Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Re-thinking Kenya's Economic Growth and Development Trajectory


It is quite disturbing to witness the harsh reality that most of the problems we face today as a nation are not in any way different from those we encountered 51 years ago at the dawn of independence. This reaffirms the fact that we need to re-look, re-think, re-structure and even re-position the various policies and institutions mainly established to drive the economic growth and development agenda.
Methinks that we have failed to inculcate a leadership-driven economic growth and development ethic in our so-called political leaders. The Kenyan political arena is in dire need of leadership if we have to draw parallels between Kenya and some Asian economic powerhouses. For instance, 50 years ago, Kenya’s per capita income was at $440 while Singapore’s stood at $180. Today, our per capita income is $1800 compared to Singapore’s $59800.
The poor leadership exhibited by our politicians is aggravated and driven by too much politicking. Political leaders are busy consolidating their political power at the expense of actualizing the various development agenda put forth and outlined in their manifestos. Too much politicking shall NEVER aid Kenya to move forward in economic terms. Therefore, the presidency is supposed to initiate astute leadership with which other political leaders will embrace.
Our country’s economic growth and development agenda has been hard-hit and greatly paralysed by the monster called corruption. The failure to combat corruption in full swing points out to the failure of leadership to accentuate zero tolerance against graft. As long as corruption is not tackled, we shall forever oscillate at the same point and attaining our economic goals will remain a mirage. Leaders, led by the President should wake up and fight zealously against corruption.
Furthermore, 51 years after gaining our independence, our exports are majorly primary goods. Personally, I hate it when people say that Kenya is not yet at the level of exporting processed products. I bet that 50 years + 1of independence should witness an era whereby value addition on our exports is inevitable. So how did China, South Korea, Japan, Thailand etc start exporting manufactured goods? These countries offer several paradigms which Kenya can study and come up with its own unique model that will enable Kenya export highly valued commodities.
 Tangible economic growth and development should be forgotten as long as we are still a food insecure nation. The perennial hunger and famine strikes need to be dealt with once and for all. How can you expect Kenya to develop in toto when a good number of Kenyans are not assured of food? Hunger and famine incidences have over the years drained huge amounts of capital which could otherwise have been injected to other sectors of the economy. Therefore, to avoid economic mark-timing, food security is paramount
Nevertheless, as a nation, the various development plans need to be thoroughly scrutinized. Personally, I admit that Vision 2030 shall never be achieved. Hence, it will be prudent if we come up with either a 5 year or a 10 year strategic development plan(s) which are clearly outlined and highly effective so that we are constantly on track to realize a proper and well choreographed economic transformation.
In conclusion, Kenya is full of insanity as we always do things the same way then we expect different results. Thus, too much politicking and a less visionary leadership shall never grant us the results that we always desire to get. It is time to change the way we do things by adopting and adapting different approaches and methods 








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