Ruto's Jamhuri Day Full Speech

  • Here is President William Ruto’s full speech during the Jamhuri Day Celebrations on Monday, December 12, 2022. 

    We come together on this 59th Jamhuri Day to celebrate our freedom.

    It is the first national day celebration dedicated to a theme that is relevant to our national aspirations. Our futuristic theme today revolves around Technology and Innovation.

    The promise of innovation is to enable us to connect, innovate and inspire.

    As we enter the sixth decade of independence, we can proudly cite many achievements and impressive progress made through our own consistent efforts as evidence that our freedom struggle was neither an empty political adventure nor a reaction born of idle resentment.

    President William Ruto aheads to the VIP dais after inspecting a guard of honour during the Jamhuri Day celebrations at Nyayo Stadium on Monday, December 12, 2022.

    President William Ruto heads to the VIP dais after inspecting a guard of honour during the Jamhuri Day celebrations at Nyayo Stadium on Monday, December 12, 2022.

    Ministry of Youth

    We gather as a nation to commune with our forefathers, who were long-suffering innocent victims of imperial plunder and colonial oppression, yet also heroic defenders of our inalienable sovereignty and valiant fighters for our freedom.

    On Jamhuri Day, we celebrate the moment when Kenya proclaimed itself a free democratic republic. It is also a time to reflect deeply on the founding aspirations of our nation.

    It is time to re-dedicate ourselves to the fundamental commitment binding three generations of our people.

    First, we must interrogate, with honesty and courage, whether we have been true and worthy heirs of our forefather’s proud heritage.

    Second, we must have a candid discussion whether we have behaved well towards one another, and the extent to which we have been mindful of justice, dignity and freedom in our time. 

    Third, we have to evaluate our desire, ability, and determination to be faithful trustees of future generations. By all human indicators, we have made admirable progress. 82 percent of our people know how to read and write. 

    Any of them has fairly substantial levels of education, with skills and professional qualifications to make Kenya truly self-reliant in every sector.

    Life expectancy has risen significantly, and we have eradicated polio and other diseases which, in the old times, decimated our people by their thousands.

    More children born in Kenya today live to see their fifth birthday than ever before, and the rate continues to increase at very encouraging figures. 

    We have 32,594 primary schools, 10,482 secondary schools, 12 national polytechnics, 259 technical and vocational education and training institutions, and 87 universities.

    Our country is more secure, with adequate numbers of personnel in our disciplined services.

    Traditional security threats are under control, with the government making huge strides to eliminate banditry, cattle rustling, and urban crime.

     Our neighbourhood may be rough, but we live in peace and fraternity with all our neighbours, and play our role as a member of the regional and international community.

     The Kenya Defence Forces continue to demonstrate, through their professionalism, commitment to solidarity, and commitment to humanitarianism.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, beyond our borders, Kenyan professionals have excelled consistently for decades, enabling organizations abroad to achieve their objectives and actualizing their career goals in the process. 

    The data on remittances is an object of deep fascination, and not just because we are proud of the Kenyan Diaspora for remitting over Ksh400 billion annually. 

    Remittances are also a reliable indicator of the value of professional contribution and the impact of the knowledge, skill, and passion of Kenyans abroad.

    Our diaspora comprises our best envoys and demonstrates for everyone to see what we are capable of. By extension, they show the world how and why a country of meagre natural resource endowments punches above its weight.

     My administration will work towards making our diaspora remittances reach a trillion shillings. The State Department of Diaspora Affairs has this target to achieve.

    We are in a situation of unprecedented uncertainty, with many, complex and interconnected threats arrayed against our shared aspirations.

    In the midst of this daunting urgency, complexity, and threat, we remain ever mindful of our mandate as the stewards of the well-being of our present generation, and the trustees of our future.

    President William Ruto

    President William Ruto inspecting a guard of honor at the Nyayo National Stadium during Jamhuri Day Celebrations on Monday, December 12, 2022.

    Twitter/State House

     We have a duty to forge the way forward with courage, diligence, unity, and imagination. As I stated in the beginning, the challenges that the founding leaders of our republic confronted on the first Jamhuri Day were as urgent, as daunting, and as complex for their time, as the ones we now face.

