Levelling with Kenyans on Vision 2030


The Vision 2030 Delivery Board (VDB) and Secretariat (VDS) appreciates the valuable feedback that we\’ve been constantly receiving the last week following the release of our report card.

Indeed, a lot of the credit and criticism coming our way has tended to seek further clarification on wider Vision 2030 platform which I am pleased to explain on this blog. 

First, we admit that there have been shortcomings in communication.  For instance, it is not our intention to imply that Vision 2030 is progressing flawlessly. On the contrary, the Vision Delivery Board and Secretariat are humbly aware of the enormity of the task before us at this time.

All Kenyans agree that the Vision to transform to a middle income country in two decades is ambitious and aggressive. It must be, not only because of where we are headed, but where we are coming from. Even partial achievement will be a formidable task – both challenging to implement and to communicate due to its breadth and complexity. 

Indeed, at its last meeting, the VDB articulated just some of the challenges that have already emerged. They include a dearth of funding for flagship projects, the suboptimal political and governance context and the ongoing shortage of reliable, cheaper and cleaner sources of energy.

It is in this context that the VDB expressed appreciation for the allocation in this year\’s budget towards energy generation, amongst other infrastructure projects and resolved to work on alternative funding sources such as public private partnerships (PPPs) for some flagship projects. It is also in this context that the VDB deems the ongoing mobilisation towards a constitutional referendum as highly relevant. 

The VDB is critically concerned with the establishment of a new legal framework to aid the implementation of Vision 2030 and underpin the just, prosperous and democratic society we are all working towards.

Additionally, the VDS has previously acknowledged and the recent budget implied that the 10 percent growth rate target originally envisaged to be attained by the year 2012 suffered a serious setback following the events of January 2008 and is now more realistically set to be attained in the year 2015.

We would also like to take this opportunity to make a distinction between the annual progress reports provided by the Ministry of Planning and the independent current reports issued by the VDB/VDS. The former encompass all projects, large and small, within the purview of the Ministry of Planning and in the case of the report released in May, reference the period ending June 30, 2009 (a full year ago).

The Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat reports on the other hand are (and will be) current and focus on the few, significant flagship projects identified as transformative.  In this last VDB meeting, we addressed the political, foundations and economic pillars, specifically providing status as of June 15 2010 of such projects as the constitution, universal electrification, transport and communication infrastructure, the Lamu and Mombasa – Malaba corridor infrastructure projects, business process outsourcing, special economic zones and resort cities.

By deliberate design and of necessity, the VDB/VDS must focus on continuous and consistent implementation of long term flagship projects, many of whose benefits will only accrue after many years. Thus the special economic zones, for instance, must have feasibility studies undertaken and master planning before ground is broken and will be developed gradually over several years.

The constitution even if passed in August, coupled with the efforts of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission, will only bring about the social cohesion we so desire in the long term. That notwithstanding, the delivery of a new constitution when it occurs and the inception of the National Cohesion Commission are transformative Vision 2030 flagship projects and milestones that we must report as critical success factors enroute to the accomplishment of Vision 2030.

The journey to 2030 will be more of a marathon than a sprint and will require endurance and resilience. Where we have had some wins, it is important to celebrate each milestone so that we are emboldened for the formidable path ahead. However, noting successes does not and will not signify a slackening of our resolve or glossing over failure.

Our commitment at the VDB/VDS is to communicate regularly, honestly and transparently when we stumble and when we succeed. We hope you will make a similar commitment to play an active part in our shared vision.

(Mugo Kibati is the Director General of Kenya\’s Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat. mugo@vision2030.go.ke)

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