It's a race against time for Vision 2030 economic blueprint

The Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat (VDS) has identified the disconnect between the programme and the private sector as one of its priorities in the rollout of its 2023-2027 strategic plan.

The office, which is responsible for tracking and spearheading the country’s economic transformation to a middle-income nation, has also identified incomplete and abandoned projects as major threats to the achievement of the economic blueprint.

Kenya Vision 2030, which is a brainchild of the late President Mwai Kibaki, proposes to transform Kenya into a middle-income industrialised economy by the year 2030. The strategic plan has two key goals - effective leadership in the delivery of Kenya Vision 2030 transformation agenda and a robust and dynamic institution.

With just six years remaining before the expiry of its mandate, VDS admits time could be running out.

“There is low prioritisation or shifting of funding for implementation of Vision 2030 programmes and projects, resulting in incomplete or abandoned programmes and projects,” says the secretariat. It hopes to accelerate the vision’s flagship programmes and also those under President William Ruto’s Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA). The secretariat has identified the private sector as one of the stakeholders that will play a critical role in the achievement of this goal.

It has also offered to be an intermediary between ministries, departments and agencies and the private sector.

The secretariat will also create linkages with the government and provide information on bankable Kenya Vision 2030 projects.

It expects the private sector to take up more than two-thirds of Kenya Vision 2030 programmes and projects through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs).

“It [private sector] will take up at least 70 per cent of the project’s investment through Public-Private Partnership in the implementation of Kenya Vision 2030 projects,” reads the plan.

The private sector will also be expected to provide information and feedback on challenges faced in the implementation of flagship projects, sustainably invest and promote environmental sustainability in their implementation.

The secretariat cites insufficient budget allocation resulting from the slow uptake of public-private arrangements and proposes an alternative financing model for flagship projects. “To tackle this issue, enhancing engagements with the private sector was necessary,” it says.

“Moreover, conducting periodic reviews of the VDS plans to align with shifting government priorities would have been beneficial in addressing this lesson learnt.”

VDS targets these collaborations with the private sector to also cushion the inadequate funding from the exchequer. The strategic plan has a financing gap of Sh1.5 billion against a required budget of Sh2.7 billion.

The secretariat estimates to receive Sh1.2 billion from the Exchequer over the five years. It says a recent mid-term review of the strategic plan for the period 2018/19-2022/23 revealed that the implementation was on track and its outcome has emphasised the need for a comprehensive review of the current strategy and the development of a new five-year VDS Strategic Plan (2023/24-2027/2028).

“This new strategic plan will enable effective implementation of MTP (medium-term plan) IV and effectively meet stakeholders’ expectations. Additionally, a two-year transition strategy is required for the period from July 2028 to June 2030, which will conclude the current vision and lay the foundation for the next Vision for the country,” reads the plan.

Kenya Vision 2030 is divided into three pillars - social, political and economic.

Some of the projects and programmes under the economic pillar included putting 404,800 hectares under irrigation by 2017 in the arid and semi-arid areas of Turkana and Tana Delta, implementing a fertiliser cost reduction strategy, a leaf that President Ruto has borrowed as well with the current fertiliser subsidy, and establishing four Disease Free Zones (DFZ) to facilitate access to Kenyan meat, leather and leather products to local, regional and international markets. These zones are to be located at the Coast, covering Kwale, Mombasa, Kilifi, Tana River, Lamu and parts of Taita Taveta counties. The secretariat notes that the turbulent global economic shocks as a result of Covid-19, climate change, the Russia-Ukraine conflict and exchange rate volatility that have impacted negatively trade and investment, leading to high inflation and increased cost of living.

“The above coupled with low tax revenues and rising public debts have affected the implementation of Kenya Vision 2030 programmes and projects. There is need to leverage Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) to mobilise funds for implementation of Programmes and projects,” says the secretariat.