The President of Kenya, Dr. William Samoei Ruto has revealed how his new government is going to deal with the challenges of high cost of living in East Africa’s largest economy.
Addressing Kenyans during his inauguration ceremony that took place at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Tuesday, 13th September, 2022, Dr. Ruto said as government, their strategy to bring down the cost of living is predicated on empowering producers.
“The forecast for maize harvest this year is below 30 million bags against the normal production of 40 million bags. The main cause of the decline in production is the high cost of inputs. Our priority intervention therefore, is to make fertilizer, good-quality seeds and other agricultural inputs affordable and available. For the short rain season, we have already made arrangements to make 1.4 million bags of fertilizer available at Ksh3,500 for a 50kg bag down from the current Ksh 6,500,” the President said amid chants from the audience,” he noted.
“This will be available from next week. I appeal to county governments in Eastern, Central and Western regions, to work with us in making sure that the fertilizer is available to farmers. Additionally to cushion tea farmers, we have made arrangements with KTDA to immediately supply tea farmers with fertilizer at Kshs 3,500 down from Kshs6,500. This is our initial intervention, we will be doing more for the medium term and the long term.”
Dr. Ruto also stated that Kenyans are alive to the challenges of drought that face seven counties, which are now at ‘alarm’ and 13 that are at alert stages respectively. He assured that his government is determined to ensure that that no county slips into the emergency phase and will coordinate with county governments, which are the first line of response.
“We are mobilizing resources to reverse this situation……Our goal is not just to provide relief and recovery to
restore the situation, but to invest and unlock the huge economic potential of the rangelands that constitute two thirds of our country.”
He also disclosed that jobs are their other priority.
“It is time for us to stem the tide of youth unemployment. Every year, 800,000 young people join the workforce and over 600,000 of them do not find opportunities for productive work. Moreover, our young people in cities and towns face very hostile environments, many times treated as a nuisance and their hustles criminalized. Those who seek to set up formal businesses are faced with the bureaucratic monster that is multiple licences,” Dr. Ruto asserted.
“Our immediate agenda is to create a favourable business and enterprise environment, decriminalize livelihoods and support people in the informal sector to organise themselves into stable, viable and creditworthy business entities. This is the essence of the bottom-up economic model, which creates a path for traders and entrepreneurs to build linkages, experience safety, and enjoy security. We will work with county governments
to create frameworks that provide secure trading places in our cities and towns.”
At the same swearing in ceremony, the President of Uganda, Gen. Yoweri Museveni challenged the African political class that as they seek there people’s mandate to take leadership positions, they should bear in mind that their main pre-occupations is how to bring prosperity to their countries.
In his brief speech, Gen. Museveni told the cheering crowds that during the Kenya elections he watched KTN TV channel news programme ”KTN News Kivumvi” and they were talking mainly about sharing resources and power, but one young man asked “where do resources come from?”
“On this inauguration ceremony, I would like to address you on an issue that is the real challenge of African countries and leadership and this is the issue of prosperity of our people. I would appeal to you to answer that question. Where does prosperity come from?” H.E Museveni said.
“It is my considered opinion, and given my experience of 60 years, I would appeal to Africans that prosperity comes from wealth creation. Wealth is not equivalent to possession or presence of natural resources. You may have natural resources and but not get wealth out of them.”
He said Wealth means Commercial agriculture, Manufacturing, Services e.g hotels and ICT creating a linkage between wealth and jobs.
He congratulated H.E Ruto who he said he had known for a long time and met several times and had confided in him.
“I have known President Ruto for a while and met him several times in Uganda. I am sure he is a good leader, ” he said.
He also called on the new Kenyan leadership to work for the realisation of the East African international which he said was the only sure way to strengthen the region and guarantee its future.
The inauguration was also attended by H.E Paul Kagame of Rwanda, H.E Samia Suluhu of Tanzania, H.E Salva Kiir of South Sudan, H.E Felix Tshisekedi of DRC and H.E Philippe Nyusi of Mozambaque, H.E Évariste Ndayishimiye of Burundi, H.E Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of Somalia, and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) and Chadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, among others.
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