- Prosperity, equity, justice and happiness requires heroes to be committed to championing and delivering the shared aspiration of a better Kenya for all.
- Eliud Kipchoge has inspired the world that no human effort is futile ... that we can dream and make our dreams a possibility ... that we can achieve what has never been achieved before.
- We commit to providing each and every Kenyan with the enabling environment, to be all that they can be; and to bring out the Shujaa in each and every Kenyan.
My fellow Kenyans,
I wish to thank the people of Mombasa in particular, and the coast region in general, for the warm welcome you have accorded me and other visitors from across the country.
To foster nationhood; a few years ago, my administration made the decision to celebrate national days on a rotational basis. In this way we celebrate the diversity of the nation and show that while we are many, we are one. One Nation - One People.
This new tradition also allows us to appreciate the rich diversity of our country, and, in particular, the positive contributions being made under our devolved structure of governance.
In addition, it gives the hosting county the rare opportunity to showcase itself on the national stage.
Today, Mombasa joins the counties of Nakuru; Machakos; Nyeri; Meru; Kakamega and Narok, who have hosted national day celebrations in the past.
It is, therefore, my great pleasure to lead the Nation in celebrating the 10th Mashujaa Day from Kenya’s oldest town and her second city–Mombasa.
Mombasa and, indeed, the entire Coast region is a good example of my administration’s commitment to the letter and spirit of devolution.
Over the last six years since I took office in 2013, the counties of Kilifi, Kwale, Lamu, Mombasa, Taita Taveta and Tana River, have cumulatively received close to Sh190 billion from the National Treasury.
In addition to running county governments, these devolved funds have paid for roads, schools, youth polytechnics, water projects and hospitals at the local level – development projects that make a difference and better the quality of life for millions of Kenyan families.
Under my administration, we have undertaken tangible steps to address the unique development needs of this region. In the six years, there has been more targeted and concerted focus on developing the coast region than any other time in the history of our country.
From Holili in Taita Taveta County to Mokowe on the shores of Lamu County; from the fishing ports of Shimoni in Kwale County to Borji in Tana River County; from the legendary Bamba shopping center in the nearby Kilifi County to the Mama Ngina Sea Front, that is playing host to today’s event, the visual markers of progress are plain for all to see.
The Dongo Kundu by-pass, the road from Bamba to Mariakani, the link road from Tsavo East to Malindi from Sala Gate, the Garsen-Witu Road and the Voi to Taveta Road, are just some examples of the enabling infrastructure, built to unleash the economic potential of the towns and villages that they connect.
In Mombasa, the transformation continues to redefine the face of the county through the recently completed road projects: Miritini, Mwache, Kipevu New Container Link Road and Moi International Airport Access Road, Port Reitz and Moi International Airport Access Road while the following other projects are on the verge of completion, that is: Mariakani Highway and dualling of Magongo Road.
It is under this Administration that our ports and harbours have been expanded with new investment.
At Kilindini, we have more than doubled the volume of cleared cargo passing through the port annually. The significance of the port is further underscored by an 8,000-strong direct workforce hired at the facility and an even larger number of people that it supports indirectly.
Under my Administration, we are reviving the Kenya National Shipping Lines. It is my plea to all the Stakeholders to support this transformative initiative, that is geared towards cementing our place as the logistics hub for the region and the continent.
We will not turn back in our pursuit to secure our national interest in the shipping industry.
Our endeavour to localize the shipping industry and to ensure that our young men and women can, once again, sail the seven seas under Kenyan flagged vessels; is unstoppable. These opportunities will benefit everyone.
It is under this Administration that the County of Lamu will play host to the newest port on the African east coast. The Lamu Port will begin its operations, initially as a trans-shipment hub for global shipping lines.
It will be supported by a Special Economic Zone that is expected to attract investors from across the world, to undertake various economic activities.
Our aspiration is to link the Lamu Port to the Lamu Port South Sudan–Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor, through road infrastructure. Our aim is to make Lamu Port the port of choice for the export of Kenya’s crude oil.
I urge the residents of Lamu to embrace this investment and to take advantage of the many opportunities that it will bring, in terms of wealth creation and prosperity.
