OPINIONPeople Daily

Third Medium Term plan draws path to prosperity

Irungu Nyakera

In December 2016, the Ministry of Devolution and Planning embarked on the preparation of the Third Medium-Term Plan (MTP3), which outlines Kenya’s development focus for the next five years (2018- 2022). The key drivers of the MTP3 include the achievement of 10 per cent GDP growth, and assuring Kenya’s transition into a middle-income economy.

The MTP3 will also build on the accomplishments of the preceding MTP2, and address the challenges encountered so far. To further ensure adequate representation and expertise across economic, social and political pillars, the MTP integrates the input of external stakeholders in the private sector, youth, and international organisations through working and thematic groups.

As per the Constitution, the MTP also incorporates county consultations to enhance planning outcomes, and accommodate the views and priorities of different counties.

The MTP3 preparation is on course so far, with County Sensitization Forums slated for June 12 to 19, followed by the drafting of the MTP3. Following the August elections, the draft MTP3 will assimilate the winning party manifesto in order to ensure that the incoming government adopts a well-informed, and representative agenda for development.

In September, the draft MTP3 will undergo validation and approval processes which will entail a national validation forum, as well as discussions and approvals by the Cabinet, national and county governments, and relevant parliamentary committees.

The final MTP3 will then be launched by the incoming head of state in December, and become operational in January 2018. The MTP2 achieved overall GDP growth of 6.2 per cent as at December 2016, with significant gains in transport, energy, oil and gas, among others. The transport sector made tremendous progress in enhancing access, and easing movement of goods and people to spur growth.

Besides the remarkable realization of the recently launched Standard Gauge Railway, other developments included the completion of a second container terminal at the port of Mombasa, the completion of terminal 1A at JKIA, rehabilitation and modernisation of airstrips across the country, developments across the LAPSSET corridor and construction of new roads and bridges.

In Energy, installed power capacity increased from 1,690 MW to 2,341 MW in 2016, headlining ongoing efforts to make energy more affordable and accessible to households and industry. Additional customers and schools were also connected and transmission networks expanded.

The oil and gas sector was strengthened by the ongoing construction of the Mombasa to Nairobi pipeline and the completion and commissioning of the Nakuru to Kisumu pipeline. By 2015, 74 oil exploration wells had been drilled, and new exploration blocks increased from 46 to 63.

So far, 36 blocks have been licensed to 18 international oil companies. National security improved as a result of various initiatives to reduce terror threats and insecurity.

These included the reactivation of emergency numbers to enhance responsiveness, installation of 3,100 surveillance cameras in Nairobi and Mombasa, and recruitment of an additional 26,000 police men/women.

These, and other efforts contributed to the tourism industry’s recovery, and normalised hotel occupancy. Developments in Health included the implementation of the Managed Equipment Services Programme in 98 hospitals to enhance healthcare, expansion of NHIF coverage and benefits, free maternity services, increased immunisation coverage, and a decline in Malaria and HIV prevalence.

The long list of achievements also included Huduma centers to improve public service delivery, empowerment programmes targeting youth and women, the Inua Jamii programme to provide a security safety net for the elderly and orphans, the Digital Literacy Programme to integrate ICT into the curriculum, the competency based education and training curriculum to prepare students for future opportunities, enactment of the Climate change act, digitisation and automation of land records and services, ICT improvements to enhance connectivity, among others.

Despite its many successes, the MTP2 period faced some challenges which highlighted the need for improvement in devolution, financing development, land acquisition for infrastructure projects and legislation.

The MTP3 will continue addressing devolution challenges through commitment to building consensus on devolution implementation between national and county governments.

The MTP3 will also adopt new frameworks to support financing for all the planned activities and improve on procedures for land acquisition for infrastructure projects. Further efforts will also focus on public sector reforms to promote national values and improve governance and accountability.

Enhancing efficiency in policy-making, legislation, and institutional reforms will also create an environment conducive for achievement of development targets.

Besides carrying key infrastructure projects to completion, the MTP3 will also focus on structural transformation of manufacturing and industry, increasing exports, growing Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, irrigation and food security, water access and sanitation, job creation, and security.

The Blue Economy and maritime sector will also receive amplified priority in the MTP3 in order to fully tap into Kenya’s vast marine and fisheries resources.

For the first time, the MTP3 will also integrate Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and climate change measures into programming and budgeting across ministries, counties, agencies and departments.

Ultimately, the success of MTP3 will depend on the participation, and goodwill of all Kenyans as well as unwavering government commitment to guarantee and deliver the best quality of life to all citizens. —The writer is the Principal Secretary for Planning and Statistics

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