By UHURU KENYATTA
As we come to the end of the Year 2014 and usher in the Year 2015, we have a lot to thank God for. We thank God for bequeathing us a great country endowed with bountiful resources.
As a nation and a people, we have collectively achieved a lot and weathered many storms. In all this, we remain grateful to God for bringing us this far.
I am grateful to all Kenyans for the tremendous support extended to my administration in 2014. Your resilience, determination and hard work have significantly moved this country forward.
Notably, I wish to thank you, my fellow citizens, for your cooperation with and support to the security agencies, who ensured that Kenya remained secure during the festive season.
We have made good efforts to keep ourselves and our families safe during the festive season.
On the roads and in our homes, Kenyans have demonstrated that it is possible to be happy and responsible at the same time.
We had a few and most regrettable tragic accidents on the road. I wish to condole the bereaved families and extend words of comfort to the injured. On the same note, it is evident that Kenyans have greater responsibility for their own safety. This is reflected in the significant decline in the number of tragedies this season.
Let us work even more to be secure, safe and happy. I am gratified that Kenyans, and all others who live in our country, heeded my call to go about their business without fear.
A good number of you took time off to enjoy your holidays in various places across the country. This demonstrates that united with one purpose and in partnership, we can and will secure our nation and make it prosperous.
I thank all the people who worked hard during the holiday season to ensure that Kenyans and our visitors remained safe. In particular, I recognise our security personnel who have done a splendid job in securing our country.
Many Kenyans have sacrificed their Christmas to ensure that the rest of us are safe.
I also appreciate our doctors and nurses who worked tirelessly to attend to emergencies.
On behalf of the entire nation, I thank each and every one of you, and wish you God’s blessings in the coming year.
We are on an epic journey to our destiny; a developed nation as articulated in our Vision 2030 blue print.
We, a great people of a great nation, are on a transformational journey. While we know this journey is replete with challenges, it is also full with hope and promise.
I am privileged to be your leader at a time when our continent, our region and our nation are at the cusp of historic social, economic and political transformation.
I am proud that our nation is a most promising place for this aspiration.
Kenya is more than ready for this radical change. We have taken off on the voyage of prosperity, democracy, equity and freedom.
As we boldly enter into the year 2015, I urge all of us to embrace the spirit of partnership and oneness guided by a singular desire to ensure that we contribute towards making Kenya a unified and prosperous country.
Dear Kenyans, the year 2014 was remarkable for our country. We achieved many of the goals we set for ourselves. We made broad strides in our endeavour to improve the quality of life for our citizens.
We significantly reduced the cost of electricity by 30 percent, commenced construction of the Standard Gauge Railway and three berths as part of the LAPSSET programme.
We rehabilitated and expanded the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, and broke ground on the long awaited Konza Technopolis.
In addition, the expansion of our road transport infrastructure is proceeding in earnest.
Programmes are also being implemented to improve delivery of health, education and agricultural services. We continue to improve delivery of public services through the establishment of Huduma Centres, e-Citizen platforms and the streamlining of critical business processes across the country. This has significantly reduced turnaround times and costs for citizens and businesses.
The year 2014 saw a good number of multinational corporations make Kenya their centre of operations for the region and Africa.
The success of the Euro Bond as well as expansion of the capital markets demonstrates the confidence investors have in our future prosperity.
Furthermore, the transformation of the parastatal sector will positively turnaround Kenya’s investment climate. My administration will continue to make deliberate efforts to encourage this trend.
In addition, my administration is implementing other reforms aimed at creating more jobs, further reducing the cost of living and doing business, enhancing Kenya’s competitiveness and contributing towards improving the quality of life of our people.
We continue to discover deposits of oil, gas, coal, iron ore and rare earth minerals across the country. My administration is committed to ensure that this mineral wealth becomes a source of prosperity for the current and future generations.
In this regard, we have finalized drafting laws to guide and regulate exploration, utilisation and value addition of these resources. This is because this God-given wealth must never become a curse to our people.
My Dear Compatriots,
As we are all aware, the biggest challenge confronting our nation today continues to be the threat of global terrorism.
My administration remains committed to rooting out the evil of terrorism. We will sustain strong actions to combat this evil in all its manifestations.
