President Uhuru Kenyatta has introduced an 8 point economic stimulus plan in a bid to revive Kenya’s economy that has been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Speaking at State House during an address to the nation, President Kenyatta acknowledged that the Coronavirus has and will continue to undermine efforts to the revitalize economy. However, he said the country must be reopened even as we still live with the virus in our midst.
The government is still sending Kshs 250 million to vulnerable families weekly, with the money channeled to the families personally. To deal with the effect of floods, Kshs 1 billion has been aside for flood control measures, while Kshs 540 million has been set aside for the Greening Kenya campaign. Kshs 3 billion has been set aside for the supply of farm inputs through e-vouchers, targeting 200,000 small scale farmers. Under this programme, Kshs 1.5 billion will be set aside to assist flower and horticultural producers to access international markets.
Kshs 5 billion has been set aside to hire local labour for the rehabilitation of access of roads and foot bridges. With the education sector heavily affected by the Coronavirus, the Ministry of Education has been allocated Kshs 6.5 billion. This is set to cater for the hiring of 10,000 teachers and 1,000 to hire ICT interns to support digital learning.
The tourism industry has also been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic with the effects of a strained global tourism sector being felt in Kenya, one of the leading tourist destinations in Africa. Kshs 2 billion has been set aside to support restoration of facilities and restructuring of business operations by actors in the tourism industry. Funding has also been set aside to support the operations of Utalii College to guarantee the steady supply of well-trained hospitality professionals.
5,000 health workers are also set to be hired with Kshs 1.7 billion to be used for the expansion of bed capacities in hospitals. Kshs 10 billion will be used to fast track payment of outstanding VAT refunds and pending payments and Kshs 3 billion as seed capital for SMEs credit guarantee. Kshs 600 million has been set aside for purchase of locally made vehicles, with President Kenyatta enhancing the importance of Buy Kenya Build Kenya initiative.