By Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta-President, Republic of Kenya
Outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta held a meeting with President elect William Ruto at State House on Monday evening.
Here is an excerpt of the speech he gave following this meeting.
President Uhuru Kenyatta
“My fellow Kenyans, today is my last opportunity to speak to you as your President.
Since independence, we have every five years, without fail, reaffirmed our democratic credentials. We have done so by returning to the people, the sovereign of our nation, for a mandate to serve. We have in this context put our nation on consistent and predictable journey of deepening and maturing our democracy.
Tomorrow, I will emulate that honored tradition and hand over the mantle to my successor, The Hon. William Ruto. I am profoundly grateful for the honor and privilege you bestowed upon me to serve as the Fourth President of the Great Republic of Kenya.
In my service to you the people of Kenya, I was supported by a Cabinet, Principal Secretaries, Holders of Constitutional Offices, the Security Agencies, Our Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives in our missions abroad and all public servants.
Most importantly, you the ordinary Kenyans have walked with me each step of the way, cheering me and chastising me as the occasion dictated. To you all and to all those who have served with me during my tenure as President, accept my immense gratitude.
Tomorrow’s inauguration, the last step in a process of electioneering is a moment to come together as one people, to pursue the promise of Kenya, as destined by God.
This afternoon, ahead of tomorrow’s inauguration, I hosted the Incoming President, the Hon. Dr. William Ruto, at State House, Nairobi.
As you are aware, the transition process commenced on the 12th of August, 2022, and over the last week, the doors of State House and the Office of the President have been open to the technical teams from the office of the President-Elect so as to facilitate a smooth transition and hand-over. This afternoon’s meeting between the President-Elect and myself is the final step in that process.
The work of building a nation is a continuous endeavor passed from one generation to another, as one Administration hands over to the next, in an unbroken chain that seeks to progressively build a more united, equitable, and prosperous Kenya.
On my part as the Head of State, I hand-over leadership of a nation that has undergone consequential transformation over the last decade in every aspect of our national life.
With the mandate you bestowed upon My Administration, we have fostered and integrated devolution as a way of life; reinforced our educational and technical excellence; and successfully led the nation through the worst global health crisis in a century. We also turned a number of challenges we inherited and those that emerged during our tenure into areas of opportunity for a better Kenya.
The baton we received from the Late President Mwai Kibaki was not dropped. We built on his legacy and those of the previous two administrations in every area of public life.
In an unbroken chain, we built on President Daniel Arap Moi’s love for education that was further built upon as free primary education by President Mwai Kibaki. And with the mandate you gave us, we institutionalized free secondary education, heralding 100% transition from primary to secondary education.
To further enhance the competitiveness of our workforce, we have placed the nation on a pathway to Competency Based Curriculum (CBC); which institutionalizes a system that nurtures creativity and innovativeness for our children.
Aware that insecurity can break the chain of our national development and deter the realization of the National Anthem’s promise of plenty within our borders; we built on the work done by previous administrations and created a much improved security environment.
Critically, we muted the wave of terror attacks that had placed a strangle hold on our nation, reduced crime rates, and secured significant progress in addressing livestock theft, trade in illicit firearms, and other longstanding security challenges.
We achieved this by retooling our security organs and making them more capable to address the dynamic contemporary security challenges that Kenya faces.
To realise the dream of equitable development, we have in an unbroken chain fostered and given impetus to the devolved system of governance. In line with the 2010 Constitution, we institutionalized devolution and forever changed the face of Kenya.
Through devolution, government is much closer to the people, with Ksh. 2.5 Trillion transferred by the National Government to the Counties from 2013 to-date: Now wananchi’s needs can be heard and addressed in real time; and the funding transferred to Counties, is better aligned to the priorities at the local level.
With the mandate you gave me, in an unbroken chain, we pursued the vision of all previous administrations for greater economic integration within the East Africa region, and led the push to admit the Democratic Republic of Congo into the East African Community.
With this singular move, the EAC common market grew by 90 million people; yielding an expanded market of 300 million persons and the consequent enhanced opportunities for Kenyan enterprises.
Building on the place of pride earned by our forefathers in the clamour for independence, on the global stage, in an unbroken chain, we fortified our global footprint. Our non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council, has amplified Kenya’s voice on international peace and security matters.
From 2013 to-date, we have had over 100 inbound and outbound State Visits, hosting Heads of State and Government from across the world. Kenya is now a consequential voice and an undisputed leader in continental and global issues.
This has enhanced opportunities for Kenyans in both the diaspora and also within the international civil service.
As a consequence, diaspora remittances have increased tenfold over the last decade; and they now stand at an all-time-high at over Ksh. 400 Billion per annum as of 2021, surpassing some of our traditional exports as foreign exchange earner.
We have also built on the aspiration of the independence generation to foster inclusivity and gender parity.
We have furthered the pioneering spirit of the Second Administration that elevated women leadership. And in an unbroken chain built on the progress made under the Third Administration, we have vastly expanded women’s participation in governance and significantly increased the number of women in the Cabinet and in the senior ranks of Government and in our security organs.
In an unbroken chain we have built on President Mwai Kibaki’s pathbreaking investments in infrastructure. We hand-over in unbroken chain 11,500 Kilometres of newly tarmacked roads under our administration, having doubling the number of kilometres constructed from the dawn of the republic to 2013.
Typified by the iconic Nairobi Expressway, My Administration has upgraded Kenya’s infrastructure in terms of roads, ports, floating bridges, fibre optics and power generation and transmission. As a result, Kenya now stands out as an investment destination of choice, and a continental and global hub.
