Full State of The Nation speech by President Kenyatta

Honourable Members,

I appreciate that the silent fear of every politician is ending their career in politics broke and destitute.

This fear may have its foundations in our history, when our MP’s and ministers would retire or lose their elective seats and thereafter wallow in poverty. Since then as a country we have come a long way in addressing these fears.

However, we must always remember that the calling of leadership is to serve. Not to become rich through serving. As politicians we must accept that our ever increasing salaries and allowances have contributed to the unsustainable demands by other cadres within the public sector to increase their own remuneration at the expense of our people and the country’s development agenda..
145. It is therefore upon us as leaders to restore the principle of servant leadership, by respecting the will of the people and supporting the work of the SRC.

The SRC recommendations help to contain the overall wage bill. They will allow SRC the leeway to review the salaries of all public servants at National and County levels, with a view to improving the terms of those in lowest cadres.

These recommendations will allow us to pay more attention to our medical professionals, our teachers, our policemen, prisons officers and many others who also need to receive adequate compensation for the services that they render.

Most importantly, we will be respecting the wishes of our own employers, the wananchi.

Honourable Members, let us now look to the future.

We have established a firm foundation which can now be used as a spring board to accelerate the growth of our economy and provide jobs for our youth.

The path to national wealth all over the world is clear. Fifty years ago, many countries, especially in Asia, were even poorer than we were. They were weighed down by corruption and limited national visions.

Yet we witnessed them accelerate their development by reforming their governance frameworks and drawing massive investments that built industrial economies that have delivered millions of jobs to their citizens. There is no shortcut to matching their achievement. They also needed to build the same kind of foundation we are currently putting in place. We are on a similar path but must run rather than walk along it because we do not have the luxury of time.

This is why I campaigned on a ticket of transformation. I knew all along that it was not enough to continue at the pace we had been on for the past fifty years.

We needed to fast-track the building of the assets that would lead to the growth of a strong, job-rich economy.

This is why we have gone out of our way to give a new lease of life to industries that will accelerate the growth of our economy and provide jobs for our people. The revival of industries like Pan Paper Mills in Webuye, Rift Valley Textiles Company in Eldoret , the re-establishment of new motor vehicle assembly lines by Volkswagen, Peugeot and Toyota demonstrate that we are on our way.

We have also given new impetus to the development of our blue economy to translate our fishing and shipping potential into new industries and jobs.

Our transformation is for every Kenyan. It is underway, and the great promise of uplifting more of our people into the middle class will be achieved. What we must do, to achieve this shared prosperity, is to stay the course and continue building on our achievements so far.

I believe that history will remember this period as the turning point when Kenya became a leading investment destination in the world, and the newest entrant into large-scale manufacturing.

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