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Letters

LETTERS: Hire investment analysts for Big Four agenda

EPZ
Manufacturing is a key cog in the Big Four agenda. FILE PHOTO| NMG 

Since Independence in 1963, Kenya has undergone profound changes in its political and economic systems. The government has continually drawn many economic stimulus policies from Sessional Paper No.10 of 1965, National Development Plan of 1989-1993, Vision 2030 and the Big Four agenda.

The Big Four are President Uhuru Kenyatta’s legacy projects that he has committed to have in place by the time he exits office in 2022. He wants the ordinary Kenyan to wake up in his own home, start her day with a good meal for herself and her family and then go to a satisfying job most likely in a manufacturing complex and when she gets sick he can walk into a well-equipped public hospital and access treatment without using his own finances. For this reason all government officials making speeches and issuing statements now make sure to cite or refer to the Big Four agenda ensuring food security, affordable housing, manufacturing and affordable healthcare and all their programmes are allied to this.

In the long-term, the success of Big Four depends on the extent to which productive capacity (including physical capital, human capital, and economic institutions) is able to grow.

This is just a sample of what is happening under each pillar. On manufacturing, Mr Kenyatta is looking at having at least five million square feet of industrial sheds established to improve cotton production, and raising the share of the manufacturing sector from the current nine percent to 20 percent of the GDP by 2022. There will be a modern industrial park in Naivasha, apparel industrial sheds in Athi River, and the establishment of the Dongo Kundu special economic zone (SEZ).

There are plan to accelerate the export of agro-processed products by mapping tea, dairy, meat, and crop value chains. . Also, they will set up a Kenya Export Guarantee Fund, expand the India and China markets, and establish a Kenya Biashara Bank.

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On food security, he wants large-scale production 700,000 new acres of maize, potato, and rice will be cultivated under a private-public partnership scheme. The government aims to increase Kenya's maize production from the current 40 million bags to 67 million by 2022 and potato from 1.6 million tons to 2.5 million tons over the same period. Also, to reduce the cost of food, contract farmers will supply the strategic food reserve and a subsidy model for farmers will see investments in post-harvest loss reduction, early warning systems and elimination of multiple levies along the value chain.

On housing, the plan is to have at least 500,000 affordable homes in all major cities by 2022. Focus is on raising low-cost funds from the public and private sectors for investment in large-scale housing production.

The housing sector will create 350,000 jobs, and provide a market for manufacturers and suppliers. The Kenya Mortgage Refinancing Company will issue bonds to local capital markets and extend longer-term loans to financial institutions to secure mortgages. Also, there will be PPP land swaps, centralised housing for police and prisons and reduced tax rates for developers who construct 100 houses a year.

Health spending will go from Sh61 billion in 2018 to Sh73 billion in 2021 and Kenya will go from the current 36 percent coverage to achieve 100 percent universal health coverage by 2022 when the population will be 50 million.

They will reconfigure the National Hospital Insurance Fund, which, besides digitisation, will also extend services through 37,000 bank agents. The Linda Mama (free maternity) programme will be rolled out to missionary and private hospitals and there will be CT scan capability in all counties.

An analyst can assist in demulsifying the agenda in four steps: The first part provides a brief introduction to the concept of Big Four agenda. The second part provides a mapping of the agendas, third step assessing what they should do and how they will operate.

Part four looks at their role in addressing economy growth and poverty reduction in Kenya. Investment analyst are the backbone of the Big Four and due to their financial expertise, they can guide the country by suggesting various economic and financial measures to successfully implementation the agendas and boost up the economic as well as reduce poverty levels.

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