    Mindful of this solemn obligation to do right while laying the foundation of a flourishing nation for future generations, I have pursued several interventions since I took office, nearly three months ago, with the urgency, zeal, and focus that the moment demands.

    On my first day in office, I appointed four Court of Appeal and two Environment and Land Court judges and, just last week, 20 judges of the High Court. We have also escalated the actualization of the Judiciary Fund which will increase the allocation of resources to match the need of enhancing access to justice throughout Kenya.

    On my first day in office, I also executed the necessary instrument to actualize the financial independence of the National Police Service in the realization that this is the substantive enabler of genuine institutional independence. 

    The operational independence of the police is necessary for its efficiency, professionalism, and accountability.

    Since then, we have engaged to successfully re-orient policing operations from a heavy and illegitimate reliance on illegal and extra-judicial interventions, which frequently entail such intolerable violations as abduction, torture, disappearance, and murder.

    There is now consensus that a new policing paradigm is at hand, and it is possible to achieve a high level of security for our citizens and also observe their rights and freedoms to the greatest extent.

    I, therefore, commend the entire national police service, from the constable on the beat to the Inspector-General, for the enthusiasm with which they have embraced the changes and enhanced our general security through increased vigilance and improved relationships with citizens and their communities. 

    Before the end of the year, I will be appointing a task force to review the terms of the police service.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, a dramatic revolution is quietly underway, which is transforming the ‘who’, as well as ‘how’, of participating in enterprise for rapid socio-economic growth. 

    The bottom-up framework proposes to include everyone, from the smallest possible business unit run by individuals of modest means, to our celebrated captains of industry.

    I engaged three Fintech institutions on the way forward in making mobile loans more affordable. As a result, there was a drastic reduction in the interest charged on the Fuliza service, signaling a new era of affordable credit for borrowers.

    I also engaged lenders on the need to liberate more than 4 million borrowers from the prejudice arising from being blacklisted under the Credit Reference Bureau framework, which arbitrarily paralyses their business prospects.

    We have secured an agreement with the lenders to abandon this punitive approach and shift to a credit scoring system that incorporates incentives for both lenders and borrowers.

    Perhaps more profound was the launch on November 30th of the Hustler Fund, an innovative revolving Fund combining credit and savings, to support and empower many Kenyans to access affordable credit.

     The Fund is available on digital platforms and accessible to individuals on their own. As of this morning, the 13th day since the launch, the Fund had disbursed Ksh7.5 billion. 

    At the same time, 15.4 million Kenyans had registered for the Fund. Before the expiry of the 14-day repayment period, Ksh1.1 billion has since been repaid and nearly Ksh400 million mobilized in savings.

    It is clear under this programme, that Kenyans have found a platform to save. Clearly, Kenyans know the value of borrowing and paying contrary to the rhetoric of skeptics. By all accounts, this is revolutionary.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, the rains are finally here. Our farmers are now ready to give Kenya a bumper harvest, improve the food supply and drive down the price of food, the single biggest driver of the cost of living. 

    They will achieve these goals using affordable fertilizer and certified seeds. The government, working with the private sector, has engaged suppliers to import 300,000 metric tonnes (6 million bags) of fertilizer. 

    A consignment of 2 million bags has already landed at the port of Mombasa, and the remaining 4 million will arrive in the first week of January in time for the long rains. 

    Francis Atwoli

    COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli (Far Right) accompanied by other guest arriving at the Nyayo Stadium for the Jamhuri Day Celebrations on Monday. December 12, 2022.

    Twitter/State House

    The government will continue to subsidize the price of fertilizer and farmers will buy it at Ksh3,500 a bag.

    Our firm commitment to restoring the former glory of our cotton producing regions is the reason behind the government’s interventions to revamp the textile and apparel industries and revive cotton farming by providing high-yielding, disease and pest-resistant hybrid varieties to farmers. 

    We are determined to bring back the forgotten smiles of cotton farmers. This will inject billions of shillings to arouse the sleeping giant of Kenya’s industrial and agricultural competitiveness.

    The time has also come for us to liberate our agricultural production from dependence on rainfall patterns and vulnerability to drought and the effects of climate change. 

