IMF chief begins meetings with Kenyan officials

Speaking to journalists before the meeting started, Lagarde said it was a great honour to visit Kenya for the second time and looked forward to fruitful discussions with various stakeholders/MARGARET WAHITO

Speaking to journalists before the meeting started, Lagarde said it was a great honour to visit Kenya for the second time and looked forward to fruitful discussions with various stakeholders/MARGARET WAHITO

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 6 – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde has held talks Kenya’s National Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich, as she kicked off her three day visit in the country.

The meeting, among other issues, discussed Kenya’s partnership following the successful implementation of a three year programme that ends this January supported under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) worth close to Sh65 billion.

Speaking to journalists before the meeting started, Lagarde said it was a great honour to visit Kenya for the second time and looked forward to fruitful discussions with various stakeholders.

“Thank you very much Mr Cabinet Secretary as well as all members of your team for hosting me this morning. Let me say how delighted we are to visit Kenya. This is my second visit to your country and certainly the first one as the Managing Director of the IMF,” Lagarde said during her brief statement.

Lagarde is visiting Kenya as the sixth country after going to Côte d’Ivoire, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, and South Africa in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Treasury Secretary on his part said the IMF chief’s visit, signifies the enhanced partnership with Kenya that has strengthened considerably over the last four years.

Rotich was joined by Central Bank of Kenya Governor Professor Njuguna Ndung’u among other senior officials from the Treasury and the IMF.

Lagarde will hold talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta, parliamentarians, women and civil society representatives, as well as the private sector leaders.

She will later hold a press conference on Tuesday afternoon to shed some light on the various deliberations made during the meetings.

“Today was only to allow the media to take some photographs before we start our meeting. The media will have a chance to ask any questions at that moment,” Rotich said.

The main aim of the Extended Credit Facility was to help the country address the external and internal shocks as well as other threats that the economy experienced in 2011. These included the global financial crisis, high prices of energy and commodities, as well as drought.

From 2011, the last tranche of the Sh65billion was released last month.

“Going forward, we will build on this relationship to have a future partnership that will ensure our economy is insulated from vulnerabilities as we transform our economy to middle income status sooner than later,” Rotich said in a statement released to newsrooms on Sunday.

About the author
MARGARET WