World Bank projects 5.7% economic growth for Kenya

Posted: June 18, 2013 in Economy
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Ms Diarietou Gaye, World Bank Country Director for Kenya.

 

By Nixon Kanali 18th June 2013

A World Bank Report released on Monday has projected that the Kenyan economy will grow by 5.7% in 2013 supported by higher investment and low interest rates.  According to the report, the growth is attributed to a stable macroeconomic environment, the peaceful elections in March 2013, and smooth transition of political power.

Speaking during the launch of the report, World Bank Country Director for Kenya Diarietou Gaye said the government needs to create an enabling environment for private sector-led growth by continuing to invest in infrastructure, increasing domestic energy production, removing bottlenecks to doing business and sustaining sound monetary and fiscal policies.

The report also highlighted some Kenya’s economic inequalities. While the average Kenyan is healthier, more educated and receives better infrastructure services than a decade ago, it stated that  a large fraction of the population continues to live in fragile conditions with sub-standard access to water, sanitation and energy especially in the north and north east.

It further stated that, Kenya has the opportunity however to eliminate extreme poverty by 2030 if it reduces poverty by two percentage points each year.

The Bank urged the government to focus on job creation, enhanced productivity of smallholder farms, strengthening cash transfer programs and targeted public spending programs to reduce poverty. On employment, the report said: “Desirable jobs are scarce and to have them rationed by connections, bribery, and tribal affiliation exacerbates the anguish young people face in seeking employment.” It says discrimination works against the poor and women. This has been the trend for a long time now making educated young Kenyans getting locked out of the job market simply because they do not have connections, they cannot offer bribes or are not affiliated to a particular tribe.

These are just some of the problems that the Uhuru Kenyatta government should be fighting to address. Poverty, unemployment continues to be a very big hindrance to our country’s growth and sustainability. As a country, we should be focusing on poverty eradication which will help us reach the World Bank’s projections of  a 5.7 % growth.

The report also revealed how Kenyans pay some of the highest prices for maize and sugar in the world. Last year alone, Kenyans paid almost double the global prices for maize and sugar. This is a very worrying state of affair for poor struggling Kenyan as they end up spending a large chunk of their income on food. It is also increasing Kenya’s macro-economy vulnerability by increasing inflation; this is according to the report.

Despite the positive assurance by the World Bank, the government needs to fix the loopholes and address the concerns raised in the report especially regarding poverty, unemployment and treat them with the urgency it deserves

 

 

 

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  1. […] By Nixon Kanali 18th June 2013A World Bank Report released on Monday has projected that the Kenyan economy will grow by 5.7% in 2013 supported by higher investment and low interest rates. Accordi…  […]

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