    We must produce food throughout the year. We have identified 100 dams in various parts of the country to double the land under irrigation from the current 670,000 acres, and progressively increase it to 3 million acres.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, our interventions to uplift the well-being of all Kenyans by transforming production are underpinned by a sound and innovative policy framework, efficient infrastructure, and climate-change mitigation mechanisms.

    We continue our push to intensify national connectivity through road, rail, and fiber-optic infrastructure to support production and innovation in every part of the country.

    We are finalising a framework for the centralisation of resources to deal with all stalled infrastructure projects.

    To combat the effects of climate change, we have commenced our plan to grow 15 billion trees on 11 million hectares in every part of Kenya by 2030. 

    Our objective is to increase the national tree cover from the current 12 percent to 30 percent over that period.

    This programme will be implemented through the Ministry of Environment in collaboration with county governments and many other stakeholders, local and foreign. 

    Working with the County Government of Nairobi, we will recruit at least 11,000 young people to grow a minimum of 1.5 million trees in the city’s open and public spaces as part of the big dream of greening the city of Nairobi.

    I have also directed the Ministry of Interior to ensure that all Regional Commissioners, County Commissioners, Deputy County Commissioners, Assistant County Commisisoners, Chiefs, Assistant Chiefs and Nyumba Kumi officials, mobilize the public drive for National Tree Planting Culture. 

    The exercise will be co-ordinated at the locational level and cascaded downwards.

    Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua (left) and Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi during Jamhuri Day Celebrations on Monday, December 12 at the Nyayo National stadium

    Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua with Prime CS Musalia Mudavadi during Jamhuri Day Celebrations on Monday, December 12 at the Nyayo National stadium

    Twitter/State House

    Every Chief shall dedicate at least one day per week for a public Baraza cum tree planting drive in which the public will be mobilized to plant and grow at least 3,000 trees weekly, within their respective locations. 

    This weekly deliverable will be a shared responsibility among the Chief, his/her Assistant Chiefs and Nyumba Kumi officials.

     Each Assistant County Commissioner, Deputy County Commissioner, County Commissioner, and Regional Commissioner shall file monthly returns on these targets to the Ministry of Interior.

    Free seedlings will be provided to the public through Chiefs, schools, and other public institutions by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, the cost of housing is a heavy burden to the majority of Kenyans and is the major factor driving the proliferation of slums. We are committed to making housing more affordable, enabling more Kenyans to live in safe and dignified homes, and creating millions of jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities.

    Through our programme to increase the supply of affordable housing at the rate of 200,000 new units every year, we will lower the cost of living for urban dwellers, make the dream of home ownership possible for the majority of Kenyans with units available at monthly installments of between Ksh2,500 and Ksh10,000.

    This programme will generate millions of jobs for all categories of workers and thousands of SMEs as suppliers.

    We will be intentional about job creation in our economy. The Kenya Industrial Estates will provide intensive coaching and mentorship to 100,000 entrepreneurs and provide information and networking opportunities to 250,000 youth.

    The Kenya Revenue Authority is now implementing our new tax administration policy, which has seen manufacturing firms earlier shut down over tax disputes, re-opened, injecting much needed revenue into the economy and returning thousands of workers to their jobs. 

    We urge all Kenyans to continue supporting our efforts by paying taxes.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, we undertook to review the Competency-Based Curriculum following the concerns of many stakeholders, especially parents and teachers. 

    As you know, we set up the Presidential Working Party on Education Reform to engage stakeholders, report, and recommend measures to be taken.

    In fulfillment of our undertaking to increase teacher to learner ratio in our primary and secondary schools, the Government has embarked on the single largest recruitment of teachers in independent Kenya by providing resources to the Teachers Service Commission to recruit 30,000 teachers.

    Our determination to live as one indivisible national family cannot be compromised. Our pursuit of inclusion is irrevocable. 

    We must continue to resolve injustices of a historical character that have unfairly relegated people to the margins of statelessness when their inalienable rights of citizenship are guaranteed under the Constitution. 

    The Government of Kenya has commenced the process to confer citizenship to the Pemba people living in Kilifi County.

