EXPERT OPINION

Ruto's bottom-up economics is not new

When you look at the commitments we have in Vision 2030 and all these efforts that have been made in the infrastructure to open up the economy, a lot of them have been with the intention of empowering the people.

In Summary
  • If the politics remains what it is, then the people who will benefit are those who should not be benefitting 
  • The issue should be implementation because the ideas are already in place

Abraham Rugo, Country Manager International Budget Partnership - Kenya. /COURTESY
Abraham Rugo, Country Manager International Budget Partnership - Kenya. /COURTESY

I understand that he [Deputy President William Ruto] wants to empower the people who are least empowered to be the drivers of the economy. That is not new.

It is not that people have not been participating in driving the economy, it is that the system of production and distribution and of recovering wealth has been skewed. Therefore, if one is to say the bottom-up approach is the way to go, it is not necessarily new but it needs to be implemented.

When you look at the commitments we have in Vision 2030 and all the efforts that have been made in infrastructure to open up the economy, a lot have been with the intention of empowering the people.

The challenge is we have a very effective policy but no implementation.

The second thing is the politics of the day—politics of manipulation and control through disempowerment. If the politics remains what it is, then the people who will benefit, even from that bottom-up economy, are those who should not be benefitting instead of those who have been completely left out of the system.

For the bottom-up approach to work, it has do with the production and distribution of goods and services, how people access goods and services, is it equitable? Secondly, what they produce as farmers, things such as Buy Kenya Build Kenya, are they honoured?

For instance, look at the amount of maize going to waste yet farmers are still producing; a lot of their maize is going to waste because the produce is still being imported.

I think the issue should be implementation because the ideas are already in place.

It calls for a fundamental shift in how the economy is organised. It is also good to appreciate that this will take time because you are trying to shift power from some people who have traditionally enjoyed a lot of power.

The International Budget Partnership country manager spoke to the Star