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June 21, 2018

Uhuru marks 100 fraught days amid pressure to launch the Big Four

President Uhuru Kenyatta. /FILE
President Uhuru Kenyatta. /FILE

President Uhuru Kenyatta today marks a hundred fraught days since he was sworn in for a second and final term.

One hundred days since November 28 last year isn’t a long time to achieve much and not much has happened in kick-starting the Big Four.

Just naming the Cabinet took a long time and a strong Cabinet is needed to drive the agenda.

Read: Budget to be aligned to Uhuru’s ‘Big 4’ agenda

The pressure is on and the administration is racing against time to achieve its plans and etch Uhuru’s legacy in history.

The goals for this year alone are daunting. The Star has exclusively obtained the administration’s detailed action, its road map and blueprint for the Big Four for the next five years. 

The Big Four: Universal affordable healthcare, housing, food security and a strong manufacturing sector.

The plan calls for free medical cover for 1.04 million Kenyans aged above 70 years. They are to be enrolled in NHIF.

Interventions to cover more elderly people include using local administration and politicians at the grassroots. This is yet to happen.

Another promise is delivering new equipment and facilities at both the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and Kenyatta National Hospital.

Read: Uhuru's Big Four agenda facing opposition in NASA counties

Within 100 days, Uhuru had planned to launch a multi–tiered insurance plan, deliver CT-scan equipment for 37 hospitals, commission a new 2,000-bed wing at MTRH as well as HICT operations centre at KNH. And many other things.

The action plan shows the administration must be racing against time to deliver on other promises expected by December this year.

Uhuru mapped out areas his administration would focus on this year. 

It aims for massive investments in specific economic activities underpinning and enabling the Big Four.

The manufacturing drivers are textiles, agro-processing, leather, construction materials, oil and mining, iron and steel, fish processing and ICT. This year, the government plans massive policy reviews and has come up with strong manufacturing incentives.

The government plans to complete the Machakos Leather Park, creating 5,000 jobs by year end. It aims to establish three more industial parks, train and set up 5,000 cottage industries to raise export income by $70 million (Sh7 billion).

This year the state plans to establish industrial sheds in Athi River, 494,210 acres of BT Cotton and train 50,000 youth and women. The textile subsector alone is expected to create 10,000 apparel and 50,000 cotton jobs. 

More: The Big Four are the biggest pledges since Independence

The state plans to offer incentives, including a favourable tariff for SGR-transported cargo.

By December, the government wants to increase the number of Kenyans with health insurance from the 16.5 million to 25.74 million It wants new governance structures at the NHIF and mandatory coverage for informal sector by December.

To realise universal healthcare, the government wants to increase allocation for health from seven per cent to eight per cent in this financial year.

While increasing the budget deficit, the government wants a fully operationalised Robin-Hood tax on select items, generating Sh4 million by December this year.

It wants to raise Sh8.085 billion from excise tax, including tobacco (Sh3.6 billion), alcohol (Sh3.85 billion), gambling (Sh500 million) and Sh135 million ( jewellery and cosmetics).

Related: Uhuru hunts for experts, cash to roll out Big Four

By December, the government wants two established National Data Centres or a Radiology Hub at KNH and MTRH.

In agroprocessing, the state wants to map tea, coffee, sugar, meat, dairy and crops value chains and develop warehousing and cold chain sites. The initiatives will create $200 million (Sh20 billion) in value addition, creating 20,000 jobs this year.

In construction, key housing components and manufacturer will be identified. Buy Kenya will be the policy — at least 70 per cent of housing materials must be sourced locally. 

The state wants to attract international investors in the oil, mining and gas industry.

Under iron and steel manufacturing, the government aims for a policy and incentive framework to establish coal and iron ore deposits within this year. It wants to commit 30 per cent share for a joint venture with one global investor.

In ICT, at least two investors are to be signed to assembling electronics to implement the Kenya Industry and Entrepreneurship Project that involves phones, laptops and TVs.

By the end of the year, the government would have attracted at least two business process outsourcing players creating 1,000 jobs.

Opinion: 2022 politics distract from Uhuru's Big Four agenda


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