Private sector yet to embrace Vision 2030

Sunday September 2 2012

By MWANIKI WAHOME [email protected]

The private sector is yet to embrace Vision 2030 as envisaged, leading to delays in implementation of projects meant to lay the ground for economic take-off of the country.

Senior government officers say this is the major challenge facing implementation of projects set out  in the first medium term plan that lays the foundation for a 10 per cent growth of the economy per year to power the country to middle-income status by 2030.

“We envisaged private sector participation but it has been very low. The government has ended up using funds to implement projects that were initially expected to be done by private investors,” said Planning minister Wycliffe Oparanya last week when he launched 19 steering groups for the second medium term plan that runs from 2013 to 2017.

Planning permanent secretary Edward Sambili said lack of enough fund was a major impediment to implementing Vision 2030 projects on schedule. He said part of the problem was low level of savings and investments.

“There is a need to increase the investment ratio from between 15 and 18 per cent to 30 per cent,” he said. Except the Thika superhighway, which is almost ready, other mega projects are still in formative stages. The Northern and Eastern by-passes are 52 per cent complete.

Other projects include Lapsset — which will connect Kenya to northern neighbours South Sudan and Ethiopia. The project is estimated to cost Sh2.5 trillion and was launched in March.

Kenya and Uganda also have a memorandum of understanding to construct a standard gauge railway line. This is another project that is yet to take off.

Another project lagging behind is the Metropolitan Bus Transit System. Construction of a light rail for Nairobi and its suburbs is, however, nearly completed.

Nairobi is yet to be turned into a 24-hour economy; while construction  of 100,000 housing units a year as envisaged is yet to materialise.

Private sector participation has not been satisfactory, with most investors feeling overwhelmed by government bureaucracy.

They want the Public Procurement Act, which was recommended by Bretton Woods institutions to fight corruption, amended to cut off bureaucracy and enable faster settlement of disputes.

For instance, very few private investors have shown interest in setting up businesses in the proposed Konza city that is touted as the country’s silicon valley.