The government is optimistic that Vision 2030 will be achieved within the set timeframe, despite major challenges that have hindered its implementation.
The key to the vision was an annual economic growth rate of 10 percent, which, given drawbacks such as the ongoing drought and the coronavirus pandemic, is a long way from being reached in less than a decade by the target date.
On Friday, the Vision 2030 Delivery Board released three progress reports for flagship projects from the plan’s release in 2008 through last year, grouped as 2008-17, 2018-19, and 2019-20.
The draft is intended to make Kenya economically a globally competitive nation by 2030 and rests on three pillars: economy, society and politics.
With nine years remaining and regime changes expected in next year’s elections, ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru said the plan will still go ahead if put into the right hands.
He said Kenya has made tremendous strides since launching Vision 2030 in 2008, highlighting the digitization of government services and the growth of mobile financial technology.
Platforms like eCitizen and Ardhi Sasa have changed lives and given Kenyans more hours to build up the economy.
“With blockchain technology, it means your title deed is yours and people can’t change it,” Mucheru said.
“If you’ve already topped up your property with one bank and want to move it to another, that shouldn’t be a problem, it should be automated.”
The CS said that because of this progress, Kenya conducted a digital census and analyzed the data in four months, compared to four years when the process was done manually.
âWe have made serious and important progress in our countries and in many cases we do not seem to be celebrating. We sometimes focus on the holes and not the big hits we are making, âhe said.
The pillars of Vision 2030 themselves have multiple enablers, including infrastructure, information communication and technology, science, technology and innovation, land reforms, human resource development, security, peacebuilding and conflict resolution.
Values ââand ethics
Others include public service reforms, national value and ethics, and ending drought emergencies.
The aim was to grow the economy by 10 percent per year until 2012.
The 2008-17 progress report documents that 7,646 kilometers of road were built or repaired, with a target of 8,000 kilometers.
“The challenges in the reporting period included: insufficient financing, high investment needs in road construction, high construction and maintenance costs,” says the report.
Further challenges were the insufficient enforcement of traffic regulations and axle load limits.
The report also shows that in the energy subsector, electricity connections increased from 1,060,383 in 2008 to 6,456,516 customers in 2017.
The installed electricity capacity increased from 1,310 MW in 2008 to 2,333 megawatts (MW) in 2017.
According to the relevant report, a total of 2,222 km of roads had been built or repaired by the 2018/19 financial year. This corresponded to a target of 1,788 km in the medium-term plan.
The electricity connection rose to 7,095,039 customers during this period, while the total installed capacity rose from 2,341 in 2017-18 to 2,712 MW.
“To improve connectivity in off-grid areas, two hybrid stations were built,” says the report.
Real gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to have grown by 6.3 percent in 2018, compared with 4.9 percent in 2017.
“The growth was attributed to increased agricultural output, accelerated manufacturing activities, continued growth in transportation and a dynamic service industry,” the report said.
The 2019-20 report describes the resilience of the Kenyan economy to the Covid-19 pandemic and highlights the progress made within the framework of the Foundations for National Transformation.
The report says real GDP grew 2.9 percent.
Key areas of growth included the construction of 1,489 km of new roads while 28,847 km were maintained.
The electricity generation capacity increased by 86.3 megawatts to 2,716.5 MW with over 500,397 connected households and thus to over 7.5 million customers.
454,990 titles were registered in land reforms. Vision 2030 Delivery Board Chair Jane Karuku said more could be achieved in the remaining years.
âNine years can be a long time, but it can also be a very long one. I think we can all achieve a lot, but we can also find that we haven’t moved at all, âsaid Ms. Karuku, managing director of East African Breweries.
Persistent challenges across the three reports include insufficient funding, numerous cases of litigation in government and civil society projects, high relocation costs, delays in land acquisitions and disaggregated data on renewable energy.
“They know how difficult it is to litigate in order to get access to part of the infrastructure from one place to another,” said Rita Kavashe, board member of Vision Delivery and general manager of Isuzu East Africa.
“We experienced these delays, so this geofencing is very critical.”
The reports call for political goodwill and senior management support at the national and district levels to accelerate the development of key projects and programs.
Former chairman of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance Nicholas Nesbitt, who heads the Economic Pillar Committee in the Vision 2030 Delivery Board, said Kenya is on track to achieve the vision as it is now a middle income country and on a top one is heading towards middle income.
âOur core mission is to move the economy up the value chain, and that means moving away from an extractive economy where we mine minerals or harvest agricultural products and ship them overseas,â he said.
“We want to go up the value chain and make sure that more value is created locally before we export.”
Nesbett said if the economic pillar can be reached, the country will reach the 10 percent annual growth rate and sustain it beyond 2030.
This growth depends on several sectors including tourism, agriculture and ranching, manufacturing, information technology, financial services, oil and gas.
Nesbitt said the economic pillar also fits in with the Big Four agenda, which focuses on job production and creation, universal health care, affordable housing and food security.
âAs is well known, the Big Four Agenda is a derivative of the Vision 2030 strategy, it is nothing new. It aims to consolidate the achievement of socio-economic transformation, which in turn will advance the goals of Vision 2030. ”
Tech entrepreneur and board member Juliana Rotich said the reports released actually show how far the country has come and how much it has to go.
“There is a multiplier effect when government agencies do everything they have to to create a conducive environment for this country and it is very important to our ability to create more jobs and fulfill our mandates in our companies,” said called them.