30 November 2012

Kenya: Vision 2030 Benefits Can Now Be Seen in Our Ordinary Lives

When His Excellency President Kibaki launched Vision 2030 on June 10, 2008 he called it a "great day in our collective effort to provide all Kenyans with a better future not only for themselves, but also for coming generations". The President further acknowledged that all the three pillars of Kenya Vision 2030 will be anchored on firm foundations of macroeconomic stability; continuity in governance reforms; enhanced equity and wealth creation opportunities for the poor; infrastructure; energy; science, technology and innovation (STI); land reform; human resources development; security; and public sector reforms. Under Vision 2030, Kenya aspires to be a globally competitive and prosperous country with a high quality of life for all citizens in a safe and secure environment.

This year, Vision 2030 marks the end of the implementation phase of the first five years Medium Term Plan for 2008 to 2012. The Vision, which is anchored on three key pillars: Economic; Social; and Political Governance identified a number of flagship projects in every sector to be implemented over the first five years to facilitate the desired growth on a sustainable basis. In addition, the Vision identified projects that will drive growth in key sectors such as agriculture, education, health, water and environment.

In the first five years, priority has been given to those projects that will get the economy back on the growth path. During this period, the implementation of the Vision focused on laying a strong foundation by creating structures, reforms and accountability. This has been a complex exercise that required the dedication and single-minded focus by the key implementers across the government and private sector.

Despite Kenya's economy being affected by multiple adverse domestic (post-election violence and drought) and external (global financial crisis and high oil and commodity prices) shocks at the initial stages of implementation of the Vision, significant gains have been made at the technical level and I am very confident that the benefits have now started being felt by Kenyans with the intended objectives of improving the quality of life.

Social pillar

Strides have been made in education, housing and gender mainstreaming among other reforms.

Education: The Government completed the process of aligning the education system to the new Constitution 2010 and Vision 2030. As a result, Cabinet has approved several Bills: the Education Bill, Kenya National Examinations Council Bill, Kenya Institution of Curriculum Development Bill, Technical and Vocational Education and Training Bill, Universities Bill, Kenya Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Bill, Kenya Qualification Framework Bill, the proposed Policy Framework for Education and Training. This is a major step in our educational system, which will ensure globally competitive human resource and sustainability of the Vision goals.

Health: A new Kenya Medical Supplies Agency board has been constituted and launched and all procurement and distribution of health commodities shifted from Health ministry headquarters to Kemsa to enhance efficiency of medical supplies. The Human Resource Strategy is under implementation. In the 2011-12 financial year, 33 health facilities were either newly constructed or equipped while 14 were under rehabilitation and repairs. The cumulative index for the new constructions and equipping was 70 per cent complete and 21 per cent were over half way.

Housing and urbanisation: The Housing Bill 2011 to facilitate provision of decent and affordable housing to all Kenyans was completed and forwarded to Parliament for approval. Housing units under the civil servants housing scheme are at various stages of completion. Twenty constituency appropriate building centres were established and are operational. A programme on installation of social and physical infrastructure within informal settlements has undertaken projects in Nairobi, Thika, Mavoko, Kisumu, Mombasa, Nakuru, Nyeri, Homabay and Eldoret.

Political pillar

Several laws geared at operationalising the Constitution have been enacted for example the National Land Commission Act 2012, Land Registration Act, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Act (No 9 of 2011), Salaries and Remuneration Commission Act (No 10 of 2011), Political Parties Act (No 11 of 2011), Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Act (No 22 of 2011), Commission on Administrative Justice Act (No 23 of 2011), Elections Act (No 24 of 2011), National Police Service Commission Act (No 30 of 2011) and Public Appointments (Parliamentary Approval) Act, 2011 (No 33 of 2011).

The establishment of the Judicial Service Commission and upgrade in infrastructure geared towards implementation of the judiciary transformation framework is well underway.

1. As relates to water resources management and development, the construction of 24 medium sized dams is underway, with Maruba dam already complete with a storage capacity of 2.4 Million cubic metres. Construction of Kiserian, Badassa and Chemususu dams are at an advanced stage. To facilitate weather forecasting and planning, a total of 451 out of 600 meteorological stations have been installed so far, while the remaining 149 will be completed before June 2013.

2. Security wise, The Independent Police Oversight Authority and the National Police Service Commission have been formed. The Commission is already gearing up for the appointment of the Inspector General of Police Services before the end of the year. The establishment of a Forensic Laboratory is at 60% progress while the National Security Data Centre is now operational. In response to terror threats, the government has enhanced CCTV surveillance in Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa.

3. In education and training, education reforms are well underway and the Education Policy Sessional Paper has been approved by Cabinet. Seven Bills have been approved by Cabinet and the Teachers Service Commission Bill has been enacted. This is a major step in the reform of our education system, which will ensure globally competitive human resources and sustainability of the Vision goals. Key highlights of the Policy include enhancing relevance, access and equity; curriculum and assessment reviews; introduction of multi-track approach; teacher development and management; and private sector participation.

