Ladies and Gentlemen,
You are all aware that this is the third week of His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta’s working tour of the Coast.
The focus of the visit has been delivery: delivery on the Jubilee administration’s pledges regarding infrastructure – including sea and air ports, roads, and rail; as well as land, water, jobs, and security.
Essentially, improving service delivery, and improving the lives of Kenyans are the President’s preoccupations during this visit.
Let me start with land. The visit has seen the President issue a total of 9,080 title deeds – 4,073 title deeds in Lamu County, while 5,007 title deeds out of the 7,807 that are ready for the Waitiki farm were given on Saturday.
Some 8,939 title deeds for Kwale, 5,121 title deeds for Taita-Taveta and 2,554 title deeds for Kilifi counties are ready and will also be issued in the coming days and weeks.
All this is in line with the Jubilee Manifesto on land. It also goes to affirm the President’s position that he will provide the land answer to the land question not only at the Coast, but across the entire country.
It will be recalled that the Jubilee Administration promised to issue 3 million title deeds in its first term in office. Already 2.3 million of those documents have been given out to landowners.
And especially for those who have lived on the Waitiki land for decades, being handed titles was a deeply historic and touching moment. Kila Mmoja wa wale waliopata vyeti waweza kusema kwamba, nina changu, na nina kwangu. They now have a sense of security and empowerment.
The President also committed to the delivery of water to Kenyans. Next Monday, he will launch the Baricho Water Works in Kilifi Constituency. Baricho Water Works serves Malindi, Kilifi North, Magarini and Mombasa
This comes in the wake of his commissioning of the Sh 46 million Faza-Vumbe water project at Faza in Pate Island, Lamu county last Friday. This was implemented with the support of the Government of Iran.
The President also had an opportunity to listen to 610 young people from the six counties of Coast when he hosted them for a question-and-answer session at State House, Mombasa.
Equally, the President has held several meetings with leaders from the various counties of the Coast and discussed the region’s development agenda.
Of course, engaging with young people is critical to understanding their needs, and in this case, the President also wanted to hear proposed solutions by themselves to the problems that they have to tackle on a daily basis.
The President also wanted to hear their suggestions on how the various services and funds that target young people, such as AGPO, Uwezo, women and youth empowerment funds could work more efficiently and effectively to fulfil their mandate.
Infrastructure development ranks high on the Jubilee Manifesto.
And in 2016, the Government will launch the programme to build 8,000 kilometres of new tarmacked roads. The projects will cover every county of Kenya.
President Kenyatta’s launch of the construction of the Sh2.7 billion Port Reitz/Moi International Airport access road project on Saturday is part of the first batch of roads totalling 1,700 kilometres that will be launched this January. A second batch of 1,800 kilometres will be launched in March.
As you well know, the construction of Port Reitz/Moi International Airport access road will provide the necessary connection to the newly constructed second container terminal at the Port of Mombasa. It will also help decongest Mombasa City and spur the growth that will create the jobs our young people need.
The dualling of the Mombasa-Mariakani Highway, Dongo Kundu bypass and Mombasa Northern bypass are all on course. Once these road projects are completed, transport and movement in Mombasa County will ease significantly, boosting industrial development and reducing the cost of doing business.
I need not explain the benefits we anticipate, which include substantially greater investment in the area.
Other roads ear–marked for upgrading in the Coast include the Witu-Mokowe road, which the President assured will start in two months’ time – indeed, he will personally monitor its progress. Others projects of note include the Mariakani–Mavueni road, a major short-cut to Kilifi and Malindi, which is now almost complete.
In 2015, the Jubilee administration began to deliver its promise of effective, modern, hi–tech healthcare to all Kenyans: Huduma
In addition to the national referral hospitals, the Government began the development of two key hospitals in every county, aiming to equip them with facilities to screen and treat conditions that would ordinarily require patients to go abroad at great cost.
Already 15 hospitals have been equipped and the target is to complete the remainder by June 2016, thereby widening access to health services.
Here at the Coast General Hospital, the hospital equipment project has advanced. There are services that have already began at the hospital such as breast cancer screening, imaging and providing other equipment and services in terms of this project should be done by end of February.
Electricity is a key ingredient in industrialisation and economic growth as you are aware. On Friday 15 January 2016, the President Kenyatta will launch the national street lighting programme dubbed “Mwangaza Mtaani” as part of his “Powering Freedom” project.
This will propel major towns towards a 24–hour economy. Under this programme here in Mombasa, the Mombasa CBD, Old Town, Nyali, Likoni, Majengo, Bondeni, Mbaraki, Changamwe and Kongowea will be lit at a cost of KSh 224 million. Elsewhere, the streets of Malindi, Watamu, Timboni and Gede in Kilifi County will be lit at a cost of KSh 94 million. In Kwale County, Ukunda, Diani and Tiwi will have street lights installed also by the National Government at a cost of KSh 62 million.
The 24-hour economy concept is also being implemented in Nairobi, Kisumu, Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo Marakwet, Nyeri, Kiambu and West Pokot where lights are being installed as we speak.
The 24–hour economy benefits Kenyans by increasing the number of jobs available, and increases productivity by using available manpower, space and technology in more efficient ways, all for the quicker growth of our economy.
To boost the tourism sector, President Kenyatta earlier yesterday officially opened the English Point Marina, an iconic landmark in the coastal city of Mombasa with a modern design and contemporary feel.
The English Point Marina, is a 4-acre ocean view, multi-million dollar marina resort featuring a 26–room hotel, a conferencing facility, a rooftop restaurant, a casino, a swimming pool, 96 serviced apartments – including 8 penthouses – a seafront restaurant, gym and spa; as well as a boardwalk with retail outlets, a water-sports centre and a fully-serviced 88–berth marina.
English Point Marina will put Kenya on the map of the luxury yacht market, and the investment is set to open up Kenya to the high-end international ocean traveler.
The President also announced a raft of measures, which are expected to hasten the recovery of the tourism sector. The Government looks forward to working with the private sector and tourism players to develop the industry.
At the intra–Africa relations level, I am pleased to inform you that President Muhammadu Buhari of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will make a state visit to the country on 27 January 2016. This visit will go a long way in promoting the existing cordial and mutually beneficial relations between Kenya and Nigeria.
President Buhari’s visit is expected to enhance bilateral and trade ties between Kenya and Nigeria. It is set to further cement previous agreements and business interactions between the two countries.
Kenya and Nigeria have signed several pacts. The most recent ones were three agreements to promote trade between the two countries that were penned during President Kenyatta’s State visit to Nigeria in May 2014.
These agreements were on Trade Cooperation and on Agricultural Cooperation which lay the foundation for business people from Kenya and Nigeria to interact and promote business and make provisions for the two countries to work together in boosting their agriculture respectively. The third agreement was on immigration matters and sought to ease the movement of people between Kenya and Nigeria.
On 30 January 2016, the President Kenyatta will travel to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to attend this year’s African Union Heads of State and Government Summit where he will voice Kenya’s position in many issues at the continental level.
The African leaders are likely to discuss the situation in Burundi, South Sudan and Somalia as part of a broader review of peace and security on the continent.
They will also discuss deepening regional integration and how Africa would access billions of dollars set aside by the global community for climate adaptation.
At the start of February, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el Sisi will make a state visit, the first by an Egyptian Head of State to this country.
Both countries will consider how best to improve mutual trade (the balance is in Kenya’s favour) and review strategies for improving regional security.
State House Spokesperson
13 January 2016