school with free education in all public day secondary schools and double the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) funds to give loans and bursaries to students in technical and vocational education training institutes (TVET) and universities.