National Economic and Social Council (NESC)

National Economic & Social Council (NESC)

1.0 Background

The National Economic and Social Council (NESC) was set up under the Office of the President through Gazette Notice No. 7699 of September, 2004.  It is an advisory body to the Government on policies required to accelerate economic and social development of the country. The council’s recommendations to the Government are geared towards reforming existing policies or designing new ones. Its membership is drawn from Government, Private Sector, Civil Society and Academia, thereby providing for participatory Public-Private Partnership in policy formulation.

2.0 Mandate

The mandate of NESC as provided for in the Gazette Notice No. 7699 of September, 2004 is to advise Government on strategic policies aimed at promoting economic growth, social equity and employment creation, thereby reducing poverty and inequality. Further, it offers advice, on request, to the Private Sector and Civil Society and expresses professional opinion on development issues.

2.0.1 Specific Functions

Specific functions of NESC are: –

  1. To create forums in which the Government, Private Sector and the Labour Unions can discuss and identify policy issues and recommend to the Government implementation of such policies;
  2. To gather, analyze and compile information on key economic development trends and to propose policy alternatives that could then be forwarded to the Cabinet with appropriate recommendations;
  3. To appraise the various programs and activities of Government, including Investment Programmes for Economic Development, for the purpose of determining the extent to which such programmes and activities contribute to the achievement of Government policy objectives;
  4. To develop and recommend to the Cabinet, coordinated policies that will promote social equity, economic growth, create employment and reduce poverty and inequality;
  5. To give its opinion, suggestions and recommendations on any matter or question on which it may be consulted by the Government, the Private Sector or the Civil Society;
  6. To improve the targeting of strategic objectives with a focus on the most critical social and economic needs, especially in areas that have direct impact on strengthening the potential of the Private Sector to create employment opportunities and those that address poverty reduction;

To utilize the Private Sector and the Civil Society capacities and synergy through collaboration, engagement and networking, in

3.0 The Council

The Gazette Notice No. 7699 of 24th September, 2004 provides for establishment of a Council. His Excellency, the President is the Chairman or in his absence, the Minister for the time being responsible for Finance.

The Gazette Notice No. 8436 of 8th September, 2008 amended Gazette Notice No. 8436 providing that the chair shall be His Excellency, the President or in absence of His Excellency the President, by the Prime Minister, or by the Minister for time being responsible for Finance.

The members serve on three years renewal honorary appointment. The first Council (2004-2007) had 34 members and held 13 meetings.  The second Council (2008-2012) had 49 members, about half of whom were Cabinet Ministers. As at 2010, the Council which met on a quarterly basis, had held 22 meetings since its inauguration in 2005. The second Councils term ended in 2012. However, since 2012 no council has been constituted.

Council members may constitute sub-committees from time to time on a need basis to deal with specific policy issue that require specialized attention. Such Sub-Committees reported to the full Council. Membership of the sub-committees comprised experts from both Public and Private Sectors. These sub-committees are structured around key thematic areas.

The first council (2004-2007) established the following sub-committees: –

  • Building a Positive Image for Kenya;
  • Integrated Infrastructure Development;
  • Integrated Employment Creation;
  • Making Nairobi a Regional Service Hub;
  • Value Addition and Productivity;
  • Managing Macroeconomic Variables for Kenya’s competitiveness;
  • Science, Technology and Innovation;
  • The Kenya Vision 2030; and
  • Administration and Communication Committee.

The sub-committees dealt with technical issues including follow ups and presentation of reports to the Council for action. In addition, Ministries, Departments and Agencies were requested to prepare and present reports touching on their mandates.

The second Council (2008-2012) established seven (7) sub-committees to handle the following: –

  • Energy;
  • Competitiveness;
  • Leveraging Opportunities in the US-Kenya links;
  • National Industrialization;
  • Global Financial Crisis;
  • Food Security and Water; and
  • Housing Development.

The experience of the full Council operations since inception in 2004, indicated that, full Council: –

  • Meetings are useful instruments of spearheading socio-economic development in the country;
  • Deliberations and resolutions impacted on the economy with the implementation of the recommendations; and
  • Assisted in coordinating, monitoring, evaluating and reporting progress and providing timely intervention and directions on socio-economic issues.



Post Office Box 62345- 00200 Nairobi, Kenya.

Telephone: +254 020-2713199 or 254 020-2713177 Ext. 1601

Physical Location

National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) Building, 16th Floor

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