The government will be holding a three day inter-ministerial public symposium that started today 17 March 2016 at the Kenyatta International Conference Center.
This forum on Government Performance & Innovation is a policy and leadership event focused on strategies and technologies that will enable the different government ministries to deliver better service, engage citizens, and ultimately improve performance.
This comes at a time when the government has been grappled by several corruption scandals and other shortcomings by the government in delivering the services they promised to its citizens. However, others may think that this is a strategic forum in relation to the coming general elections.
The first day saw different cabinet secretaries from the Treasury, Foreign Affairs, EAC, Energy, Mining & Transport and Infrastructure talk about the achievements they’ve made so far in their respective ministries and measures they were taking in improving service delivery to the citizens.
I watched in dismay as each cabinet secretary tried too hard to magnify the small positives they had achieved so far and as usual giving a very nice speech of how they were going to improve their ministries….you know the kind of promises politicians give when they are seeking to be elected or re-elected.
No cabinet secretary pointed out clearly how they were going to tackle the surging corruption levels in their respective ministries.
Well, we can’t fail to recognize the strides these ministries have made, however small in improving performance and innovation in their respective ministries;
Quick Facts from the symposium
EAC Ministry – The Common Market Protocol has been implemented across the East Africa member states that will see free movement of goods, labor, services and capital across the five partners.
Kenyans will be able to move across Uganda and Rwanda borders using just their National Identity Card.
Foreign Affairs Ministry – There will be a provision for Kenyans in the diaspora to renew their passports without having to come back home . They will also have a chance to vote in the upcoming general elections.
Following the recent international forums held in Nairobi including the WTO ministerial conference and The Global Entrepreneurship Summit,the PS pointed out that Nairobi has become a city of choice for international engagement and international diplomacy.
Transport Ministry – There are measures in place to de-congest the city and make transportation more convenient. In this regard, 32 trunk roads are being done across the country with a focus in rural areas and the construction of a double Decker road that will commence in January Next year.
JKIA is being converted to a category 1 world class airport and will see Terminal 1A arrivals and IE be ready in the next three weeks.
Energy Ministry – The CS pointed out that connection tariffs have been lowered from sh 35000 to sh 15000.
2.1 million Kenyans have been added to the grid so far translating to about 53% who have been connected to power out of the targeted 70% in 2017.
The National Street Lighting project has seen 11 towns out of 52 already connected so far.
Mining Ministry – This is the newest ministry created by the Jubilee government and is now celebrating three years since inception.
The CS noted that there were measures being put in place to ensure responsible mining by putting strict regulations to ensure that the environment is taken care of.
“This is the first time in 75 years that we can have a bill that can help us develop the mining center”
The mining sector looks at strengthening the data bank and testing laboratory to ease testing of mineral samples.
Treasury – This is a docket that has always been on the receiving end in relation to the corruption scandals in the country.
Absolutely nothing was said on how to tame the corruption levels in the country that were contributing to the ballooning wage bill.
The CS noted that the savings rate were too low and that more had to be done to see the savings rate in Kenya increase to about 30%.
And of course he hailed the automation of tax payments ,reduced leakage and widened base.
More Ministries will be presenting in the next days during the symposium. This is a time for Kenyans to ask the hard questions about how each ministry is contributing the the development of the common mwananchi.
We hope that this is not just going to be mere rhetorical and that it is the beginning of the creation of the Kenya we have all envisioned of having.