The launched Jubilee manifesto has avoided giving an economic growth target but promised to establish a ‘broad-based inclusive and modern economy’.
In a colourful manifesto that promises to transform the country into a middle-income nation, the Jubilee administration says it will reduce and eliminate wastage in the utilisation of public resources to generate Sh1 trillion in savings over five years.
The savings, it says, will be applied to enhance the country’s productive capacity and pay off its national debt.
“A growing economy must work for all Kenyan citizens. We will continue to build a middle-income society for the benefit of all. We will work towards high, rapid and inclusive economic growth to create wealth and reduce inequalities and thus improve the lives of all citizens,” President Uhuru Kenyatta said yesterday during the launch.
Uhuru said his government will reduce the cost of living by stabilising the cost of food, energy and transport.
“In the short term, we will ensure no Kenyan will die from famine and the effects of the recent drought are mitigated by working with the private sector to import and distribute additional grain,” he said.
Unlike the previous manifesto that clearly promised double digit growth, the Jubilee administration has avoided to be tied down by a specific figure.
“Kenya’s economic growth over the past four years has been resilient and robust, reaching a high of 5.8 per cent in 2016 and exceeding the African average of 1.5 per cent,” the manifesto reads in part.
Uhuru said during his first term in office, a total of Sh25 billion had been transferred to the medium and small enterprises through Youth, Uwezo and Women Enterprise funds.
This, he said, had provided support to close to 15 million people who have been enabled to set up businesses and provide for their families as a result.
On the infrastructure front, the Jubilee administration is promising to construct the Mombasa-Nairobi six lane highway toll road, which it says together with the standard gauge railway (SGR) will transform the 450km between the two cities into one large and vibrant economic zone.
Jubilee also plans to construct the second phase of the SGR from Nairobi to Naivasha, ensuring that at least 40 per cent of the contract value is allocated to Kenyan companies.
The Jubilee government will also complete the development of new power plants under construction including the 310 MW Lake Turkana Wind Power Plant (the largest wind power plant in Africa) and the two units in Olkaria that will add another 210 MW to the grid.
“The shilling has remained stable against major world currencies and interest rates have stabilised following the capping of interest rates and continued tight monetary policy,” the manifesto said.
The President said for two years in a row, Kenya has been ranked as the third most improved country globally in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business survey, making Kenya an attractive investment destination.
“As a result, about 200 international companies have established offices in Kenya; at least 20 of which have been established as regional headquarters,” the Head of State said.
Uhuru is also the candidate for the ruling coalition in the presidential election in August.
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The Jubilee administration says it is targeting to improve Kenya’s global ranking (92nd) on Doing Business Indicators to within the top 50 and further lower the cost of doing business for both domestic and foreign investors.
In the next five years, Jubilee says it will install street lights in all urban centres to facilitate the 24-hour economy and ensure that by 2020 all Kenyans will be connected to electricity either from the national grid or an off-grid source.
Uhuru further said if re-elected, he will ensure that by 2022 at least one million entrepreneurs in the Jua Kali sector, which contributes close to 25 per cent of the GDP will have become established as formal enterprises.
The sector employs 11 million Kenyans, 50 per cent of the country’s workforce.
As part of its initiative to build what it is calling the blue economy, Jubilee says it will build fishing ports in Shimoni, Mombasa, Kilifi and Lamu expected to create 12,000 jobs and add Sh20 billion to the country’s GDP.
It will also raise Kenya’s per capita consumption of fish from the current 4.6kg per person every year to the African average of 10kg per person every year.
The ruling coalition also plans to revive the Kenya National Shipping Line and develop the maritime transport sector including shipping, shipbuilding and repair, marine engineering, marine insurance, logistical support and finance, which Jubilee says has potential to create at least 50,000 quality jobs.
In the next five years, the Jubilee administration will also seek to increase revenue generation to achieve a Tax Effort of 27 per cent of GDP from the current 19 per cent of GDP by putting a strong focus on improved technology and intelligence-led tax practices that support national priorities.
“To achieve the desired growth and job creation goals, we will increase the level of savings from 18.3 per cent to 25.3 per cent by 2022,” the manifesto reads in part.
It adds: “We will boost national savings by creating a National Sovereign Wealth Fund, which will mandate that at least five per cent of revenues from the extractive industries are saved for this generation and generations to come. In addition, we shall roll out M-Akiba, the online people investments platform.”