President Kenyatta, sworn in office on 28thNovember 2017, takes office in an era where the country is experiencing highpolitical polarization and recovering from depressed economic growth.
Kenya national politics remains driven primarily by ethnic affiliation thatthreats to undermine socialcohesion and raise political tension. Moreover, the NASA agenda of a sustained period of unrest prompted byanti-government campaigns remains a great challenge to Kenyatta Administration.Despite a favorable ruling by Supreme Court, President Kenyatta still faces”legitimacy challenge”, damaged institutions, unstable coalition, mounting public debt, grand corruption, and shrinking national productivity.President Kenyattarecognizes his government has laid a foundation that he is focused to build onin delivering his Big-Four Agenda Plan in the second term in office.
In his first term of office, the president focused onbuilding a firm foundation for economic takeoff spearheaded by aggressive reforms to Kenya’s businessenvironment. The notable achievements during the first tenure include adoptionof devolved governments, improved Business Environment (World Bank’sEase of Doing Business Index Improvement by 56 Places (136th to 80th)and ranks third in sub-Saharan), 495-kilometreMombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway System, Expansion of PublicHospital Infrastructure & Transformation of NHIF and Digital Literacy Programme(DLP). Tobuild upon the development agenda duringthe 2017-2022 tenure President Kenyatta is committed to delivering a Big-Four Pillar Administration Agenda thataddresses food security, affordable housing, manufacturing and universal healthcare to Kenya’s citizens.
· Food Security- Agriculture is a major source of employment andKenya’s largest sector, accounting for 25% of the gross domestic product (GDP)and roughly 50 % of export revenue. Kenyattareiterates that the government will devote resources in securing Kenya’swater towers, address issues on ownership and utilization of idle arable lands,promote large-scale commercialagriculture, ensure diversification of the staple foods & redesigning ofagriculture subsidies. · Affordable Housing- TheKenyatta administration is committed to realizing 500,000 new house owners byengaging in policy and administrative reforms which target to lower the cost of construction and improving theaccessibility of affordable mortgages.
· Manufacturing: Key manufacturingagenda is the creation of jobs for the country’s young population. The government is committed to devotinginterventions in agro-processing, textiles andapparel, leather processing, construction materials, innovation and IT, miningand extractives sub- Sectors. In line with the agenda, President Kenyatta hasbeen appointed as the UN’s Global Champion for youth empowerment · Inexpensive UniversalHealthcare: the government is committed to reconfiguring the NHIF and reforminglaws governing private insurance companies to accelerate access to universalhealth care. To drive theBig – Four Agenda, the president is currently re-organizing the government,with retention of several cabinet secretaries, and appointment of fresh personsto government. Speculations remain high on the new nominees with the presidentexpected to announce the full new cabinet in the month of January.
In his stateof the nation address on January 5th,the president unveiled a section of the cabinet including six retained cabinetsecretaries and three fresh nominees for cabinet positions (portfolios notmentioned). The partial cabinet announcement continues to raise debatescentered on the 1/3 gender rule and more complex in thedelivery of political promises. The2010 Constitution allows for a maximum of 22 Cabinet implying that thepresident has a maximum of 13 more slots to announce the nominees. Theannouncement of the 13 cabinet secretaries will come alongside the list ofprincipal secretaries as well as the head of parastatals.
Consequently, thecabinet secretaries and their respective permanent secretaries remain active. Other changesin government National PoliceService (NPS), which has been on the receiving end over brutality accusationsduring the electioneering period.The political season is settlingdown and the government is already implementing itsadministrative agenda. The rolling out of the new2-6-3-3 curriculum is set to replace the over three-decade-old 8-4-4 systemnext year in 470 primary schools and the Sh56 billion free secondary school educationprogramme that will see all 998,718 pupils who sat the KCPE exam advance to thesecondary education marks the beginning of Kenyatta second term pillar projectsimplementation. Additionally, Kenyan economy is in an economic recovery following a slump in economic activity in 2017 attributableto the decline in credit growth, prolonged drought and prolonged electioneering period.
The World Bank, IMF, and Treasury agree that Kenyan economy will rebound to 5.5 percent in 2018 and rise furtherto 5.9 percent in 2019.