Kenya is now a global champion in the development of the blue economy.
Our strategy to harness our maritime resources is a critical part of the Big 4 Agenda on food security and job creation in the manufacturing sector. It is in pursuit of the blue economy development that my Administration has moved decisively to recover all fish landing sites that had been illegally acquired.
In addition, we have taken steps to stop illegal fishing by foreign trawlers, through the introduction of the region’s first “National Coast Guard Service”. In partnership with the leadership of the coast region, every effort will be made to sensitize the population on how to take advantage of the opportunities created by the blue economy.
Mashujaa Day is a National Day to collectively honour all those who participated in the Struggle for our Independence as well as those who have positively contributed towards the development of post-independence Kenya.
On this day, we celebrate those who have built Kenya with their bravery, sacrifice and fidelity. We celebrate and honour those that go above and beyond the call of duty.
By this definition, it is possible for each and every Kenyan to be feted on Mashujaa Day. Why? Because positive contributions towards post-independence Kenya do not necessarily require grand acts of heroism akin to those of the Founding Fathers and Mothers of our Great Nation.
To be a Shujaa is to be committed to going above and beyond your call of duty, whatever your station in life, in order to make Kenya a better place for all.
The Sons and Daughters of the coast region made phenomenal contribution to the Struggle for Independence. From Mekatilili wa Menza to Ronald Ngala, you gave Kenya countless men and women of iconic status, who contributed immensely to freeing our Nation from the yoke of colonial rule.
In post-independence Kenya, the coast region has given rise to Kenyan heroes across the full spectrum of our public life.
Your Sons and Daughters have brought honour and glory to Kenya as renowned business persons, researchers and scientists, exemplary musicians and artists, prominent political leaders and trade unionists, inspirational professionals, world-class academics and dependable military generals and civil servants.
The story of Kenya would not be as rich, dynamic or as vibrant, were it not for your Sons and Daughters.
As their descendants, I am proud to proclaim that their legacy is alive and well within you; a fact demonstrated by the continued contributions to the Kenyan Dream, being made by all the people of Pwani.
Today, we celebrate all the men and women from every corner and community of Kenya, who helped make Kenya an Independent State.
Today, we celebrate all those who laid the foundation for the realization of our shared prosperity, for our freedoms and for a Country that is peaceful and secure.
Today, we celebrate the farmers who continue to feed the Nation through the sweat of their brow and the work of their hands.
Today, we celebrate our civil servants, who have been, for more than half a century, the engine of our State and anchors of our democracy.
Today, we celebrate our doctors, nurses and other health workers as they continue their compassionate service. These professionals, who often work tirelessly and selflessly, have been responsible for, among other milestones, increasing our life expectancy from the 35 years at Independence to 67 years currently.
Today, we celebrate our teachers, from the Early Childhood Development (ECD) instructors who receive our children when they first go to school, all the way to primary and high school, through whom, generation after generation of Kenyans, have been moulded and nurtured to realize their full potential in life. We celebrate teachers like Mwalimu Peter Tabichi, whose selfless service and excellence, led to his recognition as the World’s Best Teacher.
Today, we celebrate our scholars, researchers and innovators who are constantly searching for new knowledge and instructing our university students. Scholars like the late Dr. Esther Mwangi, who dedicated her life to the study of forest conservation and management, property rights, as well as economic governance.
Today, we honour the Kenyans called to serve around the World; our Kenyans in the diaspora, who continue to be our brand ambassadors in countries far from home, and who continue to support millions of Kenyans back home.
Today, we honour our men and women in uniform serving across our various services, whose commitment to duty, sacrifice and bravery is at the heart of our freedom and security.
Today, we particularly honour and salute all those who paid the ultimate price for the sake of Kenya; all those whose actions have contributed to making Kenya, the towering island of peace and security, within a region fraught with a history of turmoil and insecurity.
We remember and treasure those who are no longer with us, and all those who continue their legacy today; all those who have built and continue to build our country. These are great Kenyans. Hawa ni Mashujaa Wetu.
We live in a world where we are often misled to believe that our best and brightest men and women have long died.