    2022 Jamhuri

    Kenyans gathered at Nyayo Stadium on Monday, December 12, 2022 for Jamhuri Day Celebrations.

    Twitter/State House

    Ladies and Gentlemen, we are proud of Kenya’s consistent record of leadership to advance the cause of peace, cohesion, security, and stability in our region. Under various regional and continental frameworks, and with the support of international partners, we are deploying our position as a regional anchor State for the benefit of our neighbours and region.

    My predecessor, President Uhuru Kenyatta, working under the aegis of the African Union, is engaged in mediation efforts to restore peace and stability in Ethiopia’s Tigray region and, under the EAC initiative, to restore normalcy in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

    Our interests are nested in a dense network of reciprocal diplomacy, which helps our agenda to attract investments, forge partnerships and create markets for our exports and employment of our youth locally and overseas.

    In the past 3 months, we have aggressively sustained our pursuit of mutually beneficial endeavour with friends and partners all over the world. 

    We have engaged productively with EAC member States, the governments of South Africa, the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, Qatar, Germany, and South Korea, to scale up bilateral ties and to explore avenues for collaboration in multilateral fora.

    We have forged agreements on mobilizing investments and financing in a wide variety of sectors. We will continue to engage the international community as we implement our plan.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, It is time to innovate our way into the future. It is for this reason that, on this Jamhuri Day, we as a nation are staking our claim by rallying Kenyans to begin the work of designing a world much richer, safer, and freer than we have known.

    Innovation is frequently associated with technology, and we must avoid the pitfalls of viewing technology and innovation as pre-occupations with things at the expense of people.

    The most consequential breakthroughs in technological innovations have greatly enhanced human well-being.

    The platform which supports all the transactions on the Hustler Fund was developed locally and has opened up access to affordable credit, liberated millions of hustlers from the vicious grip of shylocks and other predatory lenders, and enabled Kenyans of all walks of life to mobilize savings.

    This revolutionary technology is a continuation of Kenya’s illustrious tradition of pioneering innovation in the financial technology sector.

    Among the Innovation Week’s champions are the winners of the 2022 Hult Prize, EcoBana, from St. Paul’s University, who employed the concept of green and circular economy to produce biodegradable sanitary pads from banana fibre. 

    I have asked the Ministry of Education to work with these young innovators on the delivery of our pledge to provide sanitary pads for schools.

    The Kenya Innovation Week attracted large global technology firms, whose senior leaders made their way to Kenya to witness first-hand the magnitude of the innovative potential of Silicon Savannah. 

    We have agreed on partnerships to support local organizations in providing opportunities for young Kenyans to acquire training and skills in the various aspects of digital productivity.

    We are also exploring ways of making the benefits of monetization of online activity available to Kenyan content creators on more platforms.

    Jamhuri Day 2022

    President William Ruto and his motorcade arrive at the Nyayo National stadium on Monday, December 12, 2022.

    Twitter/State House

     I have spoken directly to Meta, the parent company of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, to monetize content for our digital entrepreneurs that will exponentially multiply incomes and create employment opportunities for others.

    I am impressed and encouraged by the power of monetization and remote jobs. This is the way to the future.

    If I was not a State officer, I wonder what the content on my small Facebook page, with 2.3 million followers, would earn me daily.

    As we have all witnessed today from the performances that have given us thrilling entertainment, our creative sector is ready with thousands of highly talented and promising youth waiting to seize opportunities to stream high quality content for monetization.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, my administration recognizes sports and the arts as a mega industry that can employ millions of our youth and help grow our economy. 

    This is why we have moved with speed to get our football back, protect Kenya’s proud athletics pedigree from doping, and streamline the collection and distribution of royalties to our artists.

    Through the revolutionary ‘TALANTA HELA’ Plan, we will rebuild and monetize our sports and creatives industry. 

    As part of this plan, I have accepted to champion a grassroots football development program that will see national government work with county governments to invest heavily in youth football.

     Arrangements are at an advanced stage to launch a Bottom-up football tournament to be contested by under-19 teams from all 47 Counties. We will work with our governors for each County to build a team right from the ward level.

