Journey to transform Kenya for future generations is underway-Ruto
President William Ruto’s State of the Nation Address-Full Speech: I rise before this distinguished assembly of the democratically elected representatives of the people of Kenya to discharge my constitutional functions under Article 132(1)(c).
The occasion requires me to give an account, to the people of Kenya, the measures taken by their government, under my leadership, and to give full expression and effect to the soul of our constitutional dispensation by implementing the National Values and Principles of governance set out in Article 10.
I have a substantial report to give on the progress made in fulfilling this solemn covenant, and that the journey of transforming Kenya for the benefit of present and future generations is fully underway. Its positive effects have also begun to bear fruit across many sectors of national endeavour from the grassroots to the capital.
On 13th September 2022, when I took office, I undertook to ensure the urgent transformation of our economy and to stop and reverse the negative trends of runaway unemployment, yawning inequality and widespread poverty which were denying Kenyans their dignity and extinguishing their dreams.
The mass appeal of the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda was due, in a large part, to the fact that its development and articulation, as well as its content and implementation strategy represented our national values in action. It was inclusive, democratic, committed to social justice and the protection of the marginalised.
Our commitment to bring the national values and principles of governance to life in order to significantly enhance the well-being of every individual and promote the unity, stability, security and development of our country began long before the last election and will endure well beyond our term.
It has been my manifest intention to live up to all the commitments set out in the Plan and, despite enormous challenges and tremendous difficulties, we have made encouraging progress in a positive direction.
This has not only vindicated our philosophy of inclusive transformation in the pursuit of shared prosperity, but it has also increased our confidence that we are on the right path and shall, in due course, deliver the transformation of our nation in full.
It is important for us to point out that we began the implementation of our mandate to transform Kenya’s economy from the bottom up under extremely difficult circumstances, not to excuse failure or justify inability or omission to do the necessary work.
Rather, we do it to emphasise the significance of our progress, underscore the possibility of transformation under daunting conditions and express well-founded confidence that when sufficient progress is made, we shall do much more and go much farther in delivering the Kenya We Want for our generation and for posterity.
In our Plan, we identified three primary challenges—external shocks, fiscal distress, and structural imbalances—that heavily strained our economy, causing nationwide difficulty.
The Covid19 pandemic, coupled with global supply chain disruptions and geopolitical conflicts, significantly raised inflation and interest rates, adversely affecting our economy, while low agricultural investment and a prolonged drought led to food shortages and made Kenya a net food importer in a volatile international market.
It was under conditions of such extreme difficulty that the people of Kenya entrusted us with the responsibility of simultaneously generating effective solutions to immediate problems, providing a credible pathway to stability in the medium term, and undertaking long-term structural transformation of our but in a manner which paid attention to the needs and aspirations of Kenyans at the bottom of the pyramid.
The transformation of our economy is not only desirable and important; it is also necessary and urgent, and the people of Kenya have made this clear at every opportunity. Our duty as leaders is to listen keenly and comply with the people’s wishes. Kenyans want to proceed in a new direction and demand a new conversation that puts Mama Mboga’s security, well-being, interests and aspirations at the front and centre of all policy and governance discourse.
Citizen freedoms and fundamental rights lie at the heart of enterprise and democracy. Accordingly, our governance system must be fit for purpose: Able to protect people and their belongings, safeguard freedom, facilitate democracy and promote market efficiency. To do this, law enforcement must be robust, judicial integrity, efficiency and independence absolute and the right to the protection of the law nonnegotiable and impartial.
Our police service and all other actors in the justice, law and order chain, including the judiciary, must therefore be professional, independent, impartial, effective and inspired by national values and principles of governance.
In keeping with our promise to the people of Kenya, I signed important instruments on my first day in office.
Among them the delayed appointment of six judges to the Court of Appeal as recommended by the Judicial Service Commission, enhanced allocation to the Judiciary by KSh3 billion, designated the Inspector-General as the accounting officer of the National Police Service to enhance independence and subsequently appointed a taskforce, led by former Chief Justice David Maraga, to review the terms and conditions of service of members of the National Police Service.
