November 20, 2020 - 5 minutes read

Highlights of policy reforms proposed in the BBI report

By Francis Monyango

The Steering Committee made Policy Reforms proposals to effectively implement the recommendations in the BBI report. The Committee was not able to develop the multiple policies, so they developed a set of doctrines as well as policy intervention guides for each identified priority policy area. The guides contain what should be taken as the minimum standards in developing the relevant policy intervention for each area that a policy guide covers.

Below is a summary of the aforementioned doctrines as classified under the different policy areas:

  1. Kenya National Policy Guide on National Heritage and History

Objectives of the policy

  • To learn, appreciate, document and preserve our diverse heritage and honest histories.
  • To decolonise our minds.
  • To reach out to elders for the record of our histories and hold them in a national repository.
  • To create and operationalise the Office of the Kenya National Heritage, History and Archiving Services as the national custodian of our national history and heritage. Guiding Principles
  • Gathering oral narrations and/or authentication of the histories, traditional and communal rites and rituals, and diverse heritage of the people of Kenya.
  • Acknowledgement and conclusive settlement of historical injustices against individual citizens, families and communities on the basis of our accurate knowledge of the histories of the peoples of Kenya.
  • Preservation of our ancient and historical monuments, and outstanding achievements.
  • Preservation and promotion of our indigenous knowledge, knowledge systems, technologies, foods, medicines and languages, as well as our traditional and cultural institutions of peace-building, justice, harmony and stability in society.
  • Recognition and honour for heroic acts, and personal and group sacrifices, in service toour nation.

New Policies

  • Policy on National Heritage, History and Culture
  • Establishment of Office of National Heritage, History & Archiving Services
  • National civic education

2. The Kenya National Policy Guide on National Ethos and Responsible Citizenship

Objectives of the policy

  • To record and codify the philosophies and ethical constructs of the diverse communities of Kenya, identify shared values and utilise them in the educational process.
  • To promote and facilitate research, debate and publishing of the unique philosophies and cultural orientations that make us uniquely Kenyan-African.
  • To actively promote knowledge of, and commitment to, the citizen responsibilities recommended by the Steering Committee for inclusion in the Constitution.
  • Insist on ethical conduct and high levels of responsibility in any public office.
  • To impart and nurture an ethic of conservation and sustainable management of our environment, natural resources and biological diversity.

Guiding Principles

  • The supremacy of the Constitution in shaping the Kenyan people and nation.
  • The embrace of our moral and ethical beliefs and practices.
  • The imperative to decolonise the Kenyan mind.
  • Allowing citizens the facilities, processes and opportunities to fulfil their Constitutional responsibilities.
  • Veneration of public office as an honour and trust never to be abused.
  • Encourage and enable increased volunteerism.

New Policies

  • Policy on Nationhood and Inclusivity
  • Policy on National Ethos and Responsible Citizenship
  • Policy on Ethics and Integrity
  1. The Kenya National Policy Guide on Citizen Education

Objectives of the policy

  • To provide high-quality and accessible lifelong education.
  • To enable every citizen to continuously seek new knowledge and skills.
  • To decolonise the minds of Kenyans and nurture enduring pride in our Kenyan identity.
  • To nurture industrious and service-minded Kenyan citizens.

Guiding Principles

  • Education is an Article 43 right, and a critical public good allowing the fulfilment of inclusivity, unity and economic development.
  • Our education is lifelong and learner driven, promoting accessible and inclusive learning that is not limited by access to the formal school infrastructure.
  • Our education is for developing responsible and accountable Kenyan citizens.
  • Our education includes the development of innovation, creation of new knowledge, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills, mental health, environmental stewardship and leadership.
  • Our education recognises, promotes and protects our indigenous knowledge, technologies and languages.
  • Provision of safe spaces for play and discovery for our children.
  • A good education needs the delivery of good nutrition and a clean learning environment.

