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Kenya presidential address 2020

  • Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta today addressed the nation.

  • Corruption and economic growth emerged as his main themes.

  • Pledges support to Kenyans afflicted by natural disasters such as the recent floods and the ongoing locust invasion.

Kenya presidential address 2020
Tracy Kivunyu
Tracy Kivunyu

Equity Research Analyst, Telecoms

Tellimer Research
14 January 2020
Published byTellimer Research

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta today addressed the nation. Corruption and economic growth emerged as his main themes. We summarise his key areas of focus below:

1. Increasing the circulation of money in the economy. Following the President's directive in November 2019 to settle supplier bills, c70% of pending bills had been paid as at 31 December 2019. With the planned infrastructure bond of KES150bn, all infrastructure-related bills will be settled early this year and aid the completion of all ongoing road and infrastructure projects. The President also urged the Central Bank of Kenya to prevent predatory lending and ensure banks lend at affordable rates. To provide lending facilities to Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), five commercial banks have set aside KES10bn under the Stawi programme to be lent at 9% pa. Loans will range between KES30,000 and KES250,000. 

2. Increase the money in farmer's pockets by eliminating corruption in the Agricultural industry. Governance in the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) will be restructured due to poor corporate oversight, with the Competition Authority directed to bring any conflict of interest arrangements in the agency to an end. Farmers should be earning KES91 per kg but are instead earning KES41, with the balance going to dividends. The Ministry of Agriculture has been directed to ensure that only registered tea growers can sell tea, in order to eliminate middlemen. KTDA should pay at least 50% of the earnings in monthly installments, with the balance being paid as an annual bonus. The newly developed Tea Regulations (2019) are to be finalised and gazetted within the next two weeks. The National Treasury has also been directed to make the KES3bn Cherry Revolving Fund operational within the next 30 days, in order to cushion coffee farmers from delayed payments and enable them to access finances to meet their daily cash flow requirements whilst awaiting payments for their produce. The president also plans to boost the milk industry with KES1.07bn to increase milk processing plants and enable the new KCC to purchase excess milk from farmers. In addition, 16% VAT has been imposed on milk products that originate from outside the EAC.

3. Provide support to Kenyans afflicted by natural disasters such as the recent floods and the ongoing locust invasion. The government has allocated KES5.2bn to provide relief food supplies, undertake a resettlement programme for the displaced communities, support reconstruction of homes that have been destroyed, address health concerns and reconstruct critical infrastructure, including water supplies. Proposed changes in fee structures by National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) are to be halted until further consultation.

4. Corruption. The National Intelligence Service has been directed to conduct a probe into cartels operating in the public systems of budgeting, procurement, regulation and the illegal rigging of markets. It has also been directed to investigate the agricultural sector.

5. Politics – Cabinet reshuffle. Ukur Yattani, who has been the acting Treasury Cabinet Secretary, has now been confirmed in that position. Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kinujuri, who has faced criticism for his response to the ongoing locust invasion, has been replaced by Peter Munya. The president moved the State Department of Cooperatives from the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade, Enterprise Development and Cooperatives to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries and renamed them as:

  1. Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development.
  2. Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives.

He also moved the State Department of Youth Affairs from the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs to the Ministry of ICT and Innovations, and renamed the Ministries as:

  1. Ministry of Public Service and Gender.
  2. ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs.