How Far Should African Countries Look Ahead?

How Far Should African Countries Look Ahead?

A recent news item from China Central Television (CCTV) highlighted the fact that Kenya was investing in training nuclear scientists to boost it’s country’s electricity generation. Kenya wants to boost that capacity by 2030 and is part of its  Vision 2030 .

As part of Vision 2030, Kenya has established 5 year medium term plans. Strategic planning is at the heart of every great enterprise and country. It creates a compelling picture of what the future will look like, outlines the key priorities and the investments that will need to be made for the future to become a reality.

The vision can be used to keep people on board, create excitement, unity and build on the aspirations of people who really want to see progress. But how far should a plan look ahead?

Governments can change during the course of a plan, people change,  priorities do, and external events also have an impact on the original plan. Major corporations with long development cycles such as the pharmaceutical and energy sectors are known to look 20-30 years ahead into the future, because to reap the benefits highlighted in the vision, the investments have to be made today. Developed nations have strong civil institutions which help to deliver the plan. So although the democratic process may lead to changes in overall leadership, the core elements of the plan remain in place unless the incoming regime has radically different ideas, which is rare in the developed world!

Most major enterprises look 5-10 years ahead with established milestone achievements in place to ensure that the people are carried along, can see and feel progress and ensures that people continue to buy into the vision and that it remains achievable.

Kenya is showing a wonderful example of making its aspirations concrete and has created the plan as a road map to the future. I suppose that by publishing it and making it widely accessible, it means to be held accountable for its implementation or lack of. Surely this is one of the countries at the forefront of Africa’s rise.

Have other countries published plans like this?