Together with the people of Kenya, we have changed everything. We have transformed the national political conversation from personalities to issues, from regional or ethnic largesse to opportunities for our youth and hustlers, from division to inclusion, and from the status quo to bottom-up economic transformation for shared prosperity.
To date, Kenyans remain fully seized of the agenda, engaging rigorously and with unrelenting focus on expanding agricultural productivity to deal with the cost of living, affordable housing to create jobs and dignified dwellings, universal health coverage for a healthy productive population, digital transformation to create jobs and efficient and effective access to government services, the Hustler Fund and the prudent management of national resources.
By virtue of the internal coherence of our constitutional dispensation, national values and principles of governance set out core directive precepts whose observance imbues every decision and action with implicit constitutionality.
To the extent that our plan is aligned with Article 43, the implementation of the bottom-up economic transformation agenda is a programme to intensify the actualisation of national values, with a special focus on citizens at the bottom of the economic pyramid.
From the first day in office, we have worked hard every day to move our agenda forward, amid many challenges, to forge a path in the direction of progress.
That is the essence of our commitment: To make progress despite challenges and move forward by overcoming great obstacles. We must never be defined by our problems, and Kenya’s destiny cannot be derailed by our challenges.
The cost of living is not an abstract phenomenon. It is a reality experienced by all households, which can be addressed through practical action and effective measures. One of the most salient interventions in addressing the high cost of living is the strategy to support agricultural production throughout the sector’s range of food and cash crops as well as livestock value chains.
I am committed to put the shame of hunger behind us once and for all. We rolled out a countrywide farmer registration and fertiliser subsidy programme that has made available 5.5 million bags to farmers across Kenya. We have progressively reduced the cost of fertiliser from KSh6,500 to KSh2,500, increased maize acreage under production by an extra 200,000 acres and enhanced maize production by an additional 18 million bags.
As a result of these interventions, today a 2kg packet of maize flour is selling at a low of KSh145 and a high of KSh175 depending on the brand down from KSh250. A Gorogoro of maize is selling at between KSh60 and KSh75.
We have also established 22 new fish landing sites in 9 counties in the Nyanza and Coast regions, funded and organised beach management units into cooperatives, set up two hatcheries in Kabonyo and Shimoni and we are in the process of completing Liwatoni fish processing plant by next month and Shimoni fish port by the end of next year.
To achieve efficiency, transparency and accuracy in fertiliser distribution, we enrolled farmers on a digital register, with accurate details of the location and acreage of their agricultural landholding. This database enabled us to implement an evoucher system through which farmers received their fertiliser consignments for planting and top-dressing of maize, tea, coffee, rice, potatoes, cotton and edible oil crops.
Our farmers are the best people to speak about the success of the fertiliser programme. Yesterday, I spoke to several farmers in different parts of the country. Ms Alice Nato of Bungoma, a single mother, told me that the KSh2,500 fertiliser had doubled the yield on her farm from 52 bags of maize last year to 120 bags this year.
Another farmer, Mr Albert Munyi, appreciated the impact the fertiliser subsidy had on his farm and asked me to work out a way that the fertiliser can be delivered closer to farmers rather than NCPB depots. I assured him that I will work with governors to actualise his proposal.
But it was Mr Samuel Chacha of Kuria, who graphically painted the picture of transformation the fertiliser subsidy has done in farms countrywide with a phrase that stuck in my mind. He simply told me: “Mr President, shamba yangu inametameta.”
Further, we have made adequate arrangements, including investment in necessary infrastructure, to facilitate post-harvest management and prevent losses. 17 certified warehouses, jointly managed by the National Cereals and Produce Board and private sector owners, with a combined capacity of 365,000 MT, or 4 million 90kg bags, have been prepared in the maize-growing areas.
The NCPB shall provide a subsidised maize drying service to farmers at a fixed cost of KSh70 per bag, which is a significant improvement from the previous rate of KSh350 per bag. Yesterday, the first consignment of the 100 mobile driers for use by our farmers docked in the country.
