Digital CBK Amendment to benefit youth, women

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BY KABANDO WA KABANDO

The Amendment Bill looks at the current state of government borrowing and the sources of that borrowing and recognises quite transparently existence of kinks and bottlenecks, some artificially created by the CBK, that impede people’s participation and competition, leading to inefficiencies in the public debt market.

These impediments are both against the government’s push for digital operations, and happen even as technological mechanisms, with enormous capability to overcome them, are readily available.

For example, although the CBK reduced the investment threshold to 50,000 in the year 2009, this is five times the average deposit per personal account in most nascent indigenous Banks. In any case, the revision was five years ago, when the current technological capabilities for mobile money were at their infancy.

According to the Ministry of Planning data, less than 2pc of the population (a total of 470,000) earned more than Sh50,000 per month in the year 2010. This means that, only few Kenyans have a right to participate in the government securities markets! The Sh50,000 threshold is therefore, something we should be very concerned about for being exclusionist in nature.

The Amendment Bill recognises the obvious need to break with the past and embrace the future i.e. the immediate democratisation of Treasury/CBK public debt operations and hence contribute to an efficient public debt market. The Constitution does not discriminate the citizens by how much they earn, and neither should the CBK.

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