    This is the first step in our Football Vision 2030 where we target to see Harambee Stars play at the 2030 World Cup and Kenya host the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations.

    Together, let us build Kenyan football Bottom-up, from the grassroots of our villages to the grand stage of the World Cup.

    We are ready to take our place as the digital workforce of the world. Our commitments, under the Digital Superhighway component of our Plan, were intended for this specific purpose.

    To underscore our intent, we are today unveiling several cohorts of graduates whose training was supported under arrangements between the government and the private sector. 

    Safaricom re-trained a number of university and TVET graduates to meet the digital industry needs in software engineering and data science.

    Also graduating today is the Presidential Digital Talent Programme, a class of talented youth selected by the Information and Communication Technology Authority for training through an internship.

     Additionally, it is a big day for the beneficiaries of the Kenya Commercial Bank Tujiajiri Programme. Finally, the Google Hustler Academy, who underwent an intensive and interactive training programme, are ready to begin their journey in a world of work and opportunity that is now familiar territory.

    I now request all these graduates, present today, to rise. Fortune rewards the bold. I congratulate the young people who followed their curiosity and passion to explore new ideas and possibilities, and are now at the threshold of a new chapter in their lives and careers.

    I can say that through this disruptive graduation, you have now been granted the power to create, connect, innovate and inspire. I wish you success and God’s blessings. Congratulations and you can now take your seats.

    We also congratulate 29 year old, Nelly Cheboi, the founder of Techlit Africa who this morning was declared the CNN hero of the year, for her work in creating computer labs for Kenyan children to access opportunities in the digital world.

    Congratulations Nelly for connecting and inspiring thousands of Kenyan children.

    As promised, everyone present in this stadium today will get a free scholarship on global entrepreneurship and innovation from the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University. 

    Entrance to the University of Arizona

    Entrance to the University of Arizona

    University of Arizona

    It is now time to keep the promise. There is a QR Code near you. Scan and access the scholarship now. A 16 unit course would have cost you KSh. 100,000, is now accessible to you for free, courtesy of the Innovation Jamhuri.

    I also appreciate the firms and organizations which have stepped forward to support our vision to make Kenya the Hotbed of Innovation. 

    We will continue to do our part and make such partnerships bigger in the future, and you are always welcome to be part of Kenya’s journey to greatness. 

    As part of this endeavour, Konza has started the distribution of 23,000 virtual desktops to TVETS to enable students to exploit remote job opportunities.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, we are committed to supporting young Kenyans in re-establishing this country as the republic of ideas and the home of innovation. 

    Through a dedicated Start-up Fund, Government will support the most innovative ideas each year to scale up into viable enterprises and commercial brands that will provide employment and drive economic growth.

    The Government will work with our academia to establish the Kenya Open University within the next year. I urge our scholars and intellectuals to play their part in democratizing education and open the way for anyone and everyone to quench their thirst for knowledge, education, and training.

    In line with the new focus of our National Celebrations, Embu County will host the 2023 Madaraka Day celebrations, under the theme of Universal Healthcare.

    In conclusion, it is our time to make a contribution that will define Kenya for posterity as the envy of nations and a country that we, our children, and their children will be proud to call home. 

    We also have the task of preparing the nation for its future by equipping and empowering our youth to take charge as leaders in a brave new world through innovation.

    Let us, therefore, rally and join our efforts in the timeless spirit of Harambee to exploit the opportunities at hand and hasten our progress into the future.

    2022 Jamhuri

    President William Ruto inspects the guard of honour during Jamuhuri Day Celebrations at the Nyayo Stadium on Monday, December 12, 2022.

    Twitter/State House

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Jay Ndungu

Jay is a computer scientist and journalist with a passion for the intersection of technology and society. He has a background in computer science, developing a deep understanding of the technical aspects of the industry, including programming languages and software development methodologies. Currently, He writes for Nairobi Times, covering a wide range of topics including technology, politics, sports, and entertainment. With his unique combination of technical knowledge and journalistic experience, Jay brings a unique perspective to the stories he covers, able to explain complex technical concepts in an easy-to-understand manner. His work is dedicated to bridge the gap between technology and society, and to make people more aware of the potential of technology to make the world a better place.

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