President Uhuru’s New Year message in full

The New Year is a time to reflect with immense gratitude on theaccomplishments and breakthroughs of the last 12 months. It is also atime to reflect on what worked, what did not, and what we can reimagine in the New Year.

As we bid goodbye to 2021, we rejoice in the fact that 2022 givesus an opportunity to do things better. By offering us a reset, the NewYear is one for course-correction and building back better.

But there is always a challenge to every new beginning. We tendto celebrate the milestones of the past at the expense of making realour dreams of the future. And this is because the past is visible andconcrete. Its victories and failures are spread out for all to see. Butthe future is invisible to the naked eye, and only those with the lens offaith can see it; and only the bold and the courageous can achieve it.

The past explains how we got here as a nation but the future is anempty slate. The New Year will give each and every Kenyan 365 daysof blank slates upon which they will chronicle their story. As a nation, itis up to us to write our 2022 story page by page; ensuring that each daywe make Kenya better than it was the day before.

My Fellow Countrymen,

Each Kenyan generation in an unbroken chain all the way fromthe dawn of time to the present day makes a mark on our nationalfabric. Every generation that came before us made their contribution to therealization of our shared aspirations.

Over the last nine years, MyAdministration has built on the foundations of the previous threeadministrations; adding our bricks to theirs so that the 2022dream and beyond will be realised.

This last year, My Administration continued to bridge ‘thedeficits that actually matter’. We bridged the infrastructure deficit,we bridged the deficit of accessibility to quality and affordable healthcarefor all, and we bridged the deficit of a weak agricultural regulatoryframework. We also bridged the deficit of insecurity by scaling up our security sector reforms; and we vastly improved the ease of doingbusiness in Kenya, making it easier for Kenyans to thrive in enterprise.

In the New Year 2022, the nation will move closer to the realizationof the Universal Health Coverage. Through our different programmes,health care will be available to all and affordable for all. This will bemade possible because of the bold and progressive legislation wehave made to support it.

Similarly, in 2022 several seminal state projects will be completedand the dividends of those public investments will be felt by Kenyans.In the early part of 2022 for instance, the CBC InfrastructureProgramme will have delivered 10,000 classrooms across the country;securing our children a better environment for their studies.

Our landscape in the New Year will also be redefined by thecompletion of the construction of major road arteries across everypart of the nation. Notably, the iconic Nairobi Expressway will be openfor use in the first quarter of the New Year.

Away from Nairobi, we will also complete the Kisumu MamboleoRoad, the Eldoret Bypass; Isebania – Kisii Road; KibweziMutumo-Kitui-Migwani Road; Garsen-Witu-Road; LaisamisNgurunit Road; Makutano-Kachelieba-Konyao Road in West –Pokot; Ngong Suswa Road; Kenol-Marua Road; the MombasaRoads Network; the James Gichuru- Rironi Road Expansion, and theMau Mau Roads.

In the New Year the significant progress we have made inAffordable Housing, Food Security and the expansion of domesticManufacturing will become more visible. Also notable will be ourupgraded defence and internal security capabilities. In fact, we havelaid a superlative foundation for our external and internal defence uponwhich future administrations can build on.

In keeping with our commitment to conservation and enhancing our heritage of splendour, in 2022 the Greening Kenya Campaign is expected to lead us closer to the realization of the goal of a minimum of 10% forest cover. The Campaign will achieve this by the planting of an additional 1 billion trees. I urge every Kenyan to support this worthyinitiative, as well as all others that target a Green Kenya.

Environmental conservation and regeneration have direct andimmediate tangible benefits. For instance, in 2022 the NairobiMetropolitan Area will significantly address the water scarcity thathas plagued the metropolis through the completion of the Northern Collector Water Supply Project that is expected to double watersupply to the region.

Reforms in the Energy Sector will also continue a pace, withelectricity prices expected to be reviewed even further downwards by theend of the first quarter of the year 2022. 

To boost tourism, trade, and social engagement; and to bolstercontinental integration; our national carrier Kenya Airways will joinhands with our partners in South Africa to establish a Pan-AfricanAirline with unmatched continental reach and global coverage.

In the New Year, within the Region, for greater fraternity, security,and shared prosperity; Kenya will join the other members of the EastAfrican Community in welcoming the Democratic Republic of Congo to the Community. This eagerly awaited addition to the EAC will make thecommunity stronger and more capable of delivering the East AfricanDream.

Globally, Kenya’s leadership on the international stage and ouradvocacy for a more free, fair, and prosperous world will continue. Wewill continue to use our position in the United Nations Security Councilto promote the cause of peace, harmony, reconciliation, andcooperation.

Fellow Kenyans.

Although we have built a strong foundation for generations tocome, we can destroy it in one stroke. And that is why this New Year’swe must reflect on the irreducible minimums required for the survivalof our Nation-State. 

For starters, we must choose leadership over politics. Leadershipis about vision while politics is about positions. Leadership is about thenext generation, whereas politics is concerned merely with the nextelection. Indeed, our obsession with politics has only slowed down therealization of our potential as a people.

