Kenya lauded by peers for growth, innovation at 26th APRM forum
Kenya was praised for leading Africa by example on many fronts as the country was reviewed by its peers at the 26th African Peer Review Mechanism forum.
President Uhuru Kenyatta was also praised for being a champion of Pan-Africanism and leading the way in the integration and development of the Eastern Africa Region.
In its second APRM review, whose report was presented Saturday evening in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Kenya earned accolades for making impressive progress in its second successful review.
Uganda’s Finance Minister said President Kenyatta and his government are the biggest champions of the integration of the East African Community.
Uganda said Kenya was also setting the pace for the rest of the Eastern Africa region in terms of infrastructure development and gave an undertaking to follow Kenya’s example to complete its part of the Standard Gauge Railway.
The Foreign Affairs Minister of Mauritius congratulated Kenya on its successful review and added that the East African powerhouse leads by example and shows the way for the rest of Africa.
In its executive report on Kenya, the APRM said Kenya has scored impressive gains in many sectors of governance.
The report highlights eight best practices in Kenya that are worthy of emulation by the rest of Africa.
The first best practice named is the Kenya Huduma Centres for improving service delivery, which is a key flagship project of the Jubilee Government.
“Huduma Kenya is an initiative by the Government of Kenya that aims to transform Public Service Delivery by providing access to citizens of the various Public Services and information from One Stop Shop public service centres called ‘Huduma Centres’ and through integrated technology platforms,” says the report.
The Kenya National Human Rights on Commission and the role it plays in protecting and promoting the rights of Kenyans was listed as the second best practice that Kenya can teach Africa.
The Gender-Based Violence Recovery Centres in major public hospitals also made a mark to be included in the list of best practices by Kenya.
The new system of devolution where governance was taken closer to the common man was also listed as a Kenyan best practice that can be copied by other countries.
The high revenue generation internationally acclaimed mobile banking through M-Pesa platform, an active corporate social responsibility and the successful free maternity services were the other best practices.
On high revenue generation, the report says “Recent statistics show that the revenue ratio gradually rose from 18.8 per cent in the 2012/2013 fiscal year to 20.5 per cent in the 2015/2016 fiscal year. This has enabled the Government of Kenya to underwrite about 80 per cent of its total expenditure from the revenue collected.”
In a statement read at the forum, President Kenyatta, who is the current APRM chairman, said Kenya has made significant reforms resulting in progress since 2013.
“Since the last General Election in 2013, there has been extensive restructuring of institutions and processes, the better to consolidate constitutional democracy in Kenya, devolve power to the counties and to clearly divide functions between the different arms and levels of government,” noted the president.
He said that implementing a new constitution and establishing a new constitutional order are not easy tasks but the country has achieved that in the shortest time possible, adding that Kenya has made substantial progress in economic governance.
“Kenya has achieved significant progress in strengthening the economic governance and management of the country since the last review in 2006,” said President Kenyatta.
In its executive summary, the Country Review Report on Kenya, the APRM says the country has enjoyed robust economic growth with real GDP averaging 5.5 per cent for the last seven years, while the GDP grew by 5.6 per cent in 2015 compared to 2.3 per cent in 2014.
“The national government’s fiscal deficit is largely manageable, below 6 per cent of GDP. Total revenue-to-GDP ratio expected to average 21 per cent (much higher than most sub-Sahara African countries) in the next two years,” said the report.
The report attributes Kenya’s GDP is expected to continue its strong growth trajectory this year.