Additionally, we are enhancing dairy productivity for better farmer returns. The government, working closely with milk processor is mapping the country to ensure coolers are supplied where needed. Soon, farmers will be paid based on milk quality, boosting income and enjoy global market access.
Our reforms in the coffee sector are bearing fruit, with our farmers set to earn four times advance pay for their crop, from a low of KSh20 to KSh80, following the allocation of KSh4 billion from the Coffee Cherry Fund. Coffee reforms regulations will give farmers’ the necessary representation and weight at the Nairobi Coffee Auction. These measures are expected to aid ongoing efforts, including expanding production to new counties and double coffee output in the next 4 years.
The government is currently restructuring public sugar mills, expediting the leasing of five companies for rehabilitation and expansion to boost industry competitiveness before the COMESA sugar safeguards expire.
The objective includes creating a competitive sector, raising farmer incomes and enhancing productivity. We’ve also waived KSh117 billion non-performing debt for government-owned sugar factories.
As earlier indicated, our public borrowing had long crowded out the productive sector from the financial markets, raising the cost of credit and slowing down trade and commerce.
As I told Kenyans on my first day in office, times were difficult and many people are struggling and necessary and effective sustainable solutions were urgently needed. We must admit that as a country, we had been living large and way beyond our means.
The time has come, therefore, to retire the false comforts and illusory benefits of wasteful expenditure, and counterproductive subsidies on consumption by which we dug ourselves deeper into the hole of avoidable debt. The new direction may not be easy, but it is ethical, responsible, prudent and, most importantly, necessary. We have had to take hard decisions and make painful choices because we owe it to Kenyans to do the right thing and confront facts as they are without flinching or equivocating.
We have worked hard, at home and further abroad, to mobilise a broad coalition of bilateral development partners, multilateral development banks and other agencies, which have rallied to pull our country back from the brink of debt distress and set us firmly on the path towards sustainable economic growth.
Our efforts to stabilise the situation have yielded such progress that next month, in December, we will be able to settle the first $300 million instalment of the $2 billion Eurobond debt that falls due next year. I can now state with confidence that we will and shall pay the debt that has become a source of much concern to citizens, markets and partners.
Having said this, I further announce to the nation that our intentional, consistent and sustained efforts, here and abroad, have enabled us to normalise our relationships with the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, the Africa Development Bank and various development partners to such an extent that they are now working with us to implement the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation plan.
As earlier indicated, our public borrowing had long crowded out the productive sector from the financial markets, raising the cost of credit and slowing down trade and commerce, especially the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, including Mboga. Consequently, many entrepreneurs were referred for blacklisting by the credit reference bureau, CRB, where 7 million borrowers were listed.
We pledged to provide affordable, and accessible credit and restore small business owners to good standing with credit rating agencies.
A deliberate, targeted strategic financial inclusion fund, the Hustler Fund, providing affordable credit and mobilising savings for individuals and small businesses was launched on 30th November, 2022.
The public response to the Hustler Fund has exceeded most initial projections and surprised even the most hardened sceptics. By the end of last month, the Fund had disbursed KSh 36.6 billion, with KSh2.3 billion in savings and 7.5 million repeat borrowers whose overall repayment rate is at an impressive 73 per cent. The top borrower of the fund has so far accessed a total KSh4.5 million in 816 transactions, while the top voluntary saver is at KSh631,491.
In the intervening period, the Hustler Fund has also launched a group product, which has attracted 50,000 active groups to the platform, of which 20,000 have received KSh151 million.
The Hustler Fund has proved to us not only the huge pent-up demand for affordable credit, but also the readiness of Kenyans to embrace credit and savings, and to pay their loans on time with minimum prompting.
The notion that Kenyans are not credit worthy or high-risk borrowers is nothing more than unjust financial profiling which has, in many instances, become a needless self-fulfilling prophecy.
When I called Harrison Karisa Kengai yesterday, a Tuk Tuk operator in Mombasa, who has accessed 714,000 from the Hustler Fund, he suggested that we find a way to have the Fund provide asset financing so that he could use his Tuk Tuk for such credit. I assured him that during my address today, Iwould ask the ministry responsible to respond to him.
