DP Ruto in Kilifi for ‘economic regeneration forum’
Deputy President William Ruto has said the bottom-up economic model will be informed by the priorities of ordinary Kenyans.
He noted that he was determined to rewrite the country’s political conversation from one of identities to the aspirations of the people.
Speaking on Saturday during the Coast Economic Regeneration Forum held in Kilifi, Dr Ruto said regional economic blueprints will be formulated through extensive grassroot engagements.
“This conversation that we have had for two days was not about us but ordinary Kenyans and their issues,” he said.
The forum, which brought together legislators and professionals from the six counties in Coast, outlined the region’s economic plan with emphasis on tourism, maritime economy and land ownership challenges.
Other priority areas included agriculture, education, development of sea transport across the coastal counties and the equitable sharing of revenue from the region’s natural resources.
MPs present were Mohamed Ali (Nyali), Aisha Jumwa (Malindi), Sharif Athman (Lamu East), Owen Baya (Kilifi North), Ali Wario (Bura), Juma Wario (Tana River), Jones Mlolwe (Voi), Khatib Mwashetani (Lunga Lunga), Lydia Haika (Taita Taveta), Rehema Hassan (Tana River), Paul Katana (Kaloleni), Feisal Bader (Msambweni), Anwar Loitiptip (Lamu), and former Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar.
Others were Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok and Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata.
The Deputy President and his team led by economist Prof David Ndii outlined his development agenda anchored on the empowerment of ordinary Kenyans.
He advocated for the bottom-up economic approach that he said had the potential of ending poverty.
Dr Ruto said there was a need to incorporate the 16 million Kenyans locked out of the country’s economy due to unemployment.
Dr Ruto also called for changes in Kenya’s saving and borrowing culture that threatens the country’s future.
He said robust measures must be taken to expand the country’s savings and make it possible for the Government to borrow locally.
The Deputy President said creating an enabling environment for small enterprises will broaden the country’s tax base.
“More people to work and more businesses to thrive will generate more taxes to run our development projects.”
Mr Omar said coast leaders had agreed to set aside their political interests and work together towards an economic blueprint that will transform the region.
Mr Baya said the country lacked leadership that would tap into the potential of the coastal counties for the benefit of its people and the country at large.
“What we need is sound leadership that will help us realise our full potential,” he explained.
On his part, Mr Ali urged Kenyans to embrace the politics of development for the sake of the people.
Ms Jumwa said the people of the coastal region will no longer work with leaders engaging in petty politics that have no value to the region.
“We want to work with leaders who are alive to the region’s new awakening that focuses on the interests of the people,” said the Malindi MP.
Mr Nanok said Rift Valley was also in the process of developing its development blueprint and urged other regions to follow suit.
Dr Ruto said he was ready to sign a charter with the leadership of the coastal region and work towards the realisation of the region’s economic regeneration.