Locals should drive Vision 2030, expert says

August 31, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, August 31 – The success of Vision 2030 will be pegged on how the government engages the public in driving various projects aimed at promoting economic growth, a development consultant has noted.

Head of the University of Nairobi’s Sociology Department Dr Paul Mbatia told Capital News that the government should come up with innovative ways of rallying ordinary Kenyans behind the Vision.

He said there is need to engage the services of the high number of unemployed youths and millions of Kenyan farmers in driving the economic policy forward.

“If you ask local people what development means they will tell you, ‘Give us a reliable market for our produce’,” Dr Mbatia explained.

“We have invested a lot in the expansion of our roads, we do not mind the Chinese money (used to build the roads) but we want to believe that we have the expertise.”

Dr Mbatia also said it was imperative that the government address the issue of distribution of resources in 2030 agenda.

He added that the economic policy must strengthen projects such as the Constituency Development Fund and free education that pumps back resources to the grassroots.

“The challenge here is coming up with a method that is fair that pumps more resources to the regions that are poor without forgetting those that are producing the wealth,” he said.

The Sociology head also said the government should stabilize the prices of basic products to cushion the poor.

Vision 2030 was launched early this year and aims at transforming the country into a medium income economy in the next two decades.

It has identified a total of 98 flagship projects that will drive its agenda. These cover areas of Tourism, Agriculture, Horticulture, Education, Health, Information and Technology and Industry.

A Medium Term Plan (MTL), which was also launched parallel to the Vision, has been operationalised.

Acting Director of the Vision Wahome Gakuru told Capital News that the priority of the MTL is to align the plans of all Ministries and Local Authorities with the national economic blueprint.

“The strategic plans of all Ministries and sectors of government agencies will be implementation tools of the Vision,” Gakuru revealed.

“There is only one thing in town, to get the Vision done and get it done well.”

Gakuru added that the Vision’s secretariat will be rolling out campaigns to educate the public on the new agenda.

“We want to believe that political competition in this country will be someone saying that they are the best placed to implement the Vision,” he enthused.

For Dr. Mbatia, there remained a gap threatening the Vision’s success: a legal framework to safeguard it.

“The problem is that we sometimes find innovations like this are personalized. It should be institutionalized so that irrespective of who is in power the Vision stays,” he noted.


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