Consequently, I hereby direct the Ministry of Cooperatives and MSMEs to expeditiously engage Mr Kengai.
The impact of the Hustler Fund is summarised by the story of Mr Sospheter Ondiek from Kisii. The Kenyan film industry should look for him to tell his true life story. Mr. Ondiek has a plumbing and tiling business in Kisii and has accessed a total of 1.7m from the Hustler fund in the many transactions he has undertaken.
To enhance our savings that have consistently been among the lowest globally, and to correct the delayed transformation of our social security architecture, fundamental reforms are underway in our savings and social security space.
As promised, we committed to take deliberate measures to foster a strong culture of saving among Kenyans and enable them mobilise resources for investment and development of intergenerational capital, to eliminate old age poverty and ensure comfort in retirement. Until recently, the rate of Kenya’s public pension savings stood at KSh1.4 billion a month, which is the lowest in our region at 12.5 per cent of GDP.
As a result of our initial interventions, the savings situation in Kenya is changing for the better. Contributions to the National Social Security Fund have grown to KSh6.5 billion monthly.
The implication of this growth in our national savings is that it will significantly consolidate our nation’s ability to invest in development using domestic pension industry financing.
Majority of Kenyans live in their own rural homes even though many experience land and settlement challenges, including landlessness, insecure land tenure and perennial squatter problems.
Acute housing challenges are principally an urban phenomenon, and they present a serious threat to health and safety as well as dignity of people, particularly low-income earners.
The proliferation of slums in our urban areas indicate the extent of this serious problem, and the urgency with which it must be addressed to enable Kenyans have greater choice in leading dignified, safe and healthy lives affordably.
Low supply of affordable units in Kenya is acute, making rent a huge component of the cost of living for many households. The increase in affordable housing units is a strategic intervention to not only supply comfortable dwellings for Kenyans, but also as a means to reduce the cost of living.
Three categories of houses will be supplied by this programme: Social, affordable and and market rate. Interest on financing for buying the various units will be at single digits. For social housing, the interest will be at 3 per cent, affordable housing 6 per cent and 9 per cent for the market rate category.
The affordable housing programme has received tremendous support from county governments across Kenya and I thank governors for their partnership.
The construction of 46,792 units in various parts of the country is already underway, while another 40,000 are ready to commence construction. 50,000 Kenyans, who were previously unemployed, are now engaged directly and indirectly in this enterprise, and the numbers will significantly increase as the projects move into the next phases. A total of 746,795 housing units are in the pipeline, undergoing various stages of delivery.
More jobs are being created with the formalisation of the Jua Kali clusters, providing products like doors, hinges and windows. Architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, masons, electricians, plumbers, transporters, steel and cement factory workers, and hardware merchants will be partakers of this transformative plan.
We are also constructing 400 markets across Kenya to provide Mama Mboga with a dignified working environment, complete with water, electricity, and other amenities.
Our education system must develop a formidable reservoir of skill, talent, highly competitive and innovative human capital to support our vision of economically transforming Kenya.
Within weeks of taking office, I appointed the Presidential Working Party on Education Reform, led by Prof Raphael Munavu, to provide clarity on the transition to the new competence-based curriculum and make further recommendations on necessary reforms in our education system, from early childhood all the way to the tertiary level.
The working party concluded its work and submitted a report, whose recommendations are already being implemented. urgent and vexing question of transition to Junior School has been settled, and the Kenya Primary School Education Assessment will be used for the exclusive purpose of monitoring learner progress and not for placement in the next grade.
In keeping with our commitment, 56,750 new teachers have been employed, while 8,200 primary school teachers were retrained to equip them with capacity to effectively deliver learning and teaching at the Junior School level.
With changes to the entry requirements for teacher training colleges, admission has increased by 300 per cent to 20,456 trainees.
At the tertiary level, the working party recommended an overhaul of the existing education funding framework to a variable scholarship and loan model in order to address the financing gaps which denied many young Kenyans the opportunity to pursue tertiary education in our universities and TVET colleges, hampered the financial capacity of institutions of higher learning and affected the ability of the institutions to train.
