By NJIRAINI MUCHIRA
Slowdown of economic growth whenever Kenya is facing a General Election will continue to undermine actualisation of the Vision 2030 masterplan.
Planning, National Development and Vision 2030 Minister Wycliffe Oparanya yesterday said failure to attain the 10 per cent gross domestic product (GDP) growth this year as stipulated in the First Medium Term Plan (MTP) was largely occasioned by the effect of the 2007 General Election.
This year, the Government has also adopted a conservative project for the economy, which it anticipates to growth by 3.5 per cent to four per cent, because it is an election year. This will be a decline from the 4.4 per cent recorded last year.
“Since 1963, economic growth has always slowed down during an election year. Though we had hoped by this year the economy will be growing at 10 per cent, this is not achievable,” he said.
The minister, who was speaking during a media briefing on the preparation of the Second Medium Term Plan that runs from 2013-2017, said the Government expects to achieve the 10 per cent growth in 2017.
The Second Medium Term Plan will be launched in June, next year following the expiry of the First MTP, will guide the country’s development trajectory over the next five years. According to Oparanya, the country has realised significant development under the First MTP particularly on areas of education, health and infrastructure.
The Second MTP will thus seek to address persistent challenges like high rates of unemployment, worsening poverty and inequality and development of the country’s human resources through expansion and improvement in quality of education, health and other social services. Other key areas to be prioritised will be expansion of irrigation to reduce the dependence of the economy on rain fed agriculture, more investments in alternative and green sources of energy, increased investments of infrastructure, addressing internal and external security threats among others.
To accelerate the implementation of flagship projects, the Government has drafted the Public Private Partnership Bill 2012 to encourage more participation by the private sector.
“The private sector has not be actively involved because we only have regulations that most investors are not comfortable with,” he explained.