Not minding an economic crisis triggered by the recent pandemic, the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta has signified a commitment to implement its on-going infrastructure projects that are focused on a Big Four Agenda. The project is the four pillars of development that were intended to form the basis of President Kenyatta’s legacy. It was thus outlined by the president, at the beginning of his second term in office.
According to the country’s Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Ukur Yatani, “the budget for the 2020/2021 fiscal year will continue with the implementation of the Big Four Agenda.” But the reduction in the 2020/2021 budgetary allocation towards these projects is deep and would further slow the pace of the intended projects. The reduction is over 65 percent as it sets aside $1.28 billion in comparison to its 2019/2020 allocation of $4.3 billion.
The implementation of the projects is facing headwinds, with reports that only less than one percent of the set targets had been met by January 2020, with only 2 years left in President Kenyatta’s tenure.
Housing is a major challenge in Kenya, coupled with the fact that the country experiences a great deal of urbanisation because rural migration is on the rise. Many people are unable to afford to buy or build their own home. This makes about 6.4 million people of Kenya’s urban population live in informal settlements, according to a report.
The report indicates that Kenya has an annual housing demand of 250,000 units with an estimated supply of 50,000 units which culminates in a housing deficit of 2 million units (80 percent deficit). According to the report, only 2 percent of the formally constructed houses target lower-income families.
For the year 2020, Yatani set aside Ksh111.7 billion ($1.11 billion) for universal health coverage, Ksh15.5 billion ($155 million) for the affordable housing scheme, Ksh18.3 billion ($183 million) for promotion of the manufacturing sector and Ksh52.8 billion ($528 million) for improving food and nutrition security. These above-mentioned projects represent President Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda.