Kenya on course to becoming middle-income country by 2030


A trader hawking his goods at Kakamega town on Christmas day. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

The country is making significant strides towards becoming a middle-income country by 2030, the government has said.

Youth Affairs, Arts and Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba said President William Ruto's administration will midwife the realisation of Vision 2030 through the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (Beta).

Ababu was speaking at a Busia hotel during a meeting to discuss and disseminate the Fourth Medium Term Plan (MTP IV) for 2023-27.

The forum is expected to enhance robust citizen participation by raising awareness about the government’s initiatives, commitments for the medium term, and the positive impact these will have on the quality of life for Kenyans.

The Fourth Medium Term Plan (MTP IV) is the last five-year Medium Term Plan of the Kenya Vision 2030 and will transition the country to the next long-term development blueprint.

"The agenda is geared towards economic turn-around and inclusive growth through a value chain approach geared towards reducing the cost of living, eradicating hunger, creating 1.2 million new jobs annually and expanding the tax base," said Namwamba.

"These will be achieved through targeted investments in five core pillars of Agriculture, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), Housing and Settlement; Healthcare; Digital Superhighway and Creative Economy," he added.

Under the MTP IV, the government aims to boost production through a value chain approach, focusing on sectors such as leather and leather products, textiles and apparel, dairy, tea, rice, edible oils, the blue economy and minerals among others.

"The MTP IV incorporates international obligations and commitments including the United Nations (UN) Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development and the Africa Agenda 2063," said Namwamba.

The CS assured Busia residents that the national government is committed to operationalising Nasewa Industrial Park as well as the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) that is still under construction.

"We have also advertised for the construction of a new stadium in Busia and the contractor will be on site soon after we award the tender," he said adding that, "other counties are ahead of us like Masinde Muliro stadium in Bungoma but we are still on the right trajectory."

"I have allocated Sh1 billion for the completion of Bukhungu stadium in Kakamega county and we are focused on stadiums that will be put to use during the Africa Cup of Nations in 2027."

Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Principal Secretary Susan Mang’eni said the national and county governments are working to increase agricultural production.

Mang’eni emphasized that the country cannot be industrialised without enhanced agricultural productivity.

“To make any economic sense we must invest in agricultural production, we encourage you to farm edible oil crops, we can buy them from you to power up our industries. This is the modern gold that we have as people of Busia,” she said.

In the fish sector and blue economy, Mang’eni said Kenya is experiencing a huge deficit of fish against growing demand and Busia residents need to take advantage of this to practice fish farming through fish cages in Lake Victoria and fish ponds along the rivers to make money.

The PS revealed that the government plans to have one of the learning institutions in Busia to start offering marine courses to promote aquaculture.

“As a country, we are spending billions of shillings importing fish from China, you can help us fill that gap by venturing into fish cage farming, we can also do fish farming along the river beds, and by doing this we will meet the rising fish demand,” said Mang'eni.

During the third MTP, it was revealed that the country recorded significant progress in infrastructure, ICT, agriculture, education, governance and rule of law.

In efforts to improve infrastructure, a total of 149,141.6Km of classified roads were maintained and rehabilitated and a further 6,691.1Km of additional classified roads were constructed.

A total of 15.35 million rail passengers were handled over the period. The mobile network coverage increased from 93 per cent in 2018/2019 to 98 per cent in 2021/2022.

In Agriculture, the contribution of crop production to GDP increased from 14.5 per cent in 2018 to 15.2 per cent in 2022, while maize post-harvest losses reduced from 16 per cent in 2018/2019 to 15 per cent in 2021/2022.

In Education, the total gross enrollment in TVET institutions for the review period was 1,520,399; while the primary to secondary transition rate stood at 78.6 per cent in 2022.

To improve access to health care, the doctor-population ratio improved from 24 per 100,000 in 2018/2019 to 37 per 100,000 population in 2021/2022, while the nurse-population ratio improved from 113 per 100,000 population in 2018/2019 to 155.9 in 2021/2022.

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