The Big Four are rightly pegged on Kenya Vision 2030

President Uhuru Kenyatta

President Uhuru Kenyatta in his address to Kenyans during the 54th Jamhuri Day celebrations on December 12, last year, unveiled what he termed as “The Big Four,” the agenda that will define the Government’s priorities and development path for the 2018–2022 planning cycle.

The Big Four Agenda which is aimed at accelerating economic growth focuses on manufacturing, food security and nutrition, and providing universal health coverage and affordable housing.

As a start, the Big Four Agenda sits in very well within the global, continental and national development contexts. At the global level, the Big Four Agenda is effectively aligned to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, upon which the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are anchored.

At the continental level, the Big Four Agenda aligns well with Africa’s Agenda 2063 themed “The Africa We Want”. This agenda sets out Africa’s aspirations for development by 2063 and is founded on the desire for shared prosperity and well-being, for unity and aspiration, for inclusive growth and people-driven sustainable development.

In the national context, the Big Four are rightly pegged on the Kenya Vision 2030 and well-mainstreamed in the third-Medium Term Plan (2018-2022) of the Vision, due for launch soon. The Big Four Agenda is also a major step in the realisation of the country’s Constitutional obligations. Already, there are indications of wide range of stakeholders wanting to support and partner with the Government on the implementation of the agenda. And herein lies one of the most critical partners in this journey, namely, the County Governments.

Truly, the five-year process of implementing the Big Four Agenda requires holistic approaches that recognise the collaborative roles of both levels of Governments. Furthermore, the integrated nature of the Big Four Agenda calls for inclusive and integrated approaches to its implementation and reporting.

Whereas the National Government still retains the policy function in agriculture, housing, energy, health and national public works, it is noteworthy that devolution of agriculture, health services, county planning and housing, and energy regulation, place counties at the center in the implementation of the Big Four Agenda.

And from this premise, it is impeccable to me that much is expected from my Ministry of Devolution. Let me then highlight some of the key measures I am spearheading in the Ministry of Devolution, which is a key Big Four Agenda implementation institution. First, we have rolled out capacity building for counties and are also offering technical support to enable Counties develop comprehensive County Integrated Development Plans (CIDPs) for the 2018-2022 planning cycle.

The second frontier that we will focus on is the strengthening of strategic partnership with all the counties. In this regard, we shall progressively support County Governments to map out their development priorities to ensure their convergence with the third Medium-Term Plan of Vision 2030 in terms of goals, targets and indicators.

The third area of focus is to support counties in restructuring technical and operational infrastructure. Forth, we will help operationalise strategies aimed at enhancing counties to own revenues sources, broadening the tax bases and eliminating loopholes for tax avoidance. To further boost their revenues, my Ministry will support Counties in developing viable processing zones for locally available resources, hence attract investors.

In sum, the Ministry of Devolution under my stewardship is ready and armed to play its complementary role to ensure that the Big Four Agenda is effectively delivered. We are prepared and equipped as the agent that will facilitate mutual and collaborative partnership between the National and County Governments. Indeed, through this partnership, the Big Four Agenda will become a national aspiration that further cements the inter-dependence and cooperation of the two levels of Government. Furthermore, the multiplier effects of the Big Four Agenda in the country will bedrock the President’s legacy.