1 January 2014

Kenya: Uhuru Kenyatta's New Year Message


Fellow Kenyans, Friends of Kenya

I am pleased to send you this goodwill message and New Year Greetings.

We thank God for the year ending. It was the year in which we put our detractors to shame by holding a peaceful and successful election, a year in which we ushered in devolution, and a year in which we celebrated the golden jubilee of our independence.

We had tough challenges along the way, but we had the resolve to tackle them in order to deliver improved lives to our people as outlined in our Jubilee manifesto. We are firmly on track.

We look to 2014 with great enthusiasm and optimism. At Jamhuri Day I committed to national unity as one of my driving objectives, and so in 2014 my Administration will pursue a theme of "Reconciliation and Unity towards inclusive growth". Unity is important for us as a nation. Coming out of the Christmas period, it details the message, "Love your neighbour as you love yourself" and "Do unto others what you would have them do to you."

Fellow Kenyans

Friends of Kenya

Last year, my Administration launched a number of projects that form the plank of the Jubilee manifesto. Free maternity services have moved our country closer to achieving Millennium Development Goal Number 5 on improving maternal health and eased the pain of childbirth for many mothers. It has also greatly improved our monitoring of HIV prevalence.

Our laptops programme for primary entry children will begin in earnest in the coming weeks. Thousands of jobs will come on stream as the construction of the standard gauge railway gets underway in earnest from Mombasa. Similarly, more jobs are on the way as our programme to irrigate one million acres of land becomes a reality, starting in Tana River and Kilifi Counties. In 2014, the Jubilee manifesto will come alive. Billions of shillings of investment in our energy sector will also start pouring in this year, raising the ante on our plan to add 5,000 megawatts of electricity on the national grid in the next 36 months, and to lower electricity prices by at least 50 per cent in that period.

Fellow Kenyans

Friends of Kenya

The Jubilee Coalition is committed to inclusive growth and improving the lives of all our people. Whatever it takes to do so - be it by legislation or policy that transforms our political, economic or social structures to accelerate growth - we shall do so. Access to education, clean water, health services - these are imperatives that our people should and must have access to.

As an Administration, our primary responsibility is security of our people and their property. In the last quarter of 2013 we launched two major policing initiatives - one in which the communities are deeply involved, "Nyumba Kumi", and the second, a technology-driven strategic operation, including the use of CCTV in the streets of our major cities and towns, and broadband connectivity at border points. We have invested heavily in surveillance equipment and in vehicles, which we believe will help drive crime away from our shores. That said, let me remind all of us that security is a shared responsibility. All of us have a role to play in ensuring safety for all Kenyans. All of us must commit to the rule of law.

Fellow Kenyans

Friends of Kenya

The New Year should see further progress in our agenda to ensure free movement of persons in eastern Africa and greater integration on the continent. We will continue to work with our neighbours in East Africa to drive that agenda. We will also work to help each other, as east African countries, to resolve security challenges that may crop up from time to time.

As you are already aware, we as a region are hard at work resolving the crisis in South Sudan. With our partners in IGAD, we have appointed special envoys to seek a negotiated settlement of the crisis and to protect the fledgling democracy in Africa's youngest nation. It is a task that we are committed to seeing to complete fruition. We salute our men and women in uniform, as well as all others, involved in evacuating Kenyans from South Sudan and delivering emergency supplies. We also salute our men and women in uniform involved in peace-keeping and peace-enforcement around the world, especially those with AMISOM in Somalia. We are safe if our region is safe.

Fellow Kenyans

Friends of Kenya

I call on all Kenyans to play their part in making our shared dream of growth and prosperity a reality. All of us should partner with the National and County Governments as we seek to implement the various Vision 2030 projects and programmes. I, for one, believe we can achieve the goals of Vision 2030 a decade earlier.

As we move forward, I urge all leaders to pursue a brand of politics that helps to improve the welfare of the citizens of this country. We must avoid parochial and divisive politics, and embrace a national culture that will define us positively in the next 50 years and beyond. Our national agenda must be progressive, issue-based and people-centred. On the part of the Government, we will encourage mature and responsible engagement among leaders; among the three arms of the Government and between Business and Government.

I wish you all a happy and blessed 2014.


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