The 2020/21 National Budget has allocated a large portion to the education and skills development sector amounting to K387.9 billion, which is 5.4 percent of the country’s total wealth as measured by gross domestic product (GDP).
The allocation represents 19.2 percent of the K2 trillion budget. It is also a big jump from the K172.8 billion allocated to the same sector in the 2019/20 Budget which implies an increase of K215.1 billion in nominal value.
In the 2018/19 Budget, government had allocated the education sector K142.2 billion.
Justifying the lion’s share allocation in the 2020/21 Budget, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Joseph Mwanamvekha said the resources will cater for wages and salaries, operations for primary and secondary schools, technical and community colleges, public universities as well as development projects in this sector.
In the plan, the health sector comes second to education with a projected allocation of K195.3 billion, representing 9.7 percent of the total budget.
In the 2019/20 Budget, it was agriculture sector which came second to education in terms of sectoral allocations.
The resources in the health sector, according to Mwanamvekha, will cater for wages and salaries, including recruitment of health personnel, operational expenses for Ministry of Health, district health offices, central and district hospitals, procurement of medical drugs and supplies, maintenance costs and development projects.
Of the total health sector allocation, however, K27.3 billion has been allocated towards the procurement of medical drugs and supplies, of which K11.7 billion is for central hospitals and K15.6 billion is for district hospitals.
In the budget, the Agriculture sector ranks third with an allocation of K194.9 billion, representing 9.6 percent of the total budget.
Of the resources, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has been allocated K99.9 billion in the 2020/21 fiscal year of which K48.8 billion is earmarked for other recurrent transactions (ORT) which include maize purchases, Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) and fall armyworm mitigation.
In the same vein, about K45.1 billion is earmarked for development projects.
On one hand, a total of K174.6 billion has been allocated to the Transport and ICT Infrastructure sector, representing 8.7 percent of the total budget, while energy, industry and tourism sector has been allocated K61.4 billion, representing 3.0.