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How Kenya Used Facebook to Prepare Record Breaking Budget
By DENIS MWANGI on 30 June 2019 – 7:12 pm
A collage photo of the briefcase containing Kenya’s Budget Policy Statement and a phone logged into Facebook FILE
The role of social media in politics and governance can no longer be ignored.
What started out as platforms for people to interact and socialize have turned out to be powerful tools for governance.
Many governments were using e-government strategies and disseminating information through online channels, but not soliciting citizen feedback.
It is on this basis that President Uhuru Kenyatta resorted to using social media to help prepare the 2011/12 budget when he was the Finance Minister.
Then Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta with the then Treasury PS Joseph Kinyua during preparations of the 2011 /2012 budget
“I personally also took the liberty to include the growing number of tech-savvy Kenyans who are active on social media through an online suggestion form and a Facebook & Twitter campaign on my official pages.
Through these tweets, Facebooks posts, emails and blogs, we received more than 3, 000 submissions and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who performed this most patriotic duty,” Uhuru spoke.
Not only was it the first time social media was factored in the budget-making process, but that year also marked the first time Kenya’s spending estimates hit the Ksh1 trillion mark.
At that time, the deficit without including grants and loans stood at Ksh367 billion compared to the current Ksh607 billion.
In that year the Roads Ministry took the lion’s share of the budget while in the 2019/20 financial year the education of Kenya’s future leaders took priority.
Watch the then Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta explaining the role of social media in the budget-making process.