President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta delivered his much awaited State of the Nation address at Parliament in Nairobi on April 4th 2019. The Big Four agenda and the need for leaders to work together for the sake of national unity and development was, united to the anti-terrorism fight, the key point of his speech.
In fact the Big Four agenda is a major part of the good legacy that President Kenyatta intends to leave when his second and final terms ends in 2022. It concerns Universal Health Coverage, affordable housing, food security and manufacturing.
“Kenya’s economy is strong and is expected to grow by 6.3 per cent in 2019 with improvements in the execution of the Big Four. To facilitate implementation of the Big Four, I urge Parliament to fast-track the mediation of the Land Value Index Laws (Amendment) Bill , the Physical Planning Bill, the Irrigation Bill, the Warehouse Receipt System Bill and the Kenya Roads Bill.
Our focus is on socio-economic interventions in critical sectors that we believe will enhance the quality of life for all Kenyans, in ways that are tangible and measurable. In manufacturing, my administration is prioritising local motor vehicle assembly and manufacturing of spare parts. This initiative has witnessed Peugeot and Volkswagen assembly lines set up in Kenya.
Our programme on Universal Health Coverage is expected to ensure a healthier nation as the basis for social and economic development. In this regard, we have successfully rolled-out the pilot phase of the programme in the counties of Isiolo, Machakos, Nyeri and Kisumu. The programme has witnessed enhanced access to essential health services, with an average increase of 39 per cent reported in the pilot counties. We are on course for the full roll-out of the universal health coverage in the year 2019/20 in the remaining 43 counties.
Agriculture is the largest employer in the economy, accounting for 60 per cent of total employment. In recognition of its central role, my administration earmarked the sector as a key pillar of the Big Four, as we seek to ensure food security and nutrition for all Kenyans. To address the perennial challenges in the sugar and maize sub-sectors, my administration commits to decisively act on the recommendations of the two sectoral taskforces that are slated to report their findings later on this month.
To realise the vision of the Affordable Housing Programme, we have promulgated the Affordable Housing Development Framework Guidelines, providing the enabling policy and financing for the roll out of this transformative Programme.
My administration has prioritised reforms in the coffee sub-sector and implemented numerous interventions emanating from the recommendations of the Coffee Taskforce. These include the ambitious rehabilitation of 500 pulping stations (factories) in 31 coffee-growing Counties. With a view to comprehensively resolve the problem of undue delays in the payment cycle, we have set up a Sh3 billion Cherry Advance Revolving Fund to be operational from July 1, 2019. Consequently, all coffee farmers across the country will be able to access the cherry advance at a modest interest rate of three per cent.
To provide reliable and cost-effective electricity that meets current and future demand, we have put in place measures to accelerate the development of the entire power generation, electricity transmission and supply infrastructure. This will also support the realization of universal access to electricity by the year 2022. I am happy to report that installed capacity has increased from 1,768 MW in March, 2013 to the current 2,712 MW, with Lake Turkana Wind, Ngong Wind and Garissa Solar Power Plants joining the grid within the last year.”