President Uhuru Kenyatta delivering his New Year message from State House Mombasa on December 31, 2019.
President Uhuru Kenyatta delivering his New Year message from State House Mombasa on December 31, 2019.
Image: PSCU


President Uhuru Kenyatta has anchored his New Year’s message on the recently launched Building Bridges Initiative report.

In a short sentimental speech that shied away from concrete policy issues, the President called on Kenyans to ride on the BBI to enhance peace and unity in the country.

Uhuru said that in 2020, his government will continue to make Kenya a better Nation for all her people as “we build bridges of brotherhood among our peoples by weaving a stronger fabric of patriotism and nationhood.”

“A key aspect of this quest will be anchored under the Building Bridges Initiative; a process aimed at comprehensively addressing both historical and emerging national challenges,” Uhuru said.

The President was speaking when he delivered his televised New Year message to Kenyans from State House, Mombasa.

Uhuru said that Kenyans must focus on the achievements that the country has made in the last ten years while looking at how to overcome the challenges faced.

“It must be clear to all of us that as a country we cannot preach and sell negativity while at the same time pray to create and hope for opportunity,” the head of state said.

Reflecting on 2019 and the last 10 years, the President said that Kenyans should be encouraged by the government’s commitment to development.

He noted that Kenya had undergone the most consequential transformation since independence with the new Constitution in 2010 as well as the implementation of devolution.

In his speech, Uhuru listed “steady progress” in Education, Health Care, Food Security & Nutrition, Infrastructure, Renewable Energy, Defence and Security as well as Industrialization.

“In addition to laying the foundation for enduring prosperity within a happier and more cohesive Kenya,” he said.

He added that the country was making headway in the implementation on Kenya Vision 2030 as well as the Big Four Agenda.

“My Administration has committed to addressing the challenges of unemployment, poverty, hunger, inequality and poor health,” Uhuru said.

He also paid tribute to Kenyan sportspeople, scientists and researchers who had done the country proud on the world stage.

The President also thanked the Kenya Defence Forces for their service in and out of the country.

He also paid tribute to civil servants, teachers, doctors, nurses as well as farmers, businessmen, athletes, artisans, artists and the clergy.

Uhuru also listed the improved rankings in the World Bank Ease Of Doing Business Index and the quest to conserve the environment as some of the achievements in 2019.

Also on Uhuru’s list of successes in 2019 were the fight against corruption and the 100 per cent transition from Primary to Secondary School.

This is despite Kenya having not secured any convictions and some thousands of children still not able to join secondary schools.

“I know that there are those amongst us who have had a very difficult year, either economically or through personal tragedies such as the loss of loved ones or those battling illnesses.  To you, my Brothers and Sisters, it is my hope and prayer that the New Year will usher in better days for you and for all of us,” Uhuru said.

The President said that the new year presents Kenya with the opportunity to foster “unity, prosperity, positive social change and the deepening of democratic gains and enhancing the rule of law.”

“These opportunities will require unity, commitment and bipartisanship for us to be successful in our quest to enhance inter-generational equity,” he noted

He added; “In the new decade, we are called upon to put aside partisan differences, ethnic and cultural blinkers, social and religious divides.”

The President also committed to fostering and environment of unity, constructive political engagement, tolerance and the facilitation of participation by all Kenyans.

“The seeds of greatness are in each and every one of us – men and women, young and old. Let us water those seeds with the sweat of our brows and our commitment to Kenya and each other; so that we may achieve our individual and national aspirations,” Uhuru said.

The President concluded his speech by passing a message of goodwill to all Kenyans from himself and his family.

“As we exit the Festive Season, and on behalf of Margaret and the rest of our Family, and on behalf of the Government of Kenya, I wish you all a happy and prosperous 2020; filled with divine providence and protection in all that you do,” Uhuru said.