Azimio One Kenya Coalition leader today shared his vision for alternative economic pathways to address the profound challenges facing Kenya.
Speaking at the “Transforming a Nation Conference” in Nairobi organized by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Odinga decried the profound challenges Kenya was going through and called on the Kenya Kwanza administration to shift away from slogans, propaganda, and promises that have not yielded positive results. “If it is not working, it is not working,” he asserted, stressing the urgency of the current situation.
Odinga presented grim data collected and published by the government to highlight the country’s deteriorating economic prospects. The high default rates on loans from the Hustler Fund, job cuts, foreign investors’ exodus from the Nairobi Securities Exchange, and declining fuel consumption were cited as clear indicators of a struggling economy.
Furthermore, he noted that the current tax policies, frequently changing and unstable, are scaring away foreign investors, resulting in low revenue collections. Odinga called for the establishment of a stable taxation policy, a stable currency, and a focus on growing the economy to attract foreign investments.
The opposition chief expressed concern for the welfare of low-income families that have been significantly affected by the current policies. He stressed the need to reduce the cost of living, providing relief through tax reductions and stimulating production. Odinga urged the government to cut the budget by approximately 500 billion shillings to allocate resources for these measures.
Moreover, Odinga emphasized the importance of fiscal discipline and better management of public finances. He called for the elimination of overlapping functions within state departments and regional authorities, emphasizing the need to curb wasteful spending. Odinga also highlighted the issue of debt management, proposing the rescheduling of debts rather than resuming borrowing to repay outstanding debts.
The former Prime Minister expressed his gratitude to the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung for initiating discussions on the subject of transforming the nation. Drawing on his experience in post-war Germany, he highlighted the importance of dedicated leadership and citizens’ commitment in achieving effective reconstruction and transformation.
As he concluded his speech, Odinga urged the government to review the effectiveness of key initiatives, such as the Hustler Fund, through a collaborative forum involving political parties, the business community, and civil society.
Read Raila Odinga’s full speech below;