NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 19 – The Ministry of Finance has launched Geographical Information System (GIS) to track implementation and progress of projects under the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP).
The GIS is aimed at making the program more efficient, accountable and transparent to the public, which officials say is critical to accelerating economic growth and fostering public trust.
Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta said on Wednesday the ministry was leveraging on technological advancement in improving its service delivery as well as giving citizens an opportunity to give feed back on the implementation of projects in their area.
“Information from across the 210 constituencies is expected to be captured and disseminated through an Internet application programme. This provides us with a two-pronged mechanism of communication and interface between ESP programme managers and the public, and a mechanism for transparency and accountability to track implementation,” Mr Kenyatta said during the launch.
The Sh22 billion-stimulus program initiated in the 2009/2010 financial budget to jump-start the economy following its slump, has been a success in putting the economy in a growth path.
Kenya’s economy plummeted from a high of 7.1 percent in 2007 to 1.7 percent following twin effects of the post election violence and the global economic crisis.
However, through the stimulus programme and increased government spending, the Finance Minister said the economy is forecast to grow by between five and six percent.
The system makes use of geo-data, that maps out all the projects being carried out within a particular constituency.
With the implementation of the new Constitution, the system will also incorporate projects at a county level.
With the increased use of social media networks, the GIS will also be linked to social sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
Mr Kenyatta said engagement with the public and project mangers, the government would be able to know what areas needed to be allocated more resources.
Projects under the stimulus program range from agriculture, industrialization, health care to education with the minister adding most projects were nearing completion.
“We have spent approximately Sh30 billion and projects are at various levels of implementation with most nearing completion,” he said.
The Finance Minister also revealed that the Treasury was considering suspending funding the economic stimulus program as it weighs whether the economy can sustain itself in the future.
Mr Kenyatta said discussions were ongoing within government on whether line ministries should take up funding for further projects in the stimulus program.
“We will need to have further deliberations within government to see whether we are continuing or what the situation will be,” he said.
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