President Kenyatta unveils measures to boost economy

Saturday May 23 2020

President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced plans to help businesses and Kenyans survive the economic storm caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The measures will be worth Ksh53.7 billion ($503 million), the President said Saturday at State House, Nairobi.

Kenya is following countries around the world in pledging stimulus packages as the global economy stares at recession.

The president said infrastructure spending is set to be ramped up so as to stimulate and support micro and small business enterprises.

“Following the ongoing rains, road infrastructure has been adversely affected across the entire country.

“To address this challenge in the short term, we intend to rehabilitate access roads, footbridges and other public infrastructure,” he said.


He added that Ksh5 billion ($50 million) has been set aside to hire local labour for this undertaking.

Mr Kenyatta said the government has given Ksh6.5 billion ($65 million) to the Ministry of Education for hiring of 10,000 more teachers and 1,000 ICT interns to help in the digital learning programme.

The President also announced that the government will buy locally manufactured vehicles worth Ksh600 million ($6 million)

to promote local car assembly firms.

"This is expected to sustain the operations of local motor vehicle manufacturers, and the attendant employment of workers," Mr Kenyatta said.

Another measure outlined is fast-tracking payment of outstanding VAT refund and other pending payments to SMEs. The President said Ksh10 billion ($100 million) has been set aside for this.
In addition to this, we will inject Ksh3 billion ($30 million) as seed capital for the SME Credit Guarantee Scheme. The intention here is to provide affordable credit to small and micro enterprises,” the President said.

The tourism sector, which has been heavily disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, was also targeted in the stimulus programme.
The government announced soft loans to hotels and related establishments. "The tourism component of the stimulus programme will also engage 5,500 community scouts under the Kenya Wildlife Service at a cost of Ksh1 billion ($10 million).

"Additionally support will be made available to approximately 160 community conservancies at a cost of Ksh1 billion

($10 million)

," Mr Kenyatta said.

The government will hire 5,000 more healthcare workers with diploma and certificate education level for one year to enhance public health system, the President announced.

President Kenyatta vowed to provide the necessary support for healthcare workers in the fight against Covid-19 disease which has now claimed 50 lives in Kenya with 1,192 infections.