4. In the gender, children and vulnerable groups sector. Social protection policy has been approved by cabinet and bill is in drafting stage. The Women Enterprise Fund has reported success in providing loans to 170,307 women across the country during the last financial year 2011/12, and since inception in 2007, more than 484,245 women have received loans. Over 170,000 poor vulnerable households are already benefitting from cash transfer programmes (120,000) households under the OVC Programme, 33,000 households under the Older Persons Programme and 14,700 under the Disability Fund).

5. Progress in the Environment Sector is moderate. Removal of squatters in Mau Forest and a re-planting plan is in place to cover over 40,000 hectares. The National Action Plan on Climate Change is complete. Establishment of 9 Kilometre wildlife corridor linking Mt Kenya Forest Reserve and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy (LWC) to the North East of Mt Kenya was surveyed mapped and electric fence constructed on both side of the corridor. Resource mapping for securing wildlife corridors is still on-going while waste management within the local authorities is now under consideration by the respective Local Authorities. Proposals currently under consideration include a youth integration component to spur job creation in urban waste and environmental management. Already, Five municipalities have been earmarked to utilize solid waste for economic purposes such as Bio-Gas production.

6. Efforts to mainstream the Youth and Sports sector are also underway as evidenced by the development of the Sports Development Policy. The Youth Enterprise Fund has helped foster development in its role as the only targeted support platform geared at youth empowerment. Since its inception in 2006, the Fund has had a number of accomplishments: It has disbursed Kshs.6.5 billion to 160,000 youth enterprises (Kshs. 750 Million through constituency loans and Kshs. 5.8 Billion through financial intermediaries). It has also offered Training to over 200,000 youth in entrepreneurship in collaboration with other partners besides facilitating the formation of 24 youth Saccos. To complement existing efforts, various government agencies have opened pro-active efforts to seek Public Private Partnerships to meet the ambitious infrastructure needs in the sports sector through advertising and related concessions.

7. Judicial and Electoral reforms have already recorded high levels of success. As outlined by the Constitution Implementation Commission (CIC) under fifth schedule, majority of the Bills set to be enacted by August 2012 have already been assented to law by the President. In addition, the Cabinet has recently approved the Sessional Paper on National Values and Principles of Governance.

8. On the Enablers and Macro Economic Pillar, major strides have already been made. The Lamu Port and South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor formal groundbreaking ceremony was held on March 2nd, 2012 at Lamu. As part of our Government's commitment, funding to the tune of US$ 200million has already been set aside for the construction of the three berths at the port and the procurement process is now underway.

9. The dredging of Mombasa Port to deepen and widen the harbour channel commenced in July 2012 and is now complete. Some of the dredged material will be used to form the base of the second container terminal with the capacity to handle up to 600,000 TEUS whose construction is ahead of schedule. On the same score, the improvement of Mombasa Port is now underway with the construction of a second container terminal having commenced in February 2011 and is on schedule.

10. The road infrastructure scene is perhaps the project that most Kenyans would visibly see and celebrate its impact on their daily lives. On this front, The Nairobi-Thika Highway is almost complete. The construction of Nairobi Western Ring Roads is on schedule. The construction of Upper hill and Eastleigh roads has commenced and the major roads linking Kenya to Ethiopia are currently under construction. At the port city of Mombasa, the construction of Dongo Kundu Southern by pass to commence by January 2013, designs are complete, JICA to fund the project to a tune of Kshs29 billion.

11. Rail services developments are also on course. Already, the Syokimau commuter rail station development is complete. Thirty more stations are set to be built over the next years and similar commuter rail systems are now planned for Kisumu and Mombasa.

12. In the Energy sector, tremendous achievements have been realized. Already, the Geothermal Development Corporation has so far drilled six (6) wells in Menengai. Three wells have already been tested and returned a potential of 30MW. The construction of Olkaria IV, was commissioned by H.E. President Mwai Kibaki on 23rd July 2012. This project is expected to generate an additional 280MW to the national grid, raising the capacity to 1,553MW. The Lake Turkana wind energy project, earmarked to generate 300MW faced difficulties reaching financial close but is now expected to commence soon. 475km way-leaves have been acquired and valuation completed for the Mombasa-Nairobi 475km 220/400kV Transmission line.

As the Chairman of the Vision 2030 delivery Board, I have full faith in the successful implementation of hte Vision 2030 strategy. I am confident that as we come to the close of the first phase, we have laid a strong foundation for the strategy. In the coming phase, i am confident that turn around time for projects will be shortened due to the existence of efficient structures and processes developed and perfected during this first phase. Notwithstanding obvious and unforeseen challenges, the journey towards ensuring that Kenya is ranked as newly industrialised country is firmly on course.

Dr James Mwangi is Chairman of the Vision 2030 Delivery Board

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