President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday, May 12, 2022, chaired a session of the nation’s apex policy organ ‐ Cabinet ‐ at State House, Nairobi. The Cabinet considered the state of the economy within the context of the 2022 Economic Survey.
In 2021, the Kenyan economy recovered from the crippling effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and expanded by 7.5% compared to a contraction of 0.3% in 2020. Examining Kenya’s economic outlook, the impact of geo-politics and various events on the global stage were assessed. These events had constrained global supply chains and led to significant escalations in the prices of energy, crude oil, food, farm inputs and construction materials. The price of crude oil had surged from a low of USD 40 per barrel in 2020 to USD 110 in 2022. Therefore, to cushion Kenyans against the three-fold increase in energy prices, the Cabinet directed the National Treasury to continue implementing the fuel price stabilisation programme.
The Cabinet further noted that the food security situation has been negatively impacted by the delayed onset of the long rains. In response to this challenge, the Cabinet directed the Ministry of Agriculture to enhance access of the subsidised fertiliser, and also directed the Ministry of Water, Sanitation & Irrigation to fast-track the construction of various ongoing dams, water pans and reservoirs so as to enhance the coverage of land under irrigation.
The Cabinet approved the payment of the National Youth Service’s (NYS) historical pending bills that have been verified and authenticated by the Pending Bill Multi Agency Team (PB-MAT). Cabinet further approved sale/lease of the residential houses and commercial facilities developed under the Mavoko Sustainable Neighbourhood Housing Programme Scheme. Further approval was granted for the proceeds of the sale to be channelled into Kenya Slum Upgrading Low Cost Housing and Infrastructure Trust Fund to support other slum upgrading initiatives under affordable housing of the Big-Four Agenda.
The Cabinet approved the National Spectrum Policy; which changes the framework for assignment and management of the radio frequency spectrum in Kenya. The Policy is part of the Administration’s agenda to further spur the continued growth of the communications sector.
In an effort to revitalise agriculture and the nation’s leading cash crops such as Tea and Coffee in particular, the Cabinet sanctioned a review of VAT and Certificate of Requirements on Tea and Coffee for both domestic and international markets. Additionally, to address challenges associated with food insecurity, the Cabinet approved the Policy on Large Scale Commercialization of Public land held for Agricultural Production. The Policy seeks to provide a framework for utilisation of idle land owned by public institutions for large scale commercial agricultural production.
Cabinet considered and approved the following treaties and conventions in efforts to improve Kenya’s overall competitiveness.
- The Accession to the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property;
- The Ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury;
- Agreement between the Government of Republic of Kenya and the Government of the United States of America on Employment of Dependents of Official Employees;
- The Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Kenya and the Government of the Republic of Turkey on Defence Co-operation;
- The Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Kenya and the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt on Defence Co-operation;
- The Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Kenya and the Government of the Republic of Malawi on Defence Co-operation;
- The Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Kenya and the Swiss Federal Council of Defence Cooperation in Training on Peace Support Operations;
- The Agreement of Defence Co-operation between the Government of the Republic of Kenya and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo;
- The Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Kenya and the Government of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on Defence Co-operation;
- The Modification of the Memorandum of Understanding Between the Government of Republic of Kenya and the Government of the United States of America on Business, Tourist and Student Visa Regime;
- Ratification of Protocols Relating to Article 50(A) and 56 of the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation;
- The Framework Agreement on Cooperation and the Memorandum of Understanding on Political Consultations between the Government of the Republic of Kenya and the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis;
- Ratification of African Union Treaty for the Establishment of the African Medicines Agency (AMA);
- Kenya’s Ratification of the African Union Convention on Cross Border Cooperation (NIAMEY Convention);
- Ratification of Bilateral Air Services Agreement Between Kenya and Austria; Kenya and Barbados; and Kenya and Tanzania;
- Framework Agreement on the Development of Sustainable Green Industries in the Republic of Kenya between the Government of the Republic of Kenya and Fortescue Future Industries PTY Limited (Australia);
- Ratification of Bilateral Air Services Agreements between Kenya and Czech Republic; Cyprus; Chile; Belize; and Suriname; and
- The Agreement Between the Government of the Republic of Kenya and the Government of the Republic of France on Defence Co-operation.
To cement the place of Kenya as a diplomatic hub and as a host to leading international bodies/organisations, the Cabinet considered and approved the following host country agreements:
- Hosting of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Regional Office for East and Southern Africa in Nairobi;
- Hosting of the Temporary Secretariat of the African Audiovisual and Cinema Commission (AACC) in Kenya;
- Hosting of the MasterCard Foundation Country Office in Nairobi, Kenya; and
- Host Country Agreement Between the Government of Kenya and the Rockefeller Foundation.