President Uhuru Kenyatta has outlined his mission to deliver a myriad of development projects from manufacturing to agriculture and health, to housing, and technological transformation to guarantee his legacy. He has pledged to deliver on the dreams and expectations of fellow Kenyans, making life better for all.
To achieve his vision in the next five years, it will not be business as usual. He has development goals that have been put in the context of time, and are aimed at changing perceptions by the time he and his team leave at the end of his second and final term.
It will also be significant because its success will lay the foundation for the continuation of the work of the Jubilee brigade to form the next government in 2022.
He will have to show that his plan embodies the dreams of multiple stakeholders and generations, a majority of whom are a youthful and impatient generation.
It is, however, mission possible that requires a business unusual approach that is complementary to the public service set-up.
It will require a combination of the work of seasoned hands delivering missions across geographies and cultures, people with the business and commercial appreciation of project development and implementation. It will require the Executive and the Legislature and bureaucracy to facilitate its conceptualisation and operationalisation.
The technocrats must ensure seamless midwifing of the bureaucratic process to deliver projects on time.
The President will have to roll up his sleeves with more gusto to entrench his image as a firm, decisive, inclusive, and visible leader. He will have to be audible and visible every day, seeking professionals to help him deliver.
He will have to cast his eyes far and wide, to “borrow, beg or steal” ideas, people and experiences from the best, to assemble his “dream team”, the President’s “Smart Development Team” that delivers the finesse of his mission and legacy.
His team will need to sell a blueprint that clearly outlines everyone’s role in it. He will have to look at the developed and developing countries that have achieved a lot such as the Tiger economies of Asia, China, and, of course, our peers in Africa.
And we could borrow from the famous janitor story with President JF Kennedy at the American space centre in 1961.
President Kennedy’s wish to put man on the moon came true on July 20, 1969. Neil Armstrong became the first human to step on the moon.
It took less than 10 years to put a US flag on the moon. While touring the space centre, he introduced himself to a janitor who was mopping the floor and asked him what he did at Nasa. The janitor replied: “I’m helping put a man on the moon!” The janitor got it. He understood the vision, and his part in it.
Our President has a similar task to ensure that everyone gets it. His mission is to deliver 500,000 new housing units. I am sure someone, if not the President himself has already thought through the plan to define the type of houses, accessories and facilities. Where they will built, why, and by who, who will live in them, and the cost.
These houses may be located on the periphery of major towns and county capitals, where land is affordable.
They will need new or improved infrastructure – roads, water, sewerage, broadband, schools, hospitals, markets, and food. They will need planners, lawyers, doctors, engineers, sociologists environmentalists, statisticians, negotiators, accountants, bankers, economists, and communicators to play their part. This will need careful and accurate statistical inputs from various sectors and professionals. The Smart Development Team will have to work smart to transform the President’s mission into the greatest phase of development in the country’s history.
Mr Omondi is a consultant in marketing, communications and public relations and a partner at Audimu [email protected]