DEVELOPMENT

Vision 2030 now a tall order to achieve

KRA will fail to meet its revenue collection target, thus denying Vision 2030 the finances it requires

In Summary

• With the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, which has ravaged livelihoods in Kenya and across the globe, chances of achieving Vision 2030 goal have further dwindled. 

• The United Nations has projected that the global economy will lose $8.5 trillion in output over the next two years due to the pandemic.

The housing project in West Park
The housing project in West Park
Image: PATRICK VIDIJA

In the next nine years, one would expect Kenya to be fully transformed into a modernised, industrial, true middle-income economy that offers high quality living to all as envisaged by Vision 2030.

But this would only be possible if Kenya’s annual development plans were smooth since the inception of Vision 2030 in 2008.

With the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, which has ravaged livelihoods in Kenya and across the globe, chances of achieving Vision 2030 goal have further dwindled. 

For instance, the objective of constructing 500,000 modern houses by 2022 relies heavily on foreign partnerships.  

Sadly, the United Nations has projected that the global economy will lose $8.5 trillion in output over the next two years due to the pandemic. This implies that foreign investors will prioritise investing in Covid-19 Vaccine research and production rather than in Kenya’s development agenda. Consequently, Kenya has to shelve this ambitious housing project that falls under Vision 2030 and Big Four agenda until a preferable year until the global economy recovers.

Coming closer home, it's obvious the Kenya Revenue Authority will fail to meet its 2020-21 revenue collection target, thus denying Vision 2030 the finances it requires given Covid-19 economic implications have greatly hurt the livelihoods for up to 1.7 million Kenyans. They have either lost jobs or closed businesses.

This forced the government to offer tax relief packages to vulnerable Kenyans until this year.

The hospitality and tourism industry, on the other hand, was brought to its knees by the pandemic. Tourist arrivals reduced by 57 per cent starting June last year, translating to losses in billions of dollars among the stakeholders in this sector. Obviously, this also affected workers and businesses in this sector as well as government revenue. 

When it comes to the lucrative agricultural export business that ranks high as a source of income to the government, there was a sharp reduction in tea and flower exports to high paying markets such as the U.K because of lockdown restrictions. The Covid-19 restrictions made it difficult for farmers to work, while the ban of air travel limited export of these crops.

Given the above, Kenya did not collect enough revenue that would finance development. At the same time, the country is struggling to finance its debt. The end result is that the government does not have money to fund Vision 2030, spelling doom for its achievement.

Kenya’s most valuable asset to fulfil Vision 2030 is its sons and daughters who must be in good health, perform their civic duties of accountability, attain high levels of education and have surplus money to invest.

However, the majority of Kenyans have shown symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental health complications due to the uncertainty over Covid-19. Others fell prey to gender-based violence, while others were either affected or directly infected by the virus leading to further deterioration of their health. Some succumbed, including medics.

The disruption of learning during the pandemic period greatly limited a huge population of Kenyans from attaining education and skills necessary to achieve Vision 2030.

Achieving Kenya’s Vision 2030 on time may not be possible.