SPEECH BY PRESIDENT UHURU KENYATTA, DURING THE OFFICIAL

OPENING OF ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT STAKEHOLDERS
CONFERENCE AT KENYATTA INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE,
NAIROBI, 30TH JULY, 2014
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am delighted to join you here and lead my Government in engaging
stakeholders and enlisting the private sector to the national transformation
agenda. We are gathered here to change our attitudes towards development.
In 5 years of independence, !enya has only paved "#, kilometres of roads,
which forms less than $ percent of our total road network.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is therefore clear that our infrastructure development has not kept pace with
our development aspirations. %he impact of this underdevelopment has &een
felt throughout the country. 'emoteness and a&sence of meaningful
development in many rural areas has spawned undesira&le socio(economic
conse)uences. *oor access to &asic social services has led to failures in
educating, securing or keeping our communities healthy. Impassa&le roads
have kept rural farmers poor despite their hard work.
%his state of a+airs was not accidental. Indeed, it was foreseea&le and totally
cura&le. ,ut for too long, we have &een held &ack &y a com&ination of factors.
-ur governments did not (and indeed could not ( provide ade)uate .nancing
for roads development. /ontractors had low capacity to undertake large scale,
world class projects. Weak contractual arrangements provided perfect
opportunity for &riefcase &uccaneers and cow &oy racketeers to mas)uerade as
contractors while 0eecing the ta1payers.
2igh construction costs hindered the few projects where there was actual
commitment to &uild. 3onitoring and supervision was la1 or compromised. In
short, indolence, corruption and outmoded development models have held
&ack our country4s potential &y at least # decades.
In keeping with our .rm commitment to transform !enya and spur it into
industriali5ed, middle(income status, we resolved to do something decisive and
transformative a&out infrastructure generally, and our roads in particular.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
-ur intention is to open up the entire country for investment and development
&y developing ", kilometres of new paved roads throughout !enya in 5
years, while maintaining the e1isting ones. ,ecause this commitment is
am&itious &y traditional standards, we had to devise innovative ways of
ensuring that it actually happens without &ankrupting the country or straining
the ta1payer. We &elieve that there can &e no transformation without &old and
imaginative approaches to development.
-ne of the main challenges to the infrastructure transformation agenda was
how to li&erate the implementation of projects from our .scal cycle. ,udgeting
for various projects varies from year to year, e1erting serious disruptions. %he
other challenge is the fact that the 61che)uer can provide only so much
funding for one sector, leaving many projects unattended. %his knowledge
&rought us to one hard truth7 the fear of the private sector puts tremendous
opportunities out of the reach of !enyans.
I am glad to declare that, .nally, we have arrived at a simple and elegant
solution to our needs and challenges. %he 8nnuity 9inancing 9ramework is a
tide that 0oats all ships. It is an innovation which &rings immense &ene.ts to
myriad stakeholders. 9oremost among the &ene.ciaries is the ta1payer: the
programme focuses on value for every ta1 shilling. It achieves this &y ensuring
performance and the generation of synergies from cooperation among
stakeholders. It guarantees faster and more e;cient construction while
reducing administrative costs.
%he construction itself provides employment to our youth and women, while
opening up the country for investment. %he activity cataly5ed &y the road
projects spurs the economic performance of other sectors &esides construction.
<pon completion, our domestic and regional markets will &e more accessi&le.
,y the same token, the cost of doing &usiness in !enya and our region will
reduce sharply. %he vision &ehind our infrastructure drive is to make !enya a
low(cost investment and trading destination.
3ore roads will promote national integration and improve security due to
connectivity of our regions and communities.
<nder this 8nnuity *rogramme, we will complete = kilometres of small
roads within ="#>="5 .nancial year. %his will &e followed &y ? kilometres
in ="5>="@ made up of A percent small roads, and = percent highways. In
="@>="B .nancial year, we will complete 5 kilometres, A percent of
which will &e small roads and = percent highways. We &elieve in shared
prosperity.
%herefore, Ladies and Gentlemen, are determined to spread the projects
throughout the country. 61pect therefore to see intensive road construction
going on at a place near you.
%he &ene.ts do not end there. I encourage stakeholders to take ma1imum
advantage of the numerous pro.ta&le opportunities under the 8nnuity
programme. In addition to actual construction, there will &e need for .nancing,
consultancy, supervision, supply of materials among other services.
%he youth and women will &e employed &y all the stakeholders. Local
contractors will gain from local content and the transfer of skills and
technology. %hey must prepare now &y enhancing their capacities. %hrough
this framework we will deliver roads to all the people of !enya, so that the
promise of road construction stops &eing a political carrot to &e deployed &y
cynical politicians. We are giving the ta1payer value for money.
We are eliminating the words CmarginalC and CremoteC from our national
voca&ulary and there&y ending for good the voca&ulary of marginali5ation and
e1clusion. 6very part of this country has a right to develop, and every region in
!enya holds immense potential. We are ushering in shared prosperity through
shared opportunity.
9inally, the private sector has taken its place as the engine of our growth,
powering our development. It4s contri&ution to nation &uilding is not incidental,
&ut direct. 3y Government is not afraid of the private sector.
In fact, my Government sees vast opportunities for greater colla&oration for the
&ene.t of all !enyans. %hat is why I urge stakeholders to arrange many such
colla&orative initiatives to take this development model to other sectors.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is now my pleasure to declare the 'oad Infrastructure Development
Dtakeholders /onference o;cially open.
%hank you and God &less you.

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