The new model for financial support is student-centred and deploys a rigorous, impartial means testing instrument to establish their level of need, which then becomes the primary consideration in allocating scholarships and loans.
To fully democratise our education system and make higher education accessible and affordable to all, we have chartered the Open University of Kenya following requisite Cabinet and parliamentary approvals.
In the course of consulting Kenyans from all walks of life during the formulation of the BottomUp Economic Transformation Agenda, the fundamental contribution of healthcare to citizen well-being and the role of costs in driving up poverty were identified as chronic. The implications are very clear, and we cannot afford to delay the delivery of universal healthcare anymore.
Consequently, we have instituted radical reforms in the provision of healthcare services in Kenya, including the enactment of four new laws that will anchor the implementation of this bottom-up approach to healthcare.
I am tremendously grateful to this honourable Parliament for enacting the Primary Healthcare Act, the new Social Health Insurance Act, the Digital Health Act and the Facility Improvement Financing Act.
These laws will usher in and guarantee a new era in the provision of healthcare, covering all essential services from preventive, promotive, curative, palliative and rehabilitative services, guaranteeing every Kenyan access to comprehensive and quality care.
Under Afya Nyumbani, we have scaled up our investment in healthcare workforce, employing 20,000 new healthcare workers, deploying 8,429 workers whose contracts had lapsed and enrolling 3,394 interns across the country to increase the availability of human capital in our public health sector.
Working with county governments, we have taken measures to resolve the perennial challenge of human resources management in the health sector by establishing the Kenya Health Human Resources Advisory Council, which will be a trusted mediator between government and health sector workers.
Further, under the Afya Nyumbani model, we identified preventive care as an essential pillar of healthcare service delivery because it enables Kenyans to manage their conditions early enough before they cause serious harm in well-being and productivity. Community health promotion is our bottom-up intervention to deliver preventive and promotive health solutions at the grassroots, by deploying community health promoters to visit Kenyans at their homes, provide basic diagnosis for common conditions and refer cases to appropriate medical facilities.
Together with all the 47 counties, we have deployed 100,000 community health promoters fully equipped with the necessary kit and an electronic community health information system. In the last one month, CHPs have attended to 1.2 million households.
I spoke on phone to Mr Masud Diriye, a community health promoter in Garissa, who told me he has been a Community Health Volunteer since 2011.
Unlike before, now he has a full medical kit and had used it to confirm that 7 people in his area of operation had high blood pressure. In a twist of fate, he tested himself and discovered that he too had high blood pressure. Mr Obembi Ogutu of Homabay told me that the programme is a paperless approach to primary healthcare, saying it had started to reduce queues in hospitals.
Through the Facility Improvement Financing Act, 2023, we have established a framework that confers financial autonomy to health facilities, enabling them retain funds generated with a mandate to improve facility capacity to provide healthcare services.
In addition, the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA), as part of many radical reforms, will now deploy ICT to manage the supply chains of essential health products and commodities. As a result of these reforms, KEMSA has improved its stocking rate from 40 per cent to about 60 per cent in the last 5 months and targeting 80 per cent by March next year.
As is becoming clear, we cannot hope anymore to deliver services to Kenyans in their millions across the country with any measure of efficiency, integrity, transparency and accountability without ICT. From education and agriculture to health and financial inclusion, digital technologies reign supreme in transforming service delivery, governance improvements and catalysing efficiency throughout the economy.
We have commenced the rollout of 100,000km of last-mile fibreoptic connectivity to make reliable high-speed Internet available throughout the country, along with 25,000 free Wi-fi hotspots in all market centres and 1,450 ICT hubs in every ward.
We have expanded digital provision of public services to encompass 13,000 services, and it is our commitment to ensure full digitisation by the end of next month. Our decision to enhance efficiency and integrity in the provision of government services has gone a long way to improve revenue collection. Working with the private sector, we launched the local assembly of affordable smartphones last week in Athi River.
Digitisation and automation enhance service delivery and citizen satisfaction, and also assures greater accuracy, transparency, accountability and reduces opportunities for corruption in the course of transacting with government ministries, departments and agencies.
