, BY H.E UHURU KENYATTA
We have come to the end of what has been a truly remarkable year. A year ago when I was speaking to you in a similar occasion to usher Year 2015, I indicated that Year 2015 would be a year of possibility for Kenya. Following what we all experienced, achieved and witnessed, no one can deny this today.
We cannot, however, deny the fact that during the Year we also faced a number of challenges and setbacks. But in spite of the challenges we faced, overall we emerged stronger as a Nation.
Where we are today is different from where we were a year ago. We have travelled far along the path envisioned for us by our founding fathers, and paved by our predecessors. Together, we have worked hard towards the promise of a truly free, peaceful and prosperous Kenya. Together, we have continued to entrench the value of patriotism, integrity and hard work and to strengthen our commitment to a just, transparent, accountable and inclusive society.
In dealing with the challenges that looked insurmountable, we grew in strength, resilience and capability. This way, we have been able to endure extremely painful losses, bolstered by our courage and the strategies of confronting and defeating our enemies, as well as efficient methodologies we have adopted to solve problems.
In 2015, we completed the final phase of our effort to spread light to every village in Kenya by connecting every Government primary school to electricity. This has enabled us to lay a foundation for the delivery of our promise of modern, digital learning in primary schools. For the first time in our nation’s history, we are also on target to connect one million households to the national grid in a single financial year, remaining on target to connect 70 percent of Kenyan households to electricity by 2017.
By connecting market centres and rural households to power, we have significantly enhanced the basis for strengthening productivity of the rural economy.
With regard to the environment and wildlife conservation, I wish to also report significant progress in 2015. Poaching declined a massive 80 percent. The number of elephants poached fell to 57 while the number of rhinos poached fell to five.
With respect to the environment, 150 million seedlings were prepared for planting, improving forest cover to 7.2 percent.
After the successful Climate Change summit in Paris, Kenya received $10 million from the Climate Adaptation Fund while Denmark committed to supporting Kenya with Sh7.5 billion for the Green Growth and Employment Project. Further, the Renewable Energy Initiative pledged $10 billion in renewable energy projects for the region, and we stand to benefit significantly.