President Uhuru Kenyatta Speech on Reopening Economy (Summary)

5 months ago

President Uhuru Kenyatta has just addressed the nation and here is the summary of his speech:



Fellow Kenyans
As we implement the phased re-opening, I remain alive to the economic and social challenges facing our country.

Jobs have been lost, businesses have closed and livelihoods endangered. And this is the sorry state of things the world over. But history has taught us that the COVID crisis is not the first health disaster with such enormous economic challenges. There were many more before this one. However, those who overcame previous disasters and finished on top, began by first changing their mind sets.

Put differently, it is not enough for government to pump resources into the economy using stimulus instruments, as we have done. Such efforts will go to waste if the people do not co-create solutions with the government.

Those who overcame previous disasters in history did so because they acted as one. The people and their government entered into a
joint-venture to subjugate their challenges.

This, therefore means for us to revive the economy, re-open and remain open, the government and its people must pull together.

Today, I have invited you to exercise civic responsibility towards each other. But I do not want you to exercise this responsibility in the fight only against COVID-19 pandemic. I want you to have a shared responsibility with government in reviving our economy. And for us to do this by first changing our national mind-set. We have the opportunity to stitch a “new national mindset garment as it were”.

My Madaraka Day Speech of June 1st 2020 set the stage for this change in mind-set. I challenged all of us to re-imagine Kenya the way our Founding Fathers Imagined “a nation from nothing”. And today, with a much younger population, I challenge you to re-imagine our economic and business models as we re-open tomorrow. We must remember that Corona Virus is an invisible enemy. We cannot confront this enemy because we cannot see it; we can only evade it. And evading an invisible enemy calls for imagination.

Instead of doing business as usual, therefore, the moment calls us to do business unusual. When we re-open, we cannot use the old maps to navigate the new lands created by the moment. We must have the courage to let go the old MODELS of yesterday in order to find the new opportunities presented by this crisis today.

Those who will change their mind-set and embrace the new normal, will be favoured by destiny. I particularly encourage our young people to take up this challenge of re-imagining our business models.

And yes, they may have no capital, but the currency of the COVID moment is ideas and young Kenyans are a flora of ideas.

I note with satisfaction that our textile industry has already seized the moment and leveraged on the silver lining presented by the COVID-19 crisis to create opportunities for our fellow countrymen. Owing to this initiative, Kenya is today emerging as a net exporter of PPEs to the region.

I applaud the COVID-19 Response Fund for contracting the local industry to produce PPEs for our healthcare workers. I encourage other sectors of our economy to re-imagine Kenya as a net exporter.



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