'The sacrifices will pay off' Ruto on economy as country marks 60 years of independence

President William Ruto at Uhuru Gardens. [Source: WSR, Twitter]

President William Ruto has said that Kenya’s economy is on an upward trajectory and that the sacrificial measures made by the government and Kenyans at large will soon pay off.

He made the sentiments as he addressed Kenyans during the 60th Jamhuri Day celebrations (Independence Day anniversary) held at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi.

In his 15-page speech, Ruto defended the current tough economic measures saying the country’s economy has been ranked 29th fastest-growing by the World Bank.

He said this was after the East African nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew at a rate of 5.4 per cent in the last six months.

“Though painful, the sacrifices we have made, would not only make our freedom fighters proud but were also absolutely necessary at such a time as we found ourselves in to guarantee our nation’s economic stability. Proudly, these sacrifices have paid off: I can now confirm that Kenya is safely out of the danger of debt distress and that our economy is on a stable footing. The economic indicators point to good news,” he President Ruto said.

He then added: “Inflation is now at 6.8%, down from a high of 9.2% last year. In the last 6 months, our GDP has grown at 5.4%, making Kenya the 29th fastest-growing economy in the world, according to the World Bank. There is no question about it: What we have done together, the price we have paid, and the sacrifices we have made together have rescued our country from an economic catastrophe. After navigating our way out of a complicated debt situation, our second action is to accelerate economic progress, which is the cardinal assignment of our generation,”

His sentiments come at a time when Kenyans are faced with the high cost of fuel and food, as well as the tax burden.

Further, he has reiterated his plans to boost the workforce by increasing funding to the education and training sector, to oversee the building of additional infrastructure, hiring more trainers and the smooth operation of schools, TVETs and universities.

“Our human capital, our innovative, smart-working, professional labour force is probably the single most potent arsenal we have to drive our economic progress. Globally, Kenyans have excelled in semi-skilled, skilled and professional occupations. Our expenditure on training, learning and education in general is a most appropriate investment in developing the human capital necessary in our economic progress,” he has said.

“Recognising this, we have increased the total allocation to our education sector by an additional Sh127 billion. Out of this, Sh46 billion will support the new university funding model, an additional Sh9 billion to cover our TVET funding model and the hiring of an extra 2,000 tutors, an additional Sh47 billion to enable TSC to hire 56,000 teachers and other interventions, and Sh24 billion for basic education to cover the Junior Secondary School, and to support the construction of additional classroom infrastructure,”

The President has also recognized World Athletics Record Holder Faith Kipyegon for breaking two world records in 2023.

He has also feted Ferdinand Omanyala, Mary Moraa, Kevin Kiptum Emmanuel Wanyonyi, and Faith Cherotich for making great strides by raising the country’s flag in the global arena.

Man intercepted trying to disrupt the president's speech a Uhuru Gardens. [Samson Wire, Standard]

During his address, there was a commotion at Uhuru Gardens as a man attempting to disrupt President William Ruto's speech during the 60th Jamhuri Day celebrations was whisked away by security officials.