Economy of Kenya on the growth path, says Uhuru

Wednesday, August 25th, 2021 00:00 |
The Nairobi Expressway, which is under construction is expected to significantly reduce the time spent on Mombasa road. Photo/PD/David Ndolo

Kenya’s economy performed better than many countries in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.

He said although the pandemic had ripple effects on the economy not only regionally but globally, Kenya managed to absorb the shocks to remain afloat.

“Kenya has fared better than many countries in the face of Covid-19 shocks,” Uhuru told editors at State House, Nairobi on Monday.

The World Bank has projected Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to grow by 4.5 per cent in 2021, signaling a partial recovery from the pandemic, which stifled growth last year.

Economic activity is estimated to accelerate to above five per cent in 2022 and 2023, according to the latest World Bank analysis.

The prospects for Kenya’s continuing recovery, which is uneven across sectors with some still heavily affected by the pandemic, hinge on the progress of the vaccination effort.

According to the 23rd edition of the Kenya Economic Update, “Rising Above the Waves”, private consumption is expected to strengthen, supported by a recovery in wages and household incomes and strong remittances.

The report notes that consumer confidence and business activity should be supported by ongoing vaccination efforts and, over time, the return of mobility to pre-pandemic levels.

Monetary policy accommodation is likely to continue in the near term, in the absence of inflationary shocks.

The fiscal deficit is projected to shrink from 8.7 per cent of GDP in FY2020/21 to 4.2 per cent in FY 2023/24 due to fiscal consolidation efforts.

“The outlook remains unusually uncertain and contingent on the course of the pandemic.

We expect that Kenya’s economy will continue its recovery, albeit unevenly and for some sectors only gradually, supported by the government’s plan to vaccinate the entire adult population by mid-2022,” said Keith Hansen, World Bank Country Director for Kenya.

War on graft 

On corruption, Uhuru said cases have reduced significantly adding that most of the active cases in courts involved old ones.

“We have achieved much towards this end, many cases have been tackled and the existing ones are mainly the old cases which have been pending for some time,” said the Head of state adding that he was also following keenly the progress of the active cases following the Chief Justice assurance that they will be fast tracked.

 Uhuru said he felt for some of his former allies who were arrested and charged with graft related charges.

“I feel for them, they were close to me but they were caught in the issues,” Uhuru said in relation to the sacking and arraignment of among others former Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge.

Rotich and Thugge are facing graft related cases on their role in the loss of money in the construction of the controversial Kimwarer and Arror dams.

The former CS and four others are jointly charged with various offences ranging from conspiracy to defraud, abuse of office and failure to comply with various sections of the law while executing contracts that bound the Government of Kenya to pay approximately Sh63 billion for the construction of the two dams. 

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and his Kiambu counterpart Ferdinand Waititu who were close allies of the President were also hounded out of office and are facing corruption charges in court.

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