Must we always look for alternatives when systems frustrate our progress? What can we do different? In view of these tweets I shared on my timeline — @UrbaneKenyan
#1: Political Campaign Manifestos in Kenya now promising ‘Interest Free Loans’. I find it ridiculous in our setting but it is possible.
#2: Interest Free loans have worked elsewhere. Known as ‘Marukei’ in Japan, they worked well in mid 90’s. Spurring entrepreneurship.
#3: For them to work, they need structures. A proper Government Credit Guarantee Scheme can make this possible. Government FIs as well.
#4: Examples of such Credit Guarantee Schemes are in India, South Korea and some parts of China. Kenya does not have one, nor capacity.
#5: Treasury in Kenya has continued to kill development structures that would have made this possible — Development banks and Cottage Departments.
#6: In place of such useful bodies, some parastatals with questionable agenda have been put in place: Youth & Women Fund for instance.
#7: Measurement of the direct impact by such entities is not known. Possibly coz they were avenue to grow profiles for some like Equity Bank.
#8: If I were in office, I would revamp Kenyan DFIs and intermediary government agencies, set up a guarantee scheme and give affordable credit.
#9: Countries that have managed to spur government driven entrepreneurship and job creation had structures independent of private banks.
#10: Good examples are South Korea, Malaysia (which set up DFIs based on Kenyan SAPs), China, their development is no secret. Stop reinventing!
#11: I’ve visited and studied all of them. I am right. Politicians are lying/ giving half baked information (selling themselves).
#12: Moi, former president has a special place come end times. His regime denied Kenya a deserved chance at development greatness.
#13: I still do not know what Kibaki’s financial models were through the 10 years in power. No philosophy, standing concept. Experiments.
#14: They should scrap Vision 2030 already. It is a lie. Whoever wins should have an Economic Stimulus Plan. These Manifestos are rubbish.
#15: I still want to be Chief Economist Treasury, sadly I am not 69 years old and I do not know people 😐
#16: So I am going to study all those models & travel discovering. Then I can retire on a ranch with wife and kids, write books & teach University.
#17: Skeleton structures in place — Agricultural Finance Corporation, Kenya Industrial Estates, Kenya National Trading Company.
#18: Skeleton Structures — Industrial Commercial Development Corporation, Industrial Development Bank, Kenya Tourism Development Corporation.
#19: In this age people shouldn’t be talking of setting up things in manifestos. Talk about employing and recapitilizing all those agencies.
#20: An idea can be mooted and processed at KIRDI, tested & molded at KIE, Capacity built and financed for industrial expansion at IDB/ICDC.
#21: There is even Industrial Constituency Development Fund (ICDF) at MOTI. Which constituency has a government industrial park?
#22: Funds just lie there or are misappropriated or if lucky returned to Treasury as unaccounted for/ unspent budget allocation.
#23: If every of the 210 constituencies had an industrial park. Accommodating Jua Kali artisans and such. It’d be easier establishing self.
#24: All the monitoring and evaluation will be easier hence jobs, raw materials used, easier financing, capacity building. Growth. Growth.
#25: I think our problem as Kenyans, I’ve said before, we take innovation too seriously. Not everything has to be thought anew.
#26: We get all these grants from Japan, China and likes. I’ve witnessed trade agreements signed between ours and other governments. Many! — For instance, a textile boost between Kenya and Turkey. EXIM Turkey gives Kenya a grant/ credit line. Terms stipulate engagement.
#27: A Kenyan government agency e.g. IDB sources for a local investor, say project worth KES 50 million. Equipment MUST come from Turkey.
#28: That way, Turkey exports its machinery, Kenya gets technology at negotiated rates for the investor through IDB. Textile reborn.
#29: How does that arrangement die? Treasury bigwigs just do not guarantee a government agency for a loan from another government’s agency!
#30: My point is, we have everything we need. Stop building castles, lies and just come up with a stimulus plan to revamp these agencies.
#31: By building capacity in these state agencies, investors will move away from commercial banks. They will become human, lower rates.
#32: We have left potential entrepreneurs struggling with these Venture Capital firms out for a kill. They find you, then they take over.
#33: A Citizen shd be able to feel sovereign by getting a guarantee/equity/partnership from their own government. Feel safe with their idea.
#34: If it were so, even if an entrepreneur failed, you can be sure the concept/idea would not fail. The government will transfer/ invest.
#35: With structures as such, one would move from a fruit farmer, to vendor, to juice manufacturer, to concentrate exporter. JOBS! FOREX!
#36: Growing up, KNTC gave ‘free loans’ for farmers to buy bicycles and wheel barrows. Today we’ve left that to backhand MFIs.
#37: If one could build capacity with free loan wheel barrows, pay back, they had chance to seek loan for a pickup, tractor. Growth!
#38: Too many interests. People must eat mentality has brought once well meant government structures to a halt, death.
#39: Interests. Paying back. Looking out for ‘your own’, desire to look advanced by thinking new. Problems. Selfish people seeking power.
#40: I have been reading too much Umair Haque stuff, haven’t I? End of Class.
Let me know your take.
Till then, cheers!