In unbroken chain of enhancing service delivery, with the mandate you gave us we also transformed the way the government services reach you. We did this through the introduction of Huduma Centres and the eCitizen online platform; which together have made access to public services a fast and pleasant experience and not the toil that every citizen had to endure in the past to obtain basic services. Now Passport Applications, Birth Certificates, Marriages, Business Registration, Driver’s License, and so many others can be done online from anywhere in the world.
As a digital government, we successfully transitioned from analogue to digital television and radio; resulting in the country being home to 130 TV stations, up from 14 in 2013; and 204 radio stations up from 130 in 2013. These impressive figures do not factor in the massive expansion of the digital space that has seen many hundreds of thousands of Kenyans successfully monetize various digital communication avenues.
In unbroken chain, and in addition to the immeasurable pride in having the magical tag of “Made in Kenya” affixed to a wider range of products, My Administration has reinvigorated domestic manufacturing and diversified our exports of finished products.
Building on the baton received from my predecessor President Mwai Kibaki, in unbroken chain we have moved Kenya from being the 12th largest economy in Africa to its current position as Africa’s 6th largest economy.
We have almost tripled the wealth of our nation from a GDP of 4.5 trillion in 2013, to close to 13 Trillion currently. Consequently, the income per capita also rose sharply from Ksh. 127,065 per person in 2013 to Ksh. 245,045 per person in 2021. This saw Kenya graduate from a low-income country to a lower middle-income country. It is notable that if we continue on this growth trajectory, what this means is that by next year, we will join the league of middle-income countries.
In another milestone, and as a mark of this remarkable growth, our tax revenues have more than doubled, from slightly above Ksh. 800 Billion in FY 2012/13 to Ksh. 2 Trillion in FY2021/22.
My Fellow Kenyans,
The dream our forefathers was to rid the country of disease, ignorance, and hunger. To bring the nation closer to this goal, in addition to the educational gains I highlighted earlier, my Administration connected more than 13 Million Kenyans to clean water and registered a 400% growth in the number of Kenyans insured under NHIF – with 17.1 Million Kenyans currently insured compared to 4.4 Million insured as at April, 2013.
To enhance access to healthcare, we have constructed countrywide an additional 1,912 healthcare facilities across all levels of care; representing a 43% increase in the total number of public health facilities in the country. These facilities range from the recently commissioned modern state-of-the-art Level 6 Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital to health centres and dispensaries at the village level.
Every Administration has added arrows to our national quiver in energy production. When I took the Oath of Office in 2013, Kenya’s total grid was 1,300 megawatts. Now it stands at 2,700 Megawatts.
Even as we doubled power production, we ensured that our exploits do not break the inter-generation chain of sustainable development.
Thus, 80% of this power is green energy; propelling Kenya to an enviable position as a continental leader and a pioneering global role model in the generation of green energy.
To share in this plenty with all Kenyan families, we have tripled the number of households with access to electricity by connecting an extra 6.3 million households, up from 2.3 million households in 2013.
I, therefore, handover in unbroken chain the country that has connected electricity to more homes to power than any other country in Africa over the last decade.
We also heeded the inter-generational call to consciously conserve our heritage and splendour so as to pass it on to future generations in as good a state, UNBROKEN, as it was given to us, if not better.
We have done this by leading the planting of 1.34 billion trees, moving our forest cover from 6.99 percent in 2013 to 8.83 percent in 2022; and increasing our tree cover to 12.3 percent, thus surpassing the set constitutional threshold of 10% in a record five years.
As a result of our conservation efforts and other legal and institutional reforms, we have also recorded the lowest levels of poaching in our nation’s history and thus registering the highest wildlife population for our Big Five and a majority of other wildlife species that share Kenya with us.
While we have made remarkable progress, it is important for us to appreciate that building a nation is a journey. There is much more to be done to move our nation to the next level of development towards realizing our Vision2030. The Fourth Administration, which I had the privilege to lead, has built on previous Administrations to lay a foundation upon which the Fifth Administration can build on.
To serve one’s country is the greatest honour any citizen can receive. It is a sacred trust and immense privilege that I have not taken for granted.
I thank you all for the immense opportunities you have accorded me to serve in various public roles over the last two and a half decades, which have included: Chairman of the Kenya Tourism Board, Member of the Jomo Kenyatta University Council, Chairperson of Disaster Emergency Response Committee, Member of Parliament, Cabinet Minister serving in the Ministries of Local Government, Trade and Finance, The Leader of the Official Opposition, Deputy Prime Minister, and as the President of the Republic. I also salute the people of Gatundu South for the honour of having served as their Member of Parliament.
In all the work I have done as President, in every presidential decision I have made, in every executive action I have taken, in every bill I have proposed and assented to; I have been guided by the dream of our forefathers – to eliminate poverty, ignorance and disease, to improve the quality of life of all Kenyans and to create conditions for everyone to achieve their dreams.
As a hallmark of our democracy, I will tomorrow, before God and my fellow countrymen, hand-over the instruments of power to our new President at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani. With that the Fourth Administration will come to an end and the tenure of the Fifth Administration will begin.
My entire family and I join all Kenyans in wishing our very best to our next President, Dr. William S. Ruto, and in extending to him our warmest congratulations for receiving the mandate of Kenyans to lead us as our Fifth President.
Mr President-elect, as you walk the path to your inauguration and beyond, you will be President not just for those who voted for you but for all Kenyans. In the prophetic words of our national anthem – we are all summoned to purposefully dwell in unity, peace and liberty; working hard and together, so that plenty will be found in our borders.
We, therefore, pray for your success, as your success will be Kenya’s success.
Thank you. God bless you, and God bless Kenya.”