New plan sought for Kenya vision 2030

August 28, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 28- Prime Minister Raila Odinga says implementation of the country’s economic Blue Print, Vision 2030, should reviewed as the country reels from the effects of a slowing economy.

Speaking while chairing the 18th National Economic and Social Council (NESC) meeting on Friday, the Premier argued key drivers of the economy were non-existent.

Shortage of energy, water and food were top on his list of items significantly disrupting economic activity in the country making it difficult to realise growth hence the need to focus on key areas.

Mr Odinga emphasised "having so many priorities is having no priority at all."

"This is the time for a reality check, let us go beyond mere figures of GDP or money supply and grasp what is happening to the lives of Kenyans especially the under privileged ."

He said the NESC, government’s adviser on economic and social issues, ought to come up with sectors the government needs to focus on to cushion against a slowing economy as well as spur growth.

"Going forward we need to take a fresh look and pick critical areas outlined in Vision 2030 to focus on," he urged (NESC) members.

Mr Odinga observed that the government had set itself high standards of efficiency, instituting reforms to enhance public service delivery and eradicate conditions that impede growth at the expense of the harsh realities of climate change.

He stressed: "It is time to have more actions and less documenting and zero talks."

He however clarified that the Government was still committed to transforming the economy but expressed fear that, drought which has affected the energy sector and other areas of economy could frustrate efforts spelt out in Vision 2030.

He said it may not be enough to simply monitor whether actions planned for vision 2030 were being implemented, adding it might be necessary to re-prioritise and strengthen actions in the few selected areas.

The current drought has had ripple effects leading to acute water shortage that has seen the country’s food production drop.  Declining water levels in major lakes and dams has also had an effect on power generation leading to the current power rationing program.

But even with the projected el Nino scheduled to start later in September, the Prime Minister believes it will only serve as a temporary measure.

‘El Nino will only serve as temporary reprieve, we must now start thinking in the lines of renewable and green energy as a way out of constant power outage."

Mr Odinga called for investments in the conservation of the environment and in water and irrigation, in the energy sector.

The premier said it was equally important to create employment opportunities through economic growth and called for a scale up of employment programs including the Kazi kwa Vijana to help cope with the acute challenge of youth unemployment.


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