In 2006, Kenya launched vision 2030, an economic blue print that was to propel the country into a middle-income nation by 2030.
Christened vision 2030, the plan has captured the imagination of Kenyans who are expecting modern transport network, blossoming manufacturing sector, more exports than imports, employment opportunities, sufficient food etc.
To achieve this vision, Kenya was to grow at a continuous rate of 10 per cent per annum to take its GDP to $260 billion; we are however behind this target by a whopping 100 percent considering that our economy grew by a paltry 5.6 percent in the last financial year.
This does not mean we have failed in anyway. To achieve economic growth by even a percentile when key sectors like tourism is fighting terror threats is not a mean task. Moreover, world economic powers and multinationals seem to be scrambling for the country, a sure vote of investment confidence.
In just under a year, Asian economic powers have come to Nairobi with baskets of goods. China, which is now Kenya’s largest creditor, accounting for 57 percent of the country’s external debt according to World Bank was the first to arrive.
Immediately after being sworn into the office, President Uhuru Kenyatta flew to China on 20th August where he met President Xi Jinping and signed $5bn deal with China to build a railway line, an energy project and to improve wildlife protection.
In December last year, the two met on the sidelines of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in Johannesburg where they cemented the growing ties between Kenya and China, anchored on equality, mutual trust and benefit, and win-win outcomes.
In 2014, the bilateral trade volume between Kenya and China reached $5.09 billion, increasing by 53 percent. In the first half of 2015 the volume reached $2.9 billion, reflecting a 65 percent year-on-year increase.
President Kenyatta visited India in 2015 to attend the India-Africa Summit. Mid this year, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned the favor in a huge way.
The highlight of the visit was the pledge to construct a cancer centre at the Kenyatta National Hospital and also assist Kenya to put up a plant to produce drugs. Others included Sh 4.5 billion credits to Kenya to revive the Rift Valley Textile Industry and promote development of small and medium enterprises.
Modi and his host also signed three MOUs on defence cooperation, cooperation in housing policy development and management, and on the Bureau of India Standards and Kenya Bureau of Standards
The Indian premier arrived days after his Israel’s counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu had dropped several goodies in Nairobi.
To cap it all is the just concluded TICAD conference in Nairobi, the first one of its kind on African soil; the Japanese Government extended a Sh10 billion grant to Kenya for building food security and sustainable agriculture as well as strengthening health systems.
Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also pledged to support the construction of Ol Karia Geothermal Power Development projects through ODA loan and technical cooperation among other goodies.
Although as a country we have a reason to offer thankful sacrifices to our respective gods for all these goodies, am just worried if those countries normally fit in our vision 2030 plans or they force us to fit in theirs.
While signing those bilateral talks, does vision 2030 plan linger in our leaders’ minds? Nice deals can blind even the sharpest animal in the kingdom.
Have you ever heard of a story where the gluttonous hare followed nyama choma scent to the lion’s den? Hope Kenya has not abandoned its maiden vision in the wake of sweet deals from the East.