The volatility of the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely changed the global economic landscape. The widespread lockdown owing to the health crisis is estimated to cost the Continent over USD 65 Billion, according to Brookings Institute. Right here in Kenya, Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) have felt the brunt of these harsh economic conditions. A massive surge in their mortality rate has been witnessed and as such, the unrelenting effects of the pandemic has eroded the gains made in advancing financial inclusion.
Over the past two years, the introduction of price controls on bank loans and deposits has dominated discourse with a groundswell of public interest on the matter. Recently, the National Treasury's 2018 Finance Bill has called for a repeal of the 'rate caps'.
Kenya is a stable and growing lower-middle-income country and the East African economic power.
To boost the country's economic growth and transformation, the government has embarked on the 'Big Four' agenda, which is anchored on four pillars: Sustainable food security, affordable housing, bolstering manufacturing and universal healthcare.
It was my view that MPs engage more on matters within the span of their four-year term and that debates on policies with 10- or 20-year horizons were an exercise in futility.
However, something remarkable happened two years ago, when the then-Kibra MP, the late Kenneth Okoth, together with the Finance and Planning Committee chairman Joseph Limo (Kipkelion East) convened peers to confer on how, through the legislative process, Kenya can fast-track the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Payment systems have come a long way. From the cowry-based exchange that featured thousands of years ago, trade today is underpinned by intricate domestic, regional and international networks, which continue to evolve and adapt to emerging technologies. All these advancements have made trade faster, cheaper, safer and more transparent.
Kenya's payments system has also evolved over time and now operates within robust regulatory and monitoring frameworks, which include the Central Bank Prudential Guidelines, the National Payment System Act, and the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act.
The pursuit of a green and circular economy in Kenya is an idea whose time has come.
About 42 per cent of Kenya's Gross Domestic Product and approximately 70 per cent of the total employment is drawn from natural resources and related sectors. These include agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, mining, forestry and fishing.