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David Ndii admits to experimenting with Kenya's economy in TV interview

David Ndii was appointed as chair of the President's Council of Economic Advisors in October 2022.

David Ndii

Economist David Ndii on Tuesday admitted to experimenting with Kenya's economy, justifying the method as a necessity in development.

Speaking on News Night, Ndii added that his work on developing economic policies being implemented by the President William Ruto administration started long before Ruto became head of state.

"I was tasked by the President more than two years ago, that if we do win the election, I should be thinking about an implementation mechanism.

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"We had a few parameters about how we could do it. So I spent quite a bit of time researching and looking at different models which have worked elsewhere and of course, it's something that I know about," said Ndii, citing his academic and professional credentials.

Addressing accusations of experimenting with the Kenyan economy, Ndii admitted that the claims are true, insisting that it is a necessary process.

"There is no development experience that is not an innovation. There is no country that has developed based on a template downloaded from another one.

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"Nobody saw the Chinese coming. There is no development that is heralded. It is all bold experimentation. It's innovation. Where do new companies come from? Do they copy old ones?" Ndii argued.

Ndii also shed some light on the Hustler Fund, highlighting its benefits and clarifying on who controls the programme.

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The presidential advisor quashed claims that the government is fully responsible for the Hustler Fund, stating that private corporations are the custodians of the project.

"The Hustler Fund is run by the private sector, we have no access to it. No public official has access to it. It is fully automated and run by an engine provided by the telcos," said Ndii.

He further advocated for the project, saying that its beneficiaries are living a more dignified life.

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"The most significant benefit of the Hustler Fund is dignity because somebody who needs Sh500 does not have to go and broadcast it to people who will then laugh at you. They can get the Sh500 in the privacy of their phone," he commented.

Ndii's remark comes a few weeks after President Ruto confirmed that 800,000 Kenyans are struggling to repay their loan after borrowing from the programme. The President made the statement on February 3, 2023.

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