- New cabinet faces tough road in Kenya (FCN, 05-05-2008)
- Economic inequality fuels Kenya’s violence (FCN, 02-15-2008)
NAIROBI, Kenya (PANA) – Kenya’s economy is expected to accelerate its growth from the depressed focus rate of 4.6 percent upwards as the economy picks up activity months after violence erupted following the East African nation’s disputed presidential polls.
Kenya’s Finance Minister Amos Kimunya said May 21 the economic growth focus o f 4.6 per cent could be revised upwards based on “actual recovery” following the installation of the grand coalition government which has taken charge of the country’s economic affairs.
“We are operating within the 4.5-4.6 percent. I am optimistic going by the renewed commitments from donors and the (economic) activities we are witnessing. I am hopeful the year would turn out better,” Mr. Kimunya told journalists.
Kenya was on the verge of an impressive 8 percent economic growth rate this year but this has been downgraded to between 4.6 percent and 6 percent but economic analysts have termed this government “propaganda.”
“The grand coalition government is now set to continue with the recovery agenda. Our aim is to transform Kenya into a cohesive society,” the government minister said.
Kenya’s post-election political crisis shattered the country’s pride as the island of peace in the turmoil-hit Eastern and Horn of Africa region.
The violence upset the lucrative tourism industry, leading to mass layoffs.
Agriculture, the bedrock of Kenya’s economic prosperity, has been severely ripped by the post-election violence, which saw some 100,000 farmers still in camps for the internally displaced at the start of this year’s planting season.
Tourism, which earned the country $1 billion in 2007, was severely affected by the post-election violence. The other key drivers, the manufacturing sector and transport, are still struggling to recover after the chaos.
The government is racing to implement a series of incentives and short- and medium-term projects under its newly-mooted economic growth plan, Vision 2030, which aims to make Kenya a middle income economy by 2030.
“To realize our dream, we hope to achieve 10 percent economic growth, which means we need more investments in roads, water, agriculture and energy sectors,” Mr. Kimunya told a visiting team of German Economic Ministry officials.
Kenyan authorities have launched an international appeal for $430 million to finance its emergency economic recovery plan which is expected to get the economy from its current doldrums within a period of one year.
The country is facing one of its highest inflationary pressures in months with the annual inflation currently standing at 26 percent, way above Kenya’s benchmark rate of 5 percent, which complicates the dream recovery speed.
Planning Minister Wycliffe Oparanya said the authorities remained optimistic that the ambitious targets would be met this year.