The Government through the Ministry of Finance and Planning has conducted a county consultation forum in Kwale County, over the preparation of the Fourth Medium Term Plan 2023-2027.
County Consultation forums are discussions where stakeholders brainstorm and plan on the formulation of development policies for the governance of the country.
In Kenya, Public Participation is a provision in the Constitution of 2010 at Article 174c where all citizens in the country have the right to participate and it is their civic obligation to engage in all county governance processes.
Medium Term Plans are development strategies that focus on the main policies, legal and institutional reforms as well as programmes and projects that the government plans to implement in line with the vision 2030.
To implement the country’s broad vision 2030 that aims to transform the country into a newly-industrializing, middle income country, providing a high quality of life to all its citizens in a clean and secure environment, the government is implementing that vision through a five-year successive Medium-Term Plan.
Currently, the government is implementing the Third Medium Term Plan (MTP 2018-2022) whose theme is to transform lives through the advancement of socio-economic development through the Big Four Agenda-Food Security, Affordable Housing, Manufacturing and Affordable Healthcare.
Addressing the press during the county’s consultation forum held at the Matuga School of Government in Matuga Sub-county in Kwale, Principal Secretary (PS) for the State Department of Correctional Services in the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, Safina Kwekwe, asked members of the public to attend the forums so that their voices can be heard.
She added that public participation is invested in the members of the public and the government will safeguard it.
“We want all citizens to take part in this exercise. By taking part, members of the public will be able to express their wishes to the government and the priorities they have on the development projects the government will be undertaking,” PS Kwekwe said.
The PS said the country has made incredible progress in the pursuit of the Big Four Agenda of food and nutrition security, manufacturing, universal healthcare and affordable housing.
She disclosed that the MTP IV will put weight on the economy and economic movers such as agriculture and manufacturing will be in focus in the next four years.
“The Third MTP laid a strong foundation for the growth of our economy and now the Fourth MTP wants to place the government on key drivers of the economy so that we can make our country a middle income,” Kwekwe said.
The World Bank classifies a low-income country if its GDP per capita is less than $2,250, as lower middle-income if it is between $2,250 and $7,500, as upper middle-income if it is between $7,500 and $14,500, and as high-income if it is $14,500 or higher.
Among the areas prioritized in the preparation of the Fourth MTP is the implementation of strategic interventions aimed at driving economic recovery to a sustainable growth trajectory of 9.2 % and increasing the country’s share contribution to GDP from 7.6 percent in 2020 to 15% by 2027.
The Fourth MTP will increase investments in improving infrastructure so as to lower the cost of doing business, which in turn improves national competitiveness and productivity.
Also, the plan will focus on creation of sustainable and decent employment opportunities and productivity enhancement among others.
The First MTP was implemented during 2008-2012 and the Second MTP between 013-2017.
The PS said the government is deeply going into manufacturing so that it can stabilize the economy which has been relying heavily on imported products.
She said the high cost of living being experienced in the county is because of the country’s dependence on imported goods and the government has captured that in the Fourth MTP by creating strong agricultural and manufacturing pillars.
“We have strategies that the country moves to full manufacturing so that we can reduce the importation rate,” PS Kwekwe said.
She added that the major infrastructural developments witnessed in the country are an imperative step towards economic growth since they create a favorable environment for business operations.
Kwekwe noted that the government is strategizing in value addition processes so that it can benefit its people and take charge of the broader East African Market.
She added that the advancement in the agricultural sector such as the establishment of the Banana Processing Plant in Kisii County and refurbishment of the other processing plants across the country are part of the government strategies to improve the country’s food security.
She urged the county governments in the country to work closely with the government and initiate projects that will make the country realize the vision 2030.
Kwekwe noted that in order to implement the country’s vision, Kwale County is funding a number of projects such as the Fruit Processing Plant in Matuga Sub-county, Mwakalanga Dam Project in Mwereni Ward, and establishment of Fresh Produce Wholesale Markets.
Currently, the government is conducting county consultation forums across the forty- seven counties before the release of the first draft Fourth MTP in June.
In September, the Ministry of Finance and Planning will revise the draft MTP 2023-2027 followed by the national validation forum in mid-November.
Later in January, 2023, the Government will launch the MTP IV 2023-2027 and its dissemination across the forty- seven counties.
By Raymond Zaka and Hussein Abdullahi