The three large economies of the EAC, Kenya Uganda and Tanzania read their budgets last week. All the three countries seek to catalyze economic growth and job creation through public spending.
A recent article by Jeff Sachs in the Financial Times has what in my opinion are pretty cleaver ideas about reducing spending, raising public revenue and stimulating investment in the economy.
Here are I paraphrase parts of Jeff Sachs’ Op-ed. And I think the minders of the economies of the EAC countries ought to take a look.
Government and the public must understand that there is little that economic policy can do to create high-quality jobs in the short term. Good jobs result from good education, reliable infrastructure and a social and political climate that inspires investor confidence and attracts private capital.
Government must step up support for universal access to basic healthcare and education, scale up skill building and job training programmes as well as promote higher education.
In view of the widening income gap and growing inequality, both the government and the public should insist that the rich pay more in income and wealth taxes. The upward re-distribution of the past few decades has turned the economies of the region into extravagant playgrounds for corrupt a politicians and their business associates.