President Uhuru Kenyatta unveiled what he termed as “The Big Four” economic development plan during his speech at the 54th Jamhuri Day celebrations at the Kasarani stadium.
Uhuru pinpointed food security, affordable housing, manufacturing and affordable healthcare as the key aspects his administration would be focusing on during his second term in office.
“On reflection, I came up with four responses to your concerns. I call them the Big Four: food security, affordable housing, manufacturing and affordable healthcare for all. During the next 5 years, I will dedicate the energy, time and resources of my Administration to the Big Four,” he said in his Jamhuri Day speech.
“The Big Four will create jobs, which will enable our people to meet their basic needs. Jobs will transform the lives of our people from that of hardship and want, to new lives of greater comfort and well-being. And that is the future I have seen.”
While placing heavy emphasis on the expansion of the manufacturing sector, Uhuru said that his administration would focus on boosting four manufacturing sub-sectors; the Blue Economy, Agro-Processing, Leather, and Textiles.
The Head of State reiterated the need for local manufacturing. Among other things, he directed that the Defence Forces procure all leather products from the local industry, effective the financial year 2018/2019.
“As part of the Big Four, our tea, coffee, meat, fruits, and vegetables will be processed locally. This way, we will obtain more value from our produce, and create more jobs and wealth for Kenyans,” he said.
For affordable housing, the president promised to make “every Kenyan a property owner” and that by the end of his second term, half a million more Kenyans will own homes.
“Under my Big Four plan, for the same amount of money you pay today as rent, you will be able to own your home, and it will be a decent house, built to modern standards,” he said.
According to the president, this would be achieved by reducing the cost of mortgages and construction materials.
In his universal healthcare plan, Uhuru promised to undertake major policy and administrative reforms in the medical sector.
“That plan requires strong collaboration between the NHIF (National Hospital Insurance Fund) and our private sector insurance providers. We will review the rules governing private insurers, to bring the cost of cover within the reach of every Kenyan,” said the president.
On food security, President Kenyatta said:
“The Ministries of Agriculture and Irrigation will publish terms and conditions by which commercial farmers will be able to lease idle agricultural land owned by the government, the better to raise our production of strategic crops,” he proclaimed.
“The Big Four will create jobs, which will enable our people to meet their basic needs. Jobs will transform the lives of our people from that of hardship and want, to new lives of greater comfort and well being.”
The president said that achieving the Big Four required skilled Kenyans thus necessitating the implementation of the new education curriculum and enabling industry-led technical and vocational education and training.