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The Government has unveiled the ‘Big Four’ agenda. Most of these Big Four priorities require urgent legal interventions to actualise. To achieve these ambitions, the Kenya Law Reform Commission, in collaboration with relevant government agencies, is spearheading the process of formulating or reviewing various legislation to ensure these development priorities are actualised. This note elaborates on the interventions by the KLRC.



 His Excellency the President Uhuru Kenyatta unveiled four areas which require immediate prioritisation and focus, the Big Four. These are ensuring food security and nutrition, affordable housing, manufacturing and safeguarding affordable healthcare for all. These four areas have for a long time been ignored or underfunded despite their pivotal in driving the country’s economy.

To actualize the delivery of the Big Four, the president has called for concerted efforts within government agencies for their effective realisation. The National Treasury has issued guidelines directing Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to prioritize public investments geared towards the realisation of the Big Four agenda.

The president has further called on the legislature to offer the required support to ensure legislation is in place to secure delivery of the Big Four. Legislative support entails review of the current legal framework and systematic development of legislation which will include integration, unification of the law, and elimination of anomalies, repeal of obsolete and unnecessary laws and generally simplification and modernisation of the law to achieve this agenda.

The Kenya Law Reform Commission (KLRC) (the Commission) is the primary agency tasked with the mandate of keeping under review all the law of the Kenya as well as provision of advice, technical assistance and information to the national and county governments with regard to the reform and review of their legislation. Consequently, as further illustrated in this note, we have taken proactive measures to ensure creation of a supportive legal environment for the Big Four to thrive


The Commission is offering legal and legislative support to actualise the Big Four Agenda. We are undertaking the itemized initiatives.

Legislative activity






1.     Develop Regulations under the Health Act, 2017

To implement the Health Act

2.    Review the National Health Insurance Fund Act, 1998.

·         Establish Health Insurance as primary and NHIF as secondary insurer for the formal sector.

·         Align NHIF Act to Universal Health Coverage, group insurance, multi-tier benefit package

·         Introduce new governance structures

·         Provide for Employer contributions

·         Bring on board pensioners

·         Provide for mandatory coverage for informal sector

3.    Review Insurance Act

To increase uptake of Private Health Insurance to cushion NHIF

4.    Review the Kenya Medical Training College Act

Streamline governance structures

5.    Develop the National Public Health Institute (NPHI) Bill

Establish institutional framework for promotion of national public Health

6.    Review the Retirement Benefits Act

To support the Health Sector

7.    Finalize the Environmental Health and Sanitation Bill 2017

Promote safe environment and sanitation

8.    Develop the National Research for Health Bill

Legal framework for continuous health research

9.      Older Persons Bill, 2017

To provide for the welfare of older persons

10.  Develop the Food and Nutrition Security Bill

Implement government policy on food security

11.   Develop Food and Drug Authority Bill

Provide for institutional framework on food and drugs



12.  Develop legislation on mandatory soil liming

Provide framework for ensuring soil fertility

13.  Develop Legislation to actualize irrigated land for each constituency

Provide framework for national irrigation system

14.  Develop legislation to cap the cost of leasing land with aim of attracting private/foreign investors

Unlock land for agriculture

15.  Develop legislation to halt further subdivision of arable land

Stem uneconomic subdivision of arable land

16.  Develop legislation to stimulate water harvesting across the Country

Provide legal framework for water harvesting

17.  Develop legislation on caged fish farming

Attract investors in Marine and Fresh water fish processing

18.  Develop legislation on restoration of commodity levies to beef up commodity fund

Harmonize and eliminate multiple levies across Counties

19.  Finalization of the Built Environment Bill 2017 and the Building Regulations (Building code)

·         Provide for modern innovative building technologies

·         Domesticate lessons from other countries

20. Review the Stamp Duty Act

To update the Act into modern realities

21.  Development of the Building Surveyors Bill

To support housing sector

22. Development of the Lord and Tenant Relationship Bill

To support access to affordable housing and handle landlord tenants disputes amicably

23. Review of Public Private Partnership Act

·         to allow fast-track process for predefined models or cases

·         facilitate Joint Venture Agreements

24. Enact legislation for taxation of idle land tax

Implement tax on idle land

25. Review the Survey Act

To remove bottlenecks

26. Review the Valuation for Rating Act

To remove bottlenecks

27. Review the Rating Act

To remove bottlenecks

28. Review the Physical Planners Registration Act

To remove bottlenecks

29. Review the Sectional Property Act

·         To align it with trends in housing and improve administrative process and address existing bottlenecks

·         Develop clear process for conversion regarding based on previous application for registration under the Act.

