4 December 2017

Kenyatta Aims to Create Jobs in First 100 Days

Photo: Jennifer Muiruri
Construction on Thika Road (file photo).

Creation of jobs for the youth and constructing houses for low-income earners will be President Uhuru Kenyatta's focus in office in the first 100 days of his second and final term.

It has emerged that the President wants to bank on the foundation created since 2013 to open up more industries that will spur job creation.

On housing, a ground breaking, affordable housing project is expected to start in March 2018 with slum upgrading beginning in June.

President Kenyatta's Cabinet has been camping at the Treasury discussing how the government's first 100 days development agenda will be rolled out.

The Cabinet Secretaries have been going through all the promises made during the campaign trail and coming up with ways of implementing them.

"He calls the CSs even during the meeting to know the progress. This tells you how serious this meeting is. Job creation will be the main agenda before moving to other agendas," a Treasury insider told the Nation.

JOB CREATION

In focus will be the Ministry of Manufacturing, Trade and Industry mostly responsible for creating these jobs.

The ministry is currently headed by Adan Mohamed.

During his swearing in last Tuesday, the Head of State underlined the importance of job creation for the young population as one of his administration's topmost priority.

"In this regard, we will target manufacturing. As you know our manufacturing sector is the primary vehicle for the creation of decent jobs. We will build on ongoing efforts, such as the VW and Peugeot motor-vehicle assembly plants; the fertiliser blending factories; and Wrigleys in the confectionery industry. Similarly, we will target the creation of 1,000 small and medium scale enterprises in agro-processing," he said.

To achieve this, large businesses and manufacturers that operate during night hours have had their power tariffs cut by up to a third beginning Friday.

NEGATIVE TREND

In his campaign before the nullified August 8 election, the President pledged to reverse the negative trend of job losses and initiate an ambitious programme to create 1.3 million jobs annually for the next five years if re-elected.

In 2013, he pledged a million jobs a year but had a shortfall of 200,000.

"Over my term, we will grow and sustain the manufacturing sector and raise its share of the national cake from nine to 15 per cent," the President said.

State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu said the President will provide more details of his plan for job creation in his Jamhuri Day address to the nation..

Jubilee government also intends to continue with the Youth Fund and Uwezo Fund launched in 2013 to provide loans to the youth, and also launch Biashara Bank while a Youth Development Council would facilitate training and mentorship for youth.

TRANSFORMATION

In the Industrialisation ministry's 10-year transformation programme, CS Adan says the ease of doing business and achievements in different infrastructural projects have accelerated economic development and employment in the country.

A report by the ministry states that 59 export processing zones in 20 counties have been created. It also cites the revival of the Pan Paper Mills. At no cost to the government, the pan paper project will create 2,000 jobs for Bungoma residents while another 200 have been created at Rai Paper Mills.

An additional 50,000 jobs will be created once the Kenya Leather Park in Machakos is complete and another 110,000 opportunities will be created for Kisumu residents when the East African Breweries plant is complete.

A memo by Treasury CS Henry Rotich identifies manufacturing as one of the areas of immediate focus.

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