I say so because the colonizers introduced a virus in our Africanpolitical systems. They made us believe that the Political Kingdom wasmore desirable than the Economic Kingdom. And because the pursuit of the Political Kingdom has onlyentrenched poverty in Africa, we must re-think this model. Since chasing the Political Kingdom is a relic of the colonial order, the new frontierfor Kenya must be economic development not hindered by orcontingent on politics. And there is empirical evidence to support this.

Despite COVID, the last 5 years have recorded the mostimpressive growth in our economy. And this is because we separatedour development agenda from politics. When we chose the path ofpeace and reconciliation over that of political strife, and senselesscompetition, we gave the economy a chance to grow.

In the second quarter of this year, I reported that our real GDP had grown by 10.1%. And the question on the lips of many was whetherthis unprecedented growth was sustainable.

Today, I am happy to report that during the third quarter of this year, real GDP grew by animpressive 9.9%. This means that the tempo of growth, set by thesecond quarter, has been sustained. It also means that in the last sixmonths, our real GDP has grown by an average of 10%. And this wasmade possible because we separated our economic agenda frompolitics.

If we keep this trajectory of economic development withoutpolitics, our country has a chance to reach unprecedented heights.

The Second irreducible minimum is that we must continue to upholda justice system that restores not one that merely punishes. A system that heals, not one that deepens wounds. A system that seeks to improve the law, not one enslaved by the law. More so because“…the law, without justice is a national wound without cure”.

Thirdly, and to repeat a point I have made before, Kenya mustchoose the bold path over the popular path. We must choose thecritical few who are bold over those that are not. 

Therefore, as we begin the New Year, we must remember that aleader takes the bold path and blazes a trail; while a politician takesthe popular path that pleases everyone but which takes them nowhere.If we are to become a ‘break-out-nation’, we must follow the brave.Fellow Kenyans.

Let me end my address with two points. One, in 2021 we witnessed multiple waves of COVID-19 infections, but with our sustained controlled efforts, we achieved the targeted positivity rate ofless than 5%. But as is happening across the globe, Kenya is currently recording a surge of infections that started in mid- December, primarily fueled by the new Omicron variant.

Despite its ease of transmissibility and infectiousness, thankfully weare witnessing less severe infections; the majority of which need notbe managed in our hospitals, but under our well-established homebased isolation and care system. Our critical care facilities are notstrained, and we remain on high alert to ensure that this remainsso.

Today 39 people are admitted in various ICU facilities countrywide with COVID-19. Of these, 19 are on ventilatory supportand 20 are on supplemental oxygen. Our heightened surveillance system and continued cautious approach has so far borne fruit, and is a clear indication that we must not let our guard down, but continueto follow the health protocols we have issued.

In March 2021, we began vaccination against COVID-19 as an additional mitigation measure against the disease. To date we have received 23 million doses of assorted vaccines and 10 million doses have been administered to our people.

This means that we have 13 Million Doses of the vaccinesavailable country-wide. I therefore APPEAL to all Kenyans who havenot been vaccinated to turn out and receive this life saving protection.34. Our Government targets to vaccinate 30 million Kenyans by theend of December 2022.

In the past few months we have witnessed an increase in vaccination rates; and so far 15% of the adult population is fully vaccinated. And to maintain immunity against the disease, My Administration will shortly be rolling out booster vaccine dosesstarting 1st Jan 2022 for those who have completed the primary vaccination series in the last six months.

Once again, we shall begin the booster doses by prioritizing the health care workers, security personnel, teachers, those withco-existing medical conditions and those above 50 years of age. I call upon this population to present themselves at the nearest vaccinationcenter for this crucial shot.

The second and final thing has to do with our education system.The education calendar for the New Year will kick-off in earnest on the 3rd of January, 2022.

The 2022 academic year will feature four termsand not the usual three; so as to recover the time lost as a result ofthe COVID-19 disruptions. Consequently, KCPE and KCSE exams willbe administered in March/April 2022 and also in November andDecember 2022.

To our learners, we appreciate that, just like in the year 2021, the2022 academic calendar will similarly be long and challenging. However,let 2022 be a year of destiny, of dreams becoming reality, and forlaying the foundation stones for a glorious future.

In that regard,I take this early opportunity to wish all our examination candidatesall the best in this year’s examinations.

Fellow Kenyans,

It is my prayer that 2022 will be a year where “…plenty will befound within our borders”. A year where leadership will reign supremeover politics. A year of bold decisions as opposed to populardecisions. And a year where ‘..justice will be our shield anddefender’ and the law will only serve as its tool.

Let the first dawn of the New Year be one that brings with it bountiful blessings for us as individuals, families, communities, and as a nation. To all those who suffered loss in 2021, let 2022 be a year of healing, restoration and revival.

Whether you are in Kenya or in the Diaspora, I wish you all a Happy New Year, a safe and prosperous 2022. And remember to be your‘brother’s keeper’.

God bless you all and God bless our beloved nation.

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