KENYA: Must we always look for alternatives when systems frustrate our progress? What can we do different? My Tweets.

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!


2 thoughts on “KENYA: Must we always look for alternatives when systems frustrate our progress? What can we do different? My Tweets.

  1. I cant agree more with you, take an example:
    Railway was serving my hometown Nyahururu of supplies, this has since been killed and replaced by privatisation, supplies and retail prices shot up because transport is now via private trucks.

    Another thing you mentioned is KNTC which was very handy at making farmers get in business, where is it now, such institutions should be larger than some of our banks and with huge financing and management from central government but it’s nowhere to be seen. That’s why we cant manage to feed ourselves, including those who call themselves farmers, in a country where there is so much potential for agriculture.

    • I can totally relate to your sentiments. Generally, I think our authorities jumped on the privatization bandwagon, most for personal benefit too fast and in the process killed many avenues and structures that still had relevance in spurring economic growth and stability.

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