30. Development of the Kenya Building Research Institute Bill

Establish framework for continuous building research

31.  Review land acquisition legal framework

Unlock land for development



32. Finalize National Warehousing Receipt System Bill and Regulations

·         Provide for tea, coffee, sugar, meat, dairy, crops value chains

·         Provide for development of warehousing and cold chain sites

·         Facilitate the Mombasa food hub concept

33. Review the Hide, Skin and Leather Trade Act

Facilitate setting up of leather cottage industries

34. Developing legislation to establish the proposed Investment Council

·         Implement Kenya Industry & Entrepreneurship Project

·         Facilitate the establishment of Computer, light electronics & IT related parts assembly and manufacture

35. Develop legislation to implement Blue Ocean Economy

·         Facilitate exploitation of deep sea resources

·         Promote aqua-culture

·         Promote fish processing

36. Finalizing the Export Promotion Bill, 2018

·         Streamline export businesses

·         Strengthen Trade facilitation program

·         Revamp Export Promotion Council& Anti-counterfeit Agency

·         Set up Kenya Exim Bank

·         Facilitate establishment of new markets;

·         Operationalize Export Strategy

37. Review the Arbitration Act

To streamline the dispute resolution mechanism

38. Develop Regulations for ADR

Facilitate dispute resolution

39. Review the following Labour Laws

·         Occupational Safety and Health Act, 2007

·         Work Injury Benefits Act, 2007;

·         Labour Institutions Act, 2007;

·         Labour Relations Act, 2007;

·         Employment Act, 2007; and

·         National Social Security Fund Act, 2013

To update them with modern labour trends

40. Finalize the drafting of the Work Injury Compensation Bill

Conform to modern labour trends

41.  Develop the Occupational Safety and Health Practitioners’ Act

Conform to modern labour trends

42. Develop of Labour Migration Management Act

Conform to modern labour trends

43. Finalize the Energy Bill 2015

Provide for affordable energy

44. Develop the Trade Remedies Bill

Promote trade in established trade zones

45. Develop the Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute Bill

Provide for continuous research in industrial development

46. Develop Oil, Mining and Gas legislation

Legislation to be based on government policy on value addition on oil products and decision on crude/refined oil exports

47. Finalize the following Regulations under the Land Acts

·         Land (General) Regulations

·         Land Registration Regulations

·         Community Land Regulations

To fully implement legislation on land

48.  Review and develop county legislation related to Agriculture and cooperative societies

Facilitate county governments to promote agriculture and cooperative development

49. Review land acquisition legal framework

Facilitate land acquisition for public development purposes

50. Develop workable PPP models for infrastructure financing/joint ventures  and sub-contracting

Fast track PPP initiatives and accommodate new approaches to PPP

51.  Develop legal framework to protect and manage critical infrastructure

Enhance public transport including BRT

52. Finalize Merchant Shipping (Service Providers) Regulations, 2011;

Fully implement the Act and support blue economy

53. Develop a legal framework to facilitate the growth of local entrepreneurs to invest in emerging maritime opportunities in inland waters(lakes Victoria and Turkana)

Promote Blue economy policy

54. Domestication (after ratification) of the Lome charter on maritime safety and security

Conform to international best practices



55. Harmonize the Traffic and NTSA Acts

Provide for ease of coordination and complementarily

56. Finalize the Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority Bill

Enhance public transport

57. Review of Motor Vehicle Inspection Regulations

Promote standards for motor vehicles

58. Finalize the  Kenya Roads Bill

Provide for classification and maintenance of roads

59. Finalize the Physical Planning Bill 2015 (PPA) and Physical Planning Regulations

To support economic and social initiatives

60. Review the County Governments Act and the Intergovernmental Relations Act

Promote intergovernmental engagement on critical aspects of health and infrastructure and promote devolution


The Commission has a key role in offering necessary technical support to enact outlined legislation to achieve the Big Four Agenda. The Commission has resolved to take lead in public legal education on the big four agenda. We will therefore be offering regular briefings on the laws attendant to big four agenda as well as timely reform proposals through various medium, including publications.