In Summary
  • The Big Four focus on manufacturing, value addition and food security is aimed at increasing return ventures, the fastest way to grow the economy.
  • To expand science and technology, Kenya should increase enrolment of its students in Chinese science and technology universities.

The Big Four Agenda is meant to pave the way for Kenya’s achievement of high middle-income status envisioned in Vision 2030.

The transition will require increased productivity of human capital and natural resources and would trigger income per capita from Sh166,300 to Sh400,000, according to the World Bank atlas estimates.

In the past four decades, only 13 countries have grown at above seven per cent annually, causing their incomes per capita to skyrocket to upper middle- and higher-income economic status. One of these is China, which has transformed its economy to upper middle-income.

In 1980, Kenya’s gross domestic product (GDP) per capita was Sh45,157 and China’s Sh19,695. Today, China’s nominal gross domestic product (nGDP) per capita is about Sh1,142,411 and its GDP in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms (equalised dollar unit cost of a basket of goods per country) is about $1,761,036.

China is the richest world economy by PPP terms, followed by the nGDP leader United States.

CHINA'S MODEL

China is a world-leading newly industrialised economy, exporting and investing abroad more than any other country, with Sh263 trillion in exports last year.

Its green economy model is the heart of the International Horticulture Expo 2019 in Beijing themed “Live Green, Live Better”.

China is also the greatest influencer in the construction industry, absorbing its construction material exports tactfully and easily increasing foreign exchange incomes.

While pundits would argue that China is not a comparator economy to Kenya due to its political and economic system, an optimal blend of planned and open market economics, there are many lessons we can draw from it to leapfrog to higher middle-income economic status.

The Big Four focus on manufacturing, value addition and food security is aimed at increasing return ventures, the fastest way to grow the economy.

TRADE ACCORD

The deficient nGDP per capita for Kenya to reach the upper middle-income is about $2,337 higher than our current levels, which calls for increased productivity in the priority value chains.

Many Kenyan companies are scaling up their presence in the continent to take advantage of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA).

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