Access to information on government projects, educated and politically assertive electorate has put elected leaders under increased pressure to deliver on election promises President Kenyatta has said.
The President spoke Tuesday in a two-day virtual event under the Africa Deliveries Exchange network has brought together delivery units from 22 countries in the continent and experts in performance and implementation of development projects from 28 countries across the world.
The conference brings together specialised units that have been set up by governments in Africa to speed up the delivery of development programs is hosted by Kenya under the President’s Delivery Unit in partnership with the Tony Blair Foundation for Global Change and the AfDB.
“Our people know and understand what development ought to look like and what benefits it should bring to their social-economic well-being. Therefore, any failure to quickly address the ‘missing middle’ within the development paradigm could create a deficit of trust between the electorate and those in positions of leadership,” the President said.
The President hailed the PDU that he established in 2015 saying it has been effective in ensuring that development priorities were well understood within the Government administrative structure and that state agencies and other stakeholders were aligned to the agenda.
He said the reorganisation of his Government under the Executive Order Number One, 2019 that created the Cabinet development implementation committee chaired by Interior CS Fred Matiang’i and three other devolved committees had greatly improved the rate of completion of projects and the accountability of ongoing ones.
On his part, Mr. Blair said the Big Four agenda championed by President Kenyatta was a good example of how African leaders could narrow the gap between electoral promises and their delivery. 2
“When political leaders are in the driving seat and they apply the principles of delivery towards a focused transformation agenda, then real change happens.”
The AfDB is a major financier of development projects in Africa. In Kenya the bank has funded the Lake Turkana Wind Project which is the largest wind project in the continent.
It has also funded the Last Mile Connectivity that has installed electricity to around 1.2 million low-income households.
The bank is also funding the inter-region road corridor that connects the Kenya coastline to South Sudan and Ethiopia under the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) project.