The government has set the agenda for conversations on President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda through publication of the Kenya Yearbook 2019 booklet which so far offers the most extensive information about the initiative.
“The Big Four Agenda Road to Prosperity” highlights the mega project's agenda, challenges and possible solutions.
“[It] offers an overview and update on how the government is positioning itself to realise the President’s development agenda,” Mr Edward Mwasi, chief executive of the Kenya Yearbook Editorial Board, told the Nation in an interview on Sunday, when the book was launched.
The agenda's pillars are universal health coverage, food security, manufacturing and affordable housing.
Released annually, the book looks at the current year in comparison to the last four or so in an effort to inform Kenyans and the world of what the government intends to achieve.
There have been administrative and operational challenges in the implementation of projects under the agenda but solutions have been identified.
“This edition of the yearbook brings to the front key events and policies shaping Kenya’s social, cultural and economic development," Mr Mwasi said.
"It comes at a critical time; when the government has realigned its medium-term goals to match the four pillars of the Big Four Agenda of Vision 2030 and job creation."
The year's 720-page book, which is smaller, has 29 chapters that explain the various aspects of the Big Four agenda, the country and its people.
“To meet the Big Four, the country has to create the necessary infrastructure, conditions and environment. These include skilled manpower, a conducive legislative regime, transport, electricity, ICT, and good politics. They are called the Big Four Enablers,” the book notes.
As part of the Big Four Agenda, the government is planning 100 percent universal health coverage and an enhanced manufacturing sector to increase the sector's contribution to the gross domestic product from the current 9.2 per cent to 20 percent by 2022.
It is also planning 100 percent food security and construction of at least 500,000 houses per year.
When it comes to infrastructure, the government intends to invest in construction of feeder roads, rehabilitation of 10,000 kilometres of roads, a higher passenger handling capacity and construction of new runaways at airports.
It also intends to increase port infrastructure and facilities and finish the railway project linking Kenya to other East African nations.
To improve governance, the book says the government intends to carry out policy measures aimed at addressing capital flight and procurement reforms.
The book also details the rapid growth and influence of block chain technology, cloud computing and artificial intelligence and notes that they have opened a new route of employment for Kenya’s large base of aspiring and established computing experts.
“These are the technologies driving the fourth industrial revolution currently underway. The government regards them as keys to more efficient and less costly delivery of services to citizens."
It also notes that the Distributed Ledgers Technology and Artificial Intelligence Taskforce of the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology recommended creation of an enabling environment for growth and investment in emerging digital technologies in Kenya.
The recommendations are in the chapter on ICT and media.
“The explosion of social media, smartphones and tablet computers has made e-commerce a reality, connecting us instantly to the global community in areas of communication, entertainment and financial transaction as well as education and government services,” the book notes.
The yearbook also provides information on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions, whose graduates can either seek jobs or become self-employed, and the competency-based curriculum (CBC) that is under implementation.
The CBC was designed by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) to help children develop skills and knowledge useful for real-life situations.
1,850- The number of closed circuit TV cameras installed in Nairobi and Mombasa to improve security.
3,250 - The kilometers of roads constructed or rehabilitated by the national and county governments.
160,749 - The total number of registered health personnel in Kenya in 2017, up from 147,439 in 2016.
12, 937 - The number of registered doctors and dentists serving a population of about 45 million in 2018, according to the Economic Survey.
2,028 - The number of housing units under construction in 2018.
Sh29 billion - The approved government expenditure for flagship housing projects in the 2018/19 fiscal year.
Sh345.1 billion - The value of ICT output in 2017.
85.9 per cent- The penetration rate for mobile subscriptions in 2016, up from 2015, according to the Economic Survey.
497.9 billion - The value of the marketed agricultural production in the past four years, which rose by 11.4 percent to Sh497.9 billion in 2018.
5.3 per cent - The reduction in earnings from tea, which declined to Sh127.7 billion. Coffee earnings fell by 7.5 per cent to Sh14.8 billion in 2018.