Deputy President William Ruto has finally unveiled the Kenya Kwanza alliance manifesto, in which he elaborates the policies that informed his much touted bottom-up economic model.
According to DP Ruto, an economic policy should ensure capital in a manner that benefits the most amount of people and the country, at large.
He cited a report which stated that only 19 million Kenyans are employed currently; out of which only 3 million (15%) are in formal jobs – or what he terms as the ‘lottery economy’ – while the other 16 million (85%) work in Micro. Small and Medium sized Enterprises (MSME).
“According to Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) data in 2016, licensed stable MSMEs generated an operating surplus of Ksh.50,000 per employee a month, while those in the ‘lottery’ economy generated Ksh.3,250,” read the manifesto.
“In other words, the workers in formal MSMEs were 15 times more productive than those in the lottery economy.”
DP Ruto noted that the bottom-up economic model will be geared towards bringing down the cost of living, eradicating hunger, creating jobs, expanding the tax base, improving the country’s foreign exchange balance as well as inclusive growth.
To achieve all these, the Kenya Kwanza team has settled on six core pillars, namely: Agriculture; Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) economy; Housing and Settlement; Healthcare; Digital superhighway and creative economy; Environment and climate change.
The DP hence pledged that, if elected to the top office, his Kenya Kwanza government will allocate Ksh.250 billion between 2023 and 2027 to the agriculture sector, which contributes half of Kenya’s GDP.
This amount will be used to provide adequate affordable working capital to farmers as well as in deploying modern agricultural risk management instruments to ensure that farming is profitable and productive.
It will also transform farmers from food deficit to surplus producers, raise productivity of key value food chains, and reduce dependence on basic food imports by 30 per cent.
Ruto said his government will also allocate the same amount to the MSME sector as well as the housing and settlement agenda, which will consist of Ksh.50 billion from the budget and a further Ksh.200 billion from pension funds.