Uhuru: Kenya is more prosperous than ever before

Uhuru: Kenya is more prosperous than ever before

As Kenya marked its 52 years of independence on 12th December, President Uhuru Kenyatta said that the country has made remarkable strides since it gained its independence in 1963.

Speaking at the national Jamhuri Day celebrations held at Nyayo Stadium, the Head of State highlighted advancements in key sectors including health, education and the economy.

“We have become healthier and are living longer. Life expectancy has risen from 48 years in 1963 to more than 60 in 2014. We are steadily winning the war on HIV/AIDS; and child mortality has halved since 1998,” said Uhuru.

Promising that his government will continue to work hand in hand with counties to further improved health, Uhuru noted that all counties now have ambulances adding that his government has supplied all counties with new medical equipment.

The president also thanked First lady Margaret Kenyatta for championing maternal health through the Beyond Zero campaign.

A thriving economy

Just months after a cash crunch threatened to halt government operations, President Uhuru Kenyatta said that the country is flourishing.

“Kenya is more prosperous than it has ever been.  Kenya is attracting more investment than it ever has.  Kenya is more democratic than it has ever been,” the President said.

To back his statement, the Head of State pinpointed various industries that have witnessed tremendous growth.

He highlighted the 22% increase in energy connections since he took office, terming the fastest increase in the world.

“In the past three years, my Administration has raised the connection rate from 28 percent to above 50 percent.  I dare say it is one of the fastest increases in energy connection in the world,” boasted Uhuru.

President Kenyatta said due to hard work and prudent national policies, the country has made major progress economically with the national income per head increasing more than 13 times of what it was half a century ago.

“Our economy is maturing: we are now a middle income country.  Our society is also maturing.  Our artists and musicians are recognized the world over; our athletes lead the world,” he added.

On transport infrastructure, President Kenyatta said the country has 8,879 of tarmac roads developed in the last decade with another 1,200 kilometres are under development compared to 2219 in 1963.

Uhuru said Kenya is one of Africa’s most attractive investment destinations, a statement that has been backed by World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report that ranked Kenya 11th in the continent.

According to the report, Kenya’s 28 position climb is linked to reforms in the business sector that have greatly improved the ease of doing business in Kenya.

The researchers noted that there was an improvement in starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property and getting credit, which improved by up to 90 positions

Investment in Education

When Founding president Jomo Kenyatta took office, he cited illiteracy as one of the major challenges that the country was facing.

The situation has, however, changed tremendously over the last 52 years.

“From 151 secondary schools in 1963 we now have more than 7,000. In 1964 we had no universities; we now have more than 60. Few countries can boast this speed of growth in educational access for their people,” said Uhuru.

The President announced that plans were underway to connect all primary schools to the electric grid before the next term; a move that he says will allow children to study for longer hours.

Despite the numerous wins that were highlighted in his address, President Uhuru Kenyatta conceded that there is still work to be done.

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Joy Chelagat
Story By Joy Chelagat
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