In this respect, my administration will continue to take all the necessary measures, under the law, to ensure that Kenyans and their property remain safe and secure.
Let it be understood, my administration’s resolve to secure the lives of every Kenyan and their property, wherever they are, is not negotiable.
We take this responsibility seriously. We will never allow anyone to intensify our vulnerability in the name of freedom and democracy.
Democracy and freedom are promises of happiness, security and prosperity. Not fear, pain and despair. In securing Kenya, we secure progress. By protecting our people, we protect democracy.
Through the defence of our nation, we defend our freedom. This is not a responsibility my administration will pass on to anyone else. We will not allow the threat of terrorism to deter us from our transformative agenda.
For any nation, the youth are its greatest asset. Kenya’s youth are the most versatile, daring, energetic, and innovative segment of our population. If properly engaged, our young people constitute the single most important resource for our country’s transformation. Our future depends on how effectively we harness the potential of our youth.
In 2014, my administration increased access to opportunities and financial resources for the youth. I appeal to the youth to take full advantage of these opportunities. I direct every responsible institution and office to ensure that the youth enjoy unhindered access to the opportunities. Do not frustrate them.
2014 saw the National Youth Service re-engineered, with a focus on ensuring that the youth are equipped with the appropriate skills, competencies, values and work ethics.
Going forward, my administration will continue to strengthen measures to protect the youth from political manipulation, radicalisation, drug and substance abuse and other vices. Job creation and skill development for our youth is integral to our development agenda.
As you make your personal resolutions for the New Year, let us also make resolutions for our nation.
In 2015, my administration will accelerate the progress we have made since our inauguration nearly 2 years ago.
More vulnerable people will enjoy greater social protection. We will continue to strengthen devolution as the one sure path to prosperity, pursued within the framework of a unitary state as provided by the Constitution.
Therefore, expect intensified collaboration and further productive engagements with county governments.
We will remain committed to the constitutional ideal of a united, indivisible nation devoid of ethnic, religious or other fractures. We will continue to build the foundations of prosperity by laying down infrastructure for transformation through the development of roads, railways, ports and harbours, energy as well as ICT.
Our youth and women will continue to receive the support needed to boost their contribution to our progress. We will build and equip schools, hospitals and stadia. We will carry on the work of national cohesion.
Corruption remains a major obstacle to our national development agenda. Government processes will become more transparent.
In addition to the menu of policy and institutional frameworks, my Government will digitise public service transactions to make them more transparent and thereby eradicate the opportunity for corruption.
The war on corruption must and will be won. In 2015, I urge all Kenyans to join me in slaying the dragon of corruption.
In 2015, Huduma Centres and e-citizen services will be expanded to reach every part of Kenya. Farmers will have access to inputs, mechanisation and extension services to make Kenya food secure. Electricity connection will be expanded to every primary school in the country. We will continue our determined efforts to entrench our constitutional order and values in every facet of national life.
Most importantly, we will sustain the efforts to keep Kenya safe through investment in institutional, policy and operational capacities. The good work will go on. Our journey continues.
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, let us resolve that in the New Year, we will unite and devote ourselves to the greatness of this nation. Let us strengthen our pledge to dedicate ourselves – one and all – to the attainment of the Kenyan Promise that is at once so real and possible.
Let us stand as one people to answer the urgent call of our glorious destiny. If we work hard, work together in our many different ways, we will be abundantly rewarded.
If we love one another, celebrate our diversity, resist division and stay united, we will achieve greatness.
Let the New Year be the year of the Kenyan Family, and of every single family in Kenya.
Let 2015 be the year when our communities cement ties of friendship, harmony and love.
Let this New Year be a time of renewal of our support for our children and youth. In the coming year, I urge Kenyans to renew our shared aspiration for peace, progress, equity and justice.
Let us all join hands and declare the Year 2015 to be our year of possibility. The year of building on the strong foundation we have laid to secure Kenya’s future.
Brothers and sisters, Happy New Year.
I wish each one of you God’s blessings, success and happiness as you continue building our great nation in 2015.
God Bless You! God Bless Kenya!
(New Year message by his Excellency Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, CGH, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence forces of the Republic of Kenya, State House, Nairobi, January 1, 2015)