By PATRICK GITHINJI
Each constituency will soon roll out centres of excellence offering high education standards similar to that of top national schools, Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta has said.
Uhuru says the glamour for a few national schools will soon end, as the same opportunities will be offered in constituencies through the proposed centres of excellence.
Uhuru was speaking in Narok and Kilgoris at the start of his countrywide inspection of the projects constructed under the Sh22 billion Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP).
Each constituency was given Sh30 million to construct a centre of excellence. Uhuru said the education sector has utilised the money very well from the projects that he had so far visited.
Uhuru unveiled ESP two years ago against a backdrop of global and national economic challenges, which resulted in a slowing down of the economy to a low 1.7 per cent in 2009 compared to the 7.1 per cent at the end of 2007.
Uhuru described the stimulus package as a short to medium-term, high intensity, and high impact programme aimed at jump-starting the economy in the long-term growth.
It also sets out to secure the livelihoods of Kenyans and address challenges of regional and inter-generational inequity.
He expects ESP to expand opportunities for economic engagement, especially for the youth in the country.
The minister says Vision 2030 will be driven by today’s youth as they "poses the latent and innovative capacity that eventually would translate into entrepreneurial opportunities".
Under the plan, the Government is spending Sh1.8 billion for the construction of markets in 180 constituencies.
Each of the constituencies has received Sh10 million for the project including technical assistance from the Ministry of Public Works.
The project was aimed at addressing missing markets in agricultural areas and facilitating commerce, trade and rural enterprise development.
As a pro-poor project, the programme was designed to focus on rural constituencies with priority given to constituencies without ongoing market projects.
The Ministry of Industrialisation is constructing Jua Kali sheds in all the 210 constituencies, with each having received no less than Sh2.5 million.
The Government has also disbursed Sh210 million to equip completed sheds with the required tools and equipment, which translates to an additional one million Shillings per constituency.
The massive social infrastructures projects are expected to facilitate the participation of the youth as artisans, entrepreneurs, and in the construction work at the constituency level.