Corruption, wastage, inefficiency and negligence are serious threats to our transformation agenda, and unacceptable practices that have no place in our nation. I have given my firm assurance to the people of Kenya that cases of misconduct and corruption shall be dealt with ruthlessly, with finality and expeditiously.
I ask Parliament to finalise the Assets Declaration and Conflict of Interest Bill to further tighten our anti-corruption policy framework, and eliminate space for misbehaviour.
The security and safety of all citizens is our foremost commitment and most fundamental obligation, without which every other endeavour is not possible. The reason why Kenya has continued on the path of steady progress is that we have maintained stability, peace and security by affirming our territorial integrity and maintaining internal tranquility.
This is not to say our country has not had its share of security challenges. The spectre of terrorism is a continuing threat that we must remain constantly vigilant against. Pockets of banditry, cattle-rustling and armed lawlessness have besieged and devastated communities in the Rift Valley, North-Eastern and, occasionally, parts of Eastern and the Coast regions.
We all know that insecurity disrupts lives and destroys livelihoods. Our country has lost too many people to this problem. Many children have been orphaned and missed school, and many families have been displaced because of lawless men taking up illegal arms and waging war against communities.
The government exists to ensure that those who challenge our sovereignty, territorial integrity, national security and the safety of the people are expeditiously countered and rendered harmless for all time.
We have therefore taken firm and decisive measures to deal with the challenge of banditry, armed crime, cattle rustling and other forms of impunity in all parts of our country. Beginning with the successful security operation to restore calm in the North Rift, we have been systematic, focused, thorough, unrelenting and totally committed to removing for good all threats to the lives and livelihoods of Kenyans.
In discharging this commitment, we have been mindful not to use security imperatives to commit impunity, including misuse of resources and extrajudicial infringements on freedoms and fundamental human rights of citizens. We are conscious to provide security as a public service for the benefit of law-abiding citizens, and as a guarantor of economic growth. Therefore, our security services have been committed to a citizencentred, rights-focused, inclusive and a community-based security strategy.
I am therefore quite clear that there exists no tension between the effective delivery of security services and the upholding of human rights and fundamental freedoms. We can be and therefore must be secure, yet free and democratic.
In order to entrench our all-of-society coalition, we have resolved to enhance diversity and inclusion, by enrollment into the National Youth Service (NYS) as an agency to capture young people at the bottom of the pyramid.
Consequently, we are doubling enrolment to 40,000 in the Service from next year, and have made it absolutely mandatory that every village, centre, town and city in Kenya is properly represented in the recruitment. To consolidate this proposition, we have directed that 80% of future recruits to all our national security services will be from among the well-trained, talented and committed young men and women who have undergone training at NYS.
Kenya finds itself continuously summoned by its duty of care to serve as a reliable anchor to our region’s security, peace and stability. We continue to answer to our historic, moral and strategic responsibilities to deploy our resources in solidarity with our region in general, and our immediate neighbourhood in particular.
To prevent the imminent collapse of Goma in Eastern DRC, which would have had serious consequences for the wider East African region, we deployed our troops under the East Africa Community Regional Force. We have continued to anchor the fight against Al Shabaab in Somalia under the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia. The Kenya Defence Forces continues to make Kenya proud.
It is our firm position that only a democratically accountable system that is sensitive and responsive to the diverse composition of Sudan can secure that country. Given the regional interconnectedness, together with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the U.S, we have engaged the Jeddah process as IGAD to fashion a framework that is best placed to successfully deliver peace in the Sudan. International Obligations.
Our economy is firmly interconnected with regional, continental and global economic systems. Our security and stability is likewise integrated with those of our neighbours. Kenya has a fundamental, essential, legitimate and clear interest in conducting robust diplomacy in the form of bilateral and multilateral engagements.
For the past 12 months, we have continued to fulfil our international obligations through Kenya’s leadership in the international arena. This is underscored by the high-level summits Kenya has hosted and participated in.