New Policy

  • Policy on Education for Responsible Citizenship

4. Kenya National Policy Guide on Productivity and Shared Prosperity


Objectives of the policy

  • To guarantee the sovereignty of the people of Kenya over their economy.
  • To protect private, public and communal property.
  • To incentivise private enterprise throughout the country, while progressively eliminating the discriminative dichotomies of formal and informal economy.
  • To actively incentivise innovation, value creation and high levels of long-term re-investment.
  • To provide quality small business support services at Ward level.
  • To achieve national self-sufficiency in the production of affordable and nutritious food.
  • To maximise the local production of goods that are crucial to public security and safety.
  • To operationalise a Shared Prosperity and Wellbeing Index that provides an objective assessment of whether economic inclusion and benefits are felt by all Kenyans.
  • To publish detailed information on Kenya’s public debt and the primary creditors.
  • To put in place measures to enhance regional and continental trade and investment.
  • To correct all unlawful systemic inequalities and discrimination in our economy.


Guiding Principles

  • Enable the delivery of accessible knowledge and skills that allow citizens to undertake sustainable and competitive economic production.
  • Ensure food and nutrition security for all Kenyans as a national priority.
  • Industrialisation is a necessary goal to sustain a stable, secure, fair and inclusive Kenya.
  • Every part of the country, and every Kenyan, should be enabled to participate fully in the economy.
  • Take all steps to guarantee the robustness and transparency of public finances, tax, debt and expenditure.
  • Provide timely, factual data on economic development and progress at the Ward level.
  • Dovetail, where relevant, policies with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.


New Policies

  • Policy on Productivity and Shared Prosperity
  • Policy on manufacturing
  • Policy on SMEs
  • Policy on Machinery
  • Policy on Agriculture
  • Policy on Exploitation of Natural Resources
  • Policy on Taxation
  • Policy on Public Finance Management
  • Policy on Lotteries, Betting and Gaming
  • Policy on Incubation and Support for Small and Micro Businesses
  • Policy on Innovation, Creation and Safe Use of New and Emerging Technologies
  1. Kenya National Policy Guide on Health and Wellness


Objectives of the policy

  • To eradicate all discrimination and inequalities that undermine universal citizen access to quality healthcare and wellness services.
  • To guarantee equal citizen access to information for health and wellness, a safe and clean environment, clean water and wholesome nutrition for a healthy nation.
  • To provide universal access to preventive and primary healthcare for all Kenyan citizens at individual and family level.
  • To develop and sustain a critical mass of well-trained and motivated healthcare professionals of all levels, in all Counties of Kenya.
  • To recognise and add value through continuous research on our indigenous Kenyan African solutions for healthcare and wellness.
  • To fully devolve healthcare and wellness services.
  • To develop and enforce standards and regulations to ensure that medical practitioners, healthcare and pharmaceutical service providers offer high-quality care that does not discriminate against Kenyans.
  • To establish and sustain a universal healthcare provision.


New Policy

  • Health, Wellness and happiness policy


Guiding Principles

  • Healthcare and wellness are a public good and right for all Kenyan citizens.
  • The health and wellness of Kenyan citizens is the comprehensive care for the human body, mind and soul and our immediate environment.
  • Preventive and primary healthcare are the bedrock of health services in Kenya.
  • Every Kenyan has a right to access affordable healthcare and wellness services of the highest quality.
  • Research and development of Kenyan African indigenous healthcare solutions is one of our pillars of health and wellness.
  1. Kenya National Policy Guide on Clean and Effective Government

Objectives of the policy

  • To implement the Constitutional and legal provisions for public service, the management of public resources and the delivery of public services.
  • To promote democratic, fair, accountable, transparent and controlled exercise of delegated sovereign power.
  • To promote Constitutionalism in all governance systems and functions for effective delivery of public services to the people of Kenya.
  • To prevent and combat conflicts of interest, fraud and corruption in public service.
  • To incentivise professionalism, integrity and dedication to public service.
  • To foster national unity by recognising and embracing diversity and inclusivity.
  • To promote open Government for transparency and accountability.
  • To protect the interests and rights of minorities, the poor and marginalised communities and individuals throughout Kenya.


