Deputy President William Ruto yesterday presented key policies he would implement if elected in the August 9 general elections.
Dubbed ‘The Plan’, Ruto said Kenya’s economic challenges require immediate attention and one of his priorities as President is to revive the economy in a post-Covid era.
Speaking at Kasarani Nairobi, Ruto insisted the policies in the manifesto aimed at achieving “durable growth, while maintaining macroeconomic stability and empowerment of the people at the bottom of the pyramid”.
Ruto said among the key challenges that will confront his administration include an unemployment rate that is estimated at over 50 per cent; an economy highly dependent on low productive agriculture (around 30 per cent of GDP) with high susceptibility to drought; rising energy and food prices that are now beyond the reach of many Kenyans and about half of Kenyans now living below the poverty line (2019 estimate) worsened by the pandemic.
“In addition, managing and making devolution [work] effectively, fostering national unity and meeting the elevated expectation of citizens under a newly elected president who signifies a change from a top-down economic regime structure to bottom-up. This will have important implications for Kenya’s future economic and social conditions,” he said.
He said Kenya Kwanza’s plan is a bold step in transforming economy to achieve durable growth, while maintaining macroeconomic stability and empowerment of the people at the bottom of the pyramid, the “hustlers.”
According to him, trickle-down economics does not work because the “free market” is not free, or fair; it is rigged for the privileged, captured, and monopolised by cartels.
He said the trickle-down model rewards capital more than labor, big business more than small ones, and incumbents more than start-up’s.
“Triple down economic model has failed because personal interests override the public interest where selective interest in policy and legislation supersedes the common good. It is based on an assumption that the market is properly governed and regulated. But most often, the market is captured by cartels driving it to monopolistic and duopolistic tendencies,” said Ruto.
He said the bottom-up economic model is a people-driven, deliberately inclusive, participatory process where citizen participation is at the core of policies, strategies, programs, and projects.
“By ensuring a consultative and a participatory process involving citizens in identifying their key socio-economic priorities, it ensures that government work meets people’s needs and that public policy is relevant and that government works for the people,” he said.
Ruto said during Kenya Kwanza’s bottom-up economic dialogue in the 47 counties, they had anchored their manifesto on five pillars that include Agriculture and Food Security, MSMEs and Financing, Housing, Health Access, and ICT and Creative Economy.