Kenya successfully hosted the inaugural Africa Climate Summit, the 43rd Ordinary Session of the Executive Council, the 5th MidYear Coordination meeting of the African Union and the Regional Economic Communities, and the first-ever African edition of the Berlin Climate and Security Conference in Nairobi, bringing over 30 Heads of State and Governments to our country and over 30,000 delegates from different parts of the world.
The Government has made deliberate efforts to harness the immense potential of Kenyans in the Diaspora. Indeed, I established the State Department of Diaspora in the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs so that they can fully participate in affairs of their motherland.
I have committed to work collectively, consultatively and collaboratively with the counties and all Kenyans to uphold our cherished national values such as human dignity, equity, social justice, national unity, inclusiveness, integrity, good governance, transparency and accountability. I encourage all honourable members and indeed all Kenyans to embrace an open mindset in regard to national strategic interests and to leverage on our rich heritage.
One of the greatest strengths of our country is our capacity to devise bold, unprecedented solutions to our threats and challenges, create imaginative strategies to avert danger and chart new paths to deliver us from adversity. There is no doubt that our nation has been confronted with immense pressure emanating from political misunderstanding and electoral disagreement arising from our robust democracy. Such pressure can disrupt lives and livelihoods and undermine our economy.
Thankfully, Kenyans always find the moral strength and political imagination to reach across the political divide and engage in dialogue in the spirit of goodwill, fraternity and commitment to the national interest and the welfare of the nation. 95. It would be remiss of me not to mention the ongoing bipartisan process of national dialogue that has enabled our leaders to find common ground on many of the issues whose resolution will accelerate our transformation, deepen our democracy and entrench national unity. I salute the courage and patriotism of my fellow leaders who have embraced national dialogue and encourage all of us to keep up the noble work of bringing Kenyans together.
There is so much to report about the progress we have made in serving the people of Kenya and transforming our economy. I have provided only a summarised highlight of the most salient instances of transformational progress in my address. It is my pleasant duty to hand to the Speakers of the Houses of Parliament the three reports in full as follows: the 10th Annual Report on Measures Taken and Progress Made in the Realisation of National Values and Principles and Governance, the 10th Annual Report on Progress Made in Fulfilling the International Obligations of the Republic of Kenya, and the 10th Annual Report on the State of National Security.
I will not hesitate to acknowledge, with profound humility, that a lot of the successes we have achieved in delivering the BottomUp Economic Transformation Agenda, was due to the patriotic support and solidarity from members of Parliament, both in the Senate and the National Assembly. We are fortunate to be attempting this ambitious historic project of radical change in a bipartisan era when dialogue, consensus, collaboration and partnership have replaced dissent, contention, conflict and disarray, as the operating principles of political discourse.
Issue-oriented politics is not just a democratic necessity and a pathway to sustainable transformation, it is the most effective way of mobilising diversity for collective national good.
As the world reels from destructive assaults on democracy and the relentless subversion of human dignity, freedom reigns supreme in our land and our democracy grows deeper and more robust by the day.
Our collective resolve as a nation to further entrench constitutionalism, democracy, good governance is a unique quality confers on us an incomparable advantage: The power to face the future without fear, to imagine a transformation that extends to posterity and envision prosperity that benefits our children’s offspring and beyond.
As long as we put the welfare of the people of Kenya as our central agenda and play our respective roles in ensuring that government is effective and accountable, efficient and transparent, Kenya’s best fortunes are well within reach. I am persuaded we shall achieve transformation beyond our wildest dreams within this generation.
As a leadership and as a people, we have a historic opportunity to preside over the greatest transformation and progress ever witnessed in nation. Kenya is a nation of brave, hard-working, enterprising people who are determined to prevail in the struggle for economic freedom and win the race for prosperity.
In a nation like ours, great deeds will be accomplished whenever and wherever opportunity exists. This is why the hard work we have done is already showing the promise of abundant fruit. We have laid a firm foundation for rapid development, and Kenya is no longer “on your marks”. The state of our Nation at this moment in time is Prepared and Ready to Go. I thank you. God Bless You. God Bless Kenya.
By Ezra Nyakundi