OUR FUTURE

Big Four more than a legacy agenda

Successful execution an inescapable precondition for launching economic, social transformation.

In Summary

• Imagine being raised in Kenya as a young woman and never having to worry about your own death at childbirth or losing your baby before their fifth birthday.

• Imagine industrial parks in every county that produce high-quality products with three proud words “Made in Kenya”.

Amid the rancour and jostling for 2022, President Uhuru Kenyatta has decided that he will not be a lame duck in his last term. In fact, Uhuru Kenyatta intends to exceed in ambition and impact what his government achieved in the first five years.

Through the Big Four agenda, he wants to deliver food security, affordable housing and healthcare, and transform Kenya into a regional manufacturing powerhouse. For a lame-duck administration, this agenda is ambitious.

While the details are imprecise and the policy and financing details are scant, the Big Four agenda is both critical and attainable. Successful execution of the President’s agenda is an inescapable precondition to launching Kenya’s economic and social transformation.

Imagine being raised in Kenya as a young woman and never having to worry about your own death at childbirth or losing your baby before their fifth birthday. Imagine living in Kenya and not having to worry about your child benefiting from free or affordable education because she was malnourished and stunted. Imagine living in a country where decent housing with access to water and sanitation is not the exclusive privilege of the wealthy few.

The trillions to be made by Kenya’s legendary entrepreneurs is the trivial part of the Big Four agenda. Effective delivery of the Big Four as a historic opportunity to harness the ingenuity of our youth and invest more in our tertiary institutions as well as technology and innovation hubs

Imagine industrial parks in every county that produce high-quality products with three proud words “Made in Kenya”. Imagine Kenya growing our own middle class, men and women who earn a decent wage, on par with the so-called industrial countries of the West. Not the working poor, on the brink of poverty type of middle class who spend less than $20 (sh2,073) a day.

For the unscrupulous, the Big Four is an opportunity to cut deals and make ignominious profits. For example, it has been reported that 35 private firms are set to build one million houses by 2023 at a cost of Sh2.6 trillion, equivalent to about twice our national revenue. The unit price per house under a scheme that will be buttressed by a public mortgage refinancing company will be Sh2.6 million.

The trillions to be made by Kenya’s legendary entrepreneurs is the trivial part of the Big Four agenda. Effective delivery of the Big Four as a historic opportunity to harness the ingenuity of our youth and invest more in our tertiary institutions as well as technology and innovation hubs to invent and produce substitutes for energy intensive industrial products such as cement and sand, which are damaging our land and polluting our air and water systems.

We can attain food security not by throwing tonnes of inorganic fertilisers in our farms or by leasing land to big foreign agro-industrial investors. We can put millions of smallholder farmers to work and use smart technology to optimise inputs and farm operations, and manage transition from small farms in an orderly fashion.

New businesses led by young entrepreneurs could revolutionise healthcare. Our youth could help pioneer innovations in patient records and delivery of care through coordination of health teams in multiple places using technology. We can lead the world in re-designing and delivering quality health at a lower cost.