Guiding Principles

  • Our public governance should be as delegated by the people with sovereign power in the Constitution.
  • Our public governance relies on openness and accountability in decision making and action that strictly adheres to the principle of the rule of law.
  • Involvement in and decisions from our public governance should always reflect equity and inclusiveness of the diversity of Kenyans.
  • Manipulation of any process of a public office including an electoral process and/or results is an offence against the people of Kenya.
  • Public officers and state officers are held to higher standards of integrity since holding a public office is an honour and privilege with citizens as its beneficiaries.
  • Our public governance includes every citizen’s responsibility to uphold and defend our Constitution and protect public resources.

New Policies

  • Policy on Public Officers and service
  • Policy on Service Delivery
  • Policy on Emergencies and Hazards
  • Policy on E-Governance
  • Policy on Devolution of Governance
  • Policy on Public Participation in Governance
  • Policy on Anti-Corruption Practices
  • Policy on Government-Owned Entities
  1. Kenya National Policy Guide on Combating Impunity


Objectives of the policy

  • To anticipate impunity and ensure there are measures to detect, deter and combat it when it manifests in the making or implementation of policy.
  • The Secretary to the Cabinet, in fulfilling his or her Constitutional duty to “convey the decisions of the Cabinet to the appropriate persons or authorities,” shall ensure that these include the expectations, quantifiable deliverables and delivery deadlines.
  • To establish formal Ombudsman-type reporting mechanisms to the EACC in every Ministry, Department and Agency that enable employees and the public to report acts of impunity.
  • Provide secure and accessible electronic, digital and walk-in facilities for whistleblowing and reporting of impunity in a way that secures the individual making the report.
  • Through education, advocacy and training facilitate employees and the public to be able to detect and properly report acts of impunity.


Guiding Principles

  • Every policy, and its application, must be rooted in the Constitution –especially taking note of Article 19(1).
  • Impunity by public officials should be treated as an inexcusable breach.
  • Enable, whenever possible, open transparency and disclosure to the public or upon inquiry.
  • Adoption, whenever possible and Constitutional, of the moral and ethical sensibilities of the Kenyan people in the fight against impunity.

8. Kenya National Policy Guide on Justice


Objectives of the policy

  • To promote a shared understanding and appreciation of Kenyan justice as part of our national value system for a prosperous and united nation.
  • To guarantee access to justice for all Kenyans, including a child-friendly justice system.
  • To create an enabling environment for the individual, family, community and nation to uphold, defend and protect human rights and citizen responsibility.
  • To provide effective and efficient administration of justice in Kenya.

Guiding Principles

  • A culture of Constitutionalism and of upholding the rule of law.
  • Equality of all persons and equal access to the justice system.
  • Higher standards of responsibility for just conduct by holders of public office.
  • Respect for moral and ethical sensibilities of the Kenyan people.
  • Recognition of our indigenous and traditional justice systems.

New Policies

  • Policy on Economic and Social Rights (Article 43 of Constitution)
  • Policy on Justice
  1. Kenya National Policy Guide on Public Participation


Objectives of the policy

  • To institutionalise effective public participation in Kenya.
  • To clarify and implement transparent and broadly understood standards and processes of public participation.
  • To provide continuous civic education on the importance of and citizen responsibility for informed public participation.
  • To pursue Open Government in giving citizens access to Government-held data and reports.
  • To undertake the above by utilising the capabilities of the Office of the Public Participation Rapporteur.

Guiding Principles

  • The Ward as the basic development unit and platform for engagement of citizens in public participation processes and in accessing information in public offices.
  • Visible effort to reach out to and include historically marginalised and minority groups.
  • Reliance on the creation of new knowledge, innovation and use of contemporary information and communication technologies.

10. Kenya National Policy Guide on National Security and Safety

Objectives of the policy

  • To align policymaking, in every Ministry, Department and Agency, with the National Security Strategy.
  • To guarantee energy and food security for all Kenyans.
  • To provide for effective protection of private property.
  • To enable rapid and effective response to mitigate harm to Kenyans beset by manmade or natural disasters.
  • To protect and preserve our environment, natural resources and biological diversity.

Guiding principles

  • The Constitutional principle of civilian control over the armed forces must be upheld.
  • To have enduring peace with its neighbours, Kenya must have strong national security.
  • The citizen’s safety and security is the primary aim of national security.
  • The citizen’s dignity should always be safeguarded.
  • Protection and preservation of Constitutional rights, and particularly the Bill of Rights.
  • Preventing violent conflict is preferable to responding to its outbreak.
  • Permanent state of preparedness and regular exercises.
  • Clear lines of authority and accountability for all national security and safety organs.

New Policies

  • Policy on Safety and Security
  • Policy on Food Security
  • Policy on Peace
  • Policy on Disasters and Hazards
  • Policy on Counter-Terrorism

11. The Kenya National Policy Guide on Unity in Diversity

Objectives of the policy

  • To address the inequalities in our society.
  • To create an enabling environment for women to have their labour, safety and leadership protected and respected.
  • To offer young people opportunities to express their ideas, ideals and leadership.
  • To promote the equality of all Kenyans.

Guiding Principles

  • Guaranteed and protected access to nation-building by disadvantaged persons.
  • A safe environment for all disadvantaged persons and groups.
  • Affirmative measures including the two-thirds Gender Rule in public governance.
  • Verifiable and mandated representation of disadvantaged persons and groups in all decision-making arenas.
  • An inclusive Kenyan economy and equal access to economic opportunities and ownership of assets.
  • Public accountability for monitoring progress on all policies related to the disadvantaged groups.

New Policies

  • Policy on Affirmative Action
  • Policy on Gender Inclusiveness
  • Policy on Persons Living with Disabilities
  1. The Kenya National Policy Guide on Tax Policy


Objectives of the policy

  • These were clearly articulated in the BBI Report and did not provoke any significant opposition during the validation process.
  • Punish not just tax evasion but also those who facilitate such evasion in the private sector and in Government.
  • The tax base needs to be broadened, but it is crucial that overall taxation in Kenya be low relative to competitor economies regionally and globally. Consider innovative approaches to simplify taxation, including a possible flat tax for every income category above a living wage. The flat tax would lower tax fraud, encourage compliance and cut down on corruption in the assessment of taxes.
  • Minimise taxation of new and small businesses by giving them a tax holiday of at least seven years as a support to youth entrepreneurship and job creation.
  • Punish facilitators of tax evasion and money laundering in the private sector.
  • Cut taxes in relation to Auditor General audits. It is better that money remains in Kenyans’ pockets until there is more accountability and governance on its use at the National and County levels. Then taxes can be increased with improvement. The Steering Committee came to the view that it is more practical, and legal, if what is used is the Audited Accounts of Revenue as approved by the National Assembly.
  • No double taxation and double regulation at the National and County level.
  • Kenyans want ‘most of their tax funds allocated to development projects’. This is directly linked to keeping administrative and recurrent expenses much lower than they are at present.

Guiding Principles

  • The most important principle is embedded in the Constitution: the ‘burden of taxation shall be shared fairly’.
  • Neutrality: taxation should be neutral and equitable between different business sectors.
  • Compliance costs and time spent complying should be low.
  • Tax laws and regulations should be clear and simple to understand for all Kenyans.
  • No double taxation; and unwitting lack of payment of taxes should be strictly limited.
  • The Kenya Revenue Authority, and all tax-and duty-levying lawful entities, should keep pace with changes in the economy and technology.
  • Taxpayers in similar circumstances should bear an equal burden.
  • Different political dispensations, as reflected in political party platforms, should have the policy opportunity to make tax policy more progressive, flat or regressive.
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