Uhuru's game plan for Big Four agenda - Daily Nation

How Uhuru hopes to achieve Big Four agenda

Tuesday January 23 2018

President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) flanked by his

President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) flanked by his Deputy William Ruto during the launch of Jubilee Party's manifesto on June 26, 2017 in Nairobi. AFP PHOTO | SIMON MAINA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By PATRICK LANG'AT
More by this Author

The Jubilee government plans to create 1.3 million manufacturing jobs by 2022 and achieve a 100 per cent health coverage for every Kenyan.

This means that an average of 706 jobs will have to be created each day to achieve the 1.29 million target.

According to a draft budget policy statement released at the weekend, the government seeks to raise the share of manufacturing sector from nine to 15 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) by 2022, expand food production and supply, provide universal health coverage for all Kenyan homes and build 500,000 affordable houses.

KEY PILLARS

The statement lists specific projects and targets that underpin its four key pillars — manufacturing, universal healthcare, affordable housing, and food security.

“During the next five years, I will dedicate the energy, time and resources of my administration to the Big Four,” President Uhuru Kenyatta said during last year’s Jamhuri Day celebrations when he listed the projects.

Kenyans have until the end of today to give comments on the budget statement which will then be tabled in the National Assembly and the Senate.

In the leather industry, President Kenyatta targets the production of 20 million shoes by 2022, while increasing export revenue in the industry to Sh50 billion in the next five years.

Kenya buys 30 million pairs of shoes a year, yet it has the third-largest cattle herd in Africa.

“The government will ensure that all hides and skins are fully processed locally, personnel trained, 5,000 cottage industries set up, Machakos Leather Park completed and three more leather parks identified,” says Treasury in the policy statement dated January 19.

INVESTORS

On textile, the government is targeting the development of cotton production using hybrids, which will have three times the production yield and give incentives to investors to build modern ginneries and textile manufacturing plants.

Some 50,000 youths and women to be involved in this sector will be trained and five million square feet of industrial sheds established to improve cotton production.

“This will increase revenue from textile industry from Sh3.5 billion to Sh2 trillion, create 500,000 cotton jobs and 100,000 new clothes jobs by 2022,” says the paper.

In this financial year alone, the government is targeting to export Sh7 billion worth of leather products and Sh20 billion worth of textile goods, creating 5,000, and 50,000 jobs, respectively.

In agro-processing — a critical part of Jubilee’s grand plan to shift focus to manufacturing after production — the government plans to support the creation of 1,000 small and medium enterprises and create 200,000 jobs by 2022.

This year, it seeks to attract two global tea processors in Mombasa, regulate the milk hawking business and upgrade Mombasa to a food value-add hub.

At the same time, the Jubilee government targets Sh100 billion in new investments in iron and steel, attract five business process outsourcing (BPO) in telephone, laptop and television assembly plants that it says will attract 10,000 jobs.

FOOD SECURITY

In a bid to increase exports annually by 20 per cent, the government has also proposed the creation of export processing zones, with a specific focus on one in Naivasha, clothes industrial sheds, as well as the construction of the Dongo Kundu Special Economic Zone.

On food security, the government targets to produce 2.76 million bags of maize, potato, rice and feeds in 52,000 acres by the end of this year, with an additional 70,000 acres targeted under public-private partnership for the listed crops, cotton, aquaculture and feeds production.

It also aims to reduce post-harvest losses from 20 to 15 per cent, waive incentives on cereal drying equipment, silos, fishing and aquaculture feed, targeting, among others, two million bags of maize.

Further, the government aims to establish 1,000 SMEs at production level, provide credit to over 20,000 individual farmers, construct a shipyard and increase domestic fishing fleet by 68 vessels in the Coast.

“The government will also transform the Strategic Food Reserve (SFR) targeting 500,000 bags in 2018, two seed potato stores in Nyandarua and Molo and one potato ware store in Nyandarua, three fish storage in Migori and rehabilitation of three landing sites in Migori, Homa Bay and Busia,” the says the statement.

GRASSROOTS

By the end of 2018, the government hopes it will have increased the number of people with health coverage from 16.53 million to 25.74 million, a figure that will hit 51.57 million — Kenya’s projected population by 2022.

“The government will review and amend the National Hospital Insurance Fund Act to align it to the universal health coverage and review the laws governing private insurance companies to encourage investment and bring the cost of cover within the reach of every Kenyan,” it says.

On health, the government will expand the Linda Mama programme — its ambitious free maternity care — to mission and private hospitals, while at the same time “enlisting 100,000 community health volunteers to help in healthcare service provision at the grassroots.

On housing, the government plans to build 500,000 affordable homes in all major cities by 2022, a plan that it says will create 350,000 jobs and raise the contribution of real estate and raise to 14 per cent the contribution of the construction sector to GDP.

To enable this, it plans to reduce corporate tax for developers constructing at least 400 units per year and establish the National Social Housing Development Fund to provide funds.

Further, the government hopes to create the Kenya Homes Refinance Company — a wholesale financial institution to issues bonds in the local capital markets .