Critical review of the implementation of Kenya vision 2030 and its enrichment based on identified missing gaps and proposed demand-oriented investment projects
When The National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) gained political power in 2002, Kenya’s economy was in tatters. However under the stewardship of then President Mwai Kibaki and the Prime Minister Raila Odinga, unlike the past regimes they tried to refocus the country on economic development agenda away from empty politics. This culminated in the promulgation of Kenya’s New Constitution, 2010, formulation and launching of Kenya Vision 2030, initiated a notable number of major infrastructural projects like the Thika to Nairobi Highway, Standard Gauge Railway, Galana Irrigation Scheme, Konza City, etc. The duo had promised to revive a number of stalled projects across the country which were considered to be commanding heights of Kenya’s economy. This was a turning point and a departure from the past development approach which was essentially characterized by Harambee or pooling of resources for development purposes. The Harambee System of Development was controversial in the sense that the funds raised were not audited in terms of usage. Additionally, over the years there was very little impact in tangible development across the country despise millions of money raised annually. The lurking question behind the institutionalized wide-spread Harambee System of Development was where or what was a large proportion of the tax-payers’ money being used for as Kenya’s GDP growth rate stood at 0.6% before 2007?The objectives of the critical review on the implementation of Vision 2030 between 2007 and 2015 included: Determination of whether the policy document is widely supported by the leadership at national and county governments as well as the private sector by continuously galvanizing public support towards its implementation; establish whether what is at the core of Vision 2030, that is, socio-economic, socio-cultural and socio-political transformation of the country to a Newly Industrialized Country (NIC) by the year 2030 is widely shared/understood and is being implemented; determine whether the initially identified flagship projects are being fully implemented; establish whether the predicted annual GDP growth of 10% has been maintained. The reviewer focused on growth-oriented sectors like: manufacturing, mining, agriculture and trade by identifying demand-oriented and implementable projects thereof. The proposed demand-oriented projects and others which will be identified by the IMA & TPSA will be key for industrial transformation. Additionally, several missing gaps were identified which can create wide-spread support in the implementation of Vision 2030. These included: (i)Lack of national architecture for spurring collective economic development (ii)Lack of philosophical and foundational tenets on which Vision 2030 should be grounded; and (iii)Lack of the political will and operational principles against leader-caused under-development. The main findings and recommendations were: Firstly, full implementation of Vision 2030 should be spear-headed by the President, county Governors, elected leaders and stakeholders in order to be widely supported including galvanization of the citizens towards implementation. Secondly, Vision 2030 is a government policy document, hence Kenyans and especially the top ledership and elected leaders should avoid the unconventional habit of associating such government policy/national laws with individuals, for example, Vision 2030 is referred to as former President Kibaki’s document which has made it lose its implementation momentum since his retirement in 2013. Similarly, other government policy documents are termed as: the late Mr. Michuki’s Traffic Rules, Mr. Mututho’s Law on the alcohol consumption, etc., meaning that once the originator/initiator of the law/policy is out of power the law/policy is ignored or dies a natural death. Thirdly, the transformational tenets of Vision 2030 are not widely shared and interrogated at national and county levels. Fourthly, there is urgent need to close the foundational and philosophical gaps in the Vision 2030 in order to gain far and wide appeal across the country. Fifthly, there is the urgent need for establishment of what the reviewer calls Industrial/mining, Agricultural, and Trade Project Survey Authority (IMA & T PSA) tasked with conducting regular sectoral/industry studies, identification of projects and their promotions, scouting for investors/sources of finance, technology, etc.