, WASHINGTON DC, Kenya, Oct 15 – Implementation of the new Constitution is a major challenge to Kenya\’s economic development, Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta has said.
Speaking at a roundtable conference on "Africa Growth Initiative" at the Brookings Institute in Washington, Mr Kenyatta said that the implementation needs will require financial investments form the exchequer.
“There are very high expectations among Kenyans after passing of the new Constitution,” he said.
“We have job creation, education and health issues needs as some of our major challenges.”
The new Constitution creates a number of commissions that will require considerable financial allocations to support their secretariat. Secondly it increases the number of Members of Parliament to 349 and creates a Senate with 68 senators. To add to this there will be 47 governors, their deputies and committees to run counties. All these will require more funds.
Mr Kenyatta was addressing various stakeholders on challenges facing Kenya in achieving the estimated growth rate of five percent. On the growth expectations, he said Kenya is putting more emphasis on private sector initiatives. This he said has been supported by privatisation of various government-owned companies.
On the issue of provincial administration, the Deputy Prime Minister said it would be reformed.
"The new Constitution did not make Kenya a federal state, Kenya is still a unitary state and there are functions that will still be left to the central government," he said.
The new Constitution gives the government five years to restructure the Provincial Administration to conform to the devolution principle.
Commenting on the coming referendum in Sudan, Mr Kenyatta said Kenya was ready to support the will of the people of Sudan.
"Kenya will be happy to work with a united Sudan, Kenya will be happy to work with the North if they decide to separate, just as much as will be happy to work with the South," he said.
The conference was moderated by Daniel Kaufmann, a Senior Fellow in the Global Economy and Development programme at the Brookings Institution.
Mr Kenyatta was accompanied by Treasury PS, Joseph Kinyua, Economic Secretary Geoffrey Mwau, CBK Governor Njuguna Ndung\’u, Kenya Ambassador to USA, Elikana Odembo, Equity MD James Mwangi, and former CBK Governor Duncan Ndegwa among other senior officials.