President Uhuru Kenyatta has said the government has offered new incentives to manufacturers in order to encourage them produce cheaper but quality goods.
He said the country is in competition with other nations and needs to be productive and innovative enough to produce better and cheaper goods than the rest for it to have an edge in the current global business environment.
“As Government, we have offered new incentives to manufacturers, from cheaper power to reforms making it easier to do business,” said President Kenyatta.
The President spoke when he addressed the nation from Kinoru stadium, in Meru County during this year’s Madaraka Day celebrations.
The President pointed out that apart from his ‘Big Four’ agenda, the most important pillar is the productivity and investment of Kenyans.
He said Kenyan business people, need to focus more on the expansion and growth of their ventures as they are a key contribution to the country.
“Building value, and paying salaries and taxes is building the nation. I urge you to redouble your efforts, and to invest in ambitious expansion. I urge workers and their trade unions to invest in growing the cake so that we can all have more to divide,” said President Kenyatta.
Assuring the business community of his Government’s support, President Kenyatta however said the incentives being offered are to encourage growth that would offer Kenyans opportunities and not merely to increase their profits.
“That said, I want every Kenyan to know that political stability based on unity, and honest government and people, are the crucial factors in building real and lasting prosperity that changes all our families,” said the Head of State.
The Head of State said as Kenyans build trust in one another, the Government would ensure it helps in resolving some of the pressing problems.
He said it is due to this fact that he is working tirelessly to implement the ‘Big Four” agenda.
He said the ‘Big Four’ seeks to directly benefit all Kenyans particularly those facing tough challenges.
On manufacturing, said President Kenyatta, the government seeks to grow the sector to 15% of the economic output and at the same time enable the private sector build half a million affordable quality homes.
“ From these two pillars will come a strong expansion of the economy and many jobs for our young people,” said President Kenyatta.
The President said in pursuit of universal healthcare, the government is extending health insurance to every household.
“That way, medical emergencies will stop being the threat to family prosperity and livelihood that they are today,” he added.
The President pointed out that already a pilot project is being undertaken on the health insurance in the four counties of Kisumu, Isiolo, Machakos, and Nyeri before it is rolled out to every part of the country.
To hasten the process, President Kenyatta pledged National Government support to Governors who would enrol their residents to the scheme.
“Let me stress, again, that we already have successes on which to build: we have grown enrolment in the NHIF from under 4 million in 2013 to more than 7 million at last count,” he added.
The President also said Kenyans are required to strengthen simple interventions that have saved so many lives, such as the extension of free treated mosquito nets and the free maternal healthcare programme.
Saying no country can pride itself as being great if it cant feed its population, President Kenyatta said access to affordable and nutritious food would ensure that no Kenyan would be threatened with malnutrition and starvation.
The President said since independence, successive administrations have endevoured to develop the country with a lot of progress being registered.
He said the recent programmes that ensured medical equipment across the count have contributed to improvement of the life span of Kenyans.
“Kenyans today live almost twice as long as the independence generation. This is thanks, in part, to recent programmes that make medical equipment available to parts of the country once under-served,” said the President.
He further said through the free maternal care programme, the country has reduced child mortality to a quarter of what was in 1963.
“Thanks, in part, to this Administration’s free maternal care programme, far fewer of our children die at birth, or in their first five years of life,” said the Head of State.
On Education, President Kenyatta said nine million children have the benefited from the free primary education programme, an opportunity open to fewer than a million at independence.
He pointed out that a few years ago it used to take Kenyans 12 hours to travel to Mombasa from Nairobi by a third-class carriage but it now takes only four hours through the Standard Gauge Railway.
“Indeed, once the Standard Gauge Railway reaches Kisumu, we will travel across Kenya in a day,” said the President.
He said all this is as a result of the hard work of Kenyans which also reflects the fact that Kenyans income per capita has increased thirteen times to what it was at independence.