Treasury has announced Kenya’s 2020/21 budget. The budget was read by the CS for Finance Ukur Yatani, and extensively touches on the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic throughout the speech.
The budget is available on the internet for further scrutiny, but we have rounded up some key issues, particularly those that are related to ICT and the youth for your consumption in case the 86-page presentation is too long to go through.
One, the State has since developed an 8-Point Economic Stimulus Program that will be implemented to stimulate and sustain economic activities. The CS presented the stimulus as an attempt to cushion vulnerable Kenyans and businesses amid the pandemic.
To this end, Treasury has set aside KES 56.6 billion to cater for various elements of the program. The CS says KES 5.0 billion will be used for rehabilitation of damaged access roads and foot bridges.
KES 10 billion will be dedicated for the Kazi Mtaani Program that focuses of giving work to unemployed youth in urban areas of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, Nakuru and other major towns in Kenya. The young people will be involved in drainage work, cleaning of markets and informal settlements, repair of access roads and footpaths, to mention a few. The program aims to reach out to more than 200K young people.
The same budget will be allocated to improving education outcomes. Specifically, the segment will likely receive KES 7.4 billion. Out of that budget, KES 2.1 billion will see the construction of additional classrooms in secondary schools and provision of Kenya fabricated desks in the excess of 250000 for both primary and secondary schools.
KES 2.4 will see the recruitment of 10000 intern teachers, whereas KES 300 million will see the recruitment of 1000 ICT interns to supplement digital learning in public schools.
To improve health outcomes, the State plans to recruit 5000 health care workers with a KES 1.2 billion bill to support hospitals in the wake of the pandemic.
Up to KES 25 million will be used to support the establishment of 50 modern walkthrough sanitizers at Kenya’s border points.
For manufacturing, the State proposes KES 600 million to promote the ‘Buy Kenya Build Kenya’ policy where locals will be advised to buy locally-assembled vehicles.
The budget also mentions the completion of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Regulations, 2020 that are awaiting Parliament approval. The proposal seeks to enhance uniformity of operations across procuring entities.
Regarding e-Procurement, the State says it has completed the e-Government Procurement Strategy.
“The Government will procure and roll out an end to end e-procurement system by December 2020. Under the e-procurement system, all procurement processes will be undertaken on an online platform where benefits will accrue to the Government Procuring Entities in terms of cost reduction, speed, transparency, accountability and visibility,” reads the budget.
As expected, the budget mentions a plan to fulfill the Big 4 Agenda. To increase manufacturing contribution to the GDP, the State proposes an allocation of KES 18.3 billion. The funds are shared across the Kenya Industry and Entrepreneurship Project, the development of Special Economic Zone Textile Park in Naivasha and a leather industrial park in Athi River. The funds will also see the modernization of RIVATEX and development of SMEs in the state.
KES 63.3 billion will also be set aside to cater for affordable energy. The lion’s share of the fund will be used for transmission and distribution of power and electrification of public institutions.
In education, the government plans to use KES 800 million for digital literacy programs.
Digitizing the economy
The government says it has plans to bolster digital literacy and skills and expand digital infrastructure to supplement access to affordable broadband connectivity. The exercise aims to use up to KES 14.9 billion.
KES 700 million will be used for Government Shared services.
As mentioned, KES 800 million will be dedicated for digital literacy programs.
KES 1.2 billion will be used to repair the National Optic Fibre Backbone Phase II Expansion Cable.
There is still hope for Konza Technopolis as it will receive KES 6.3 billion for the Horizontal Infrastructure Phase I. An additional KES 5.1 billion will cater for Konza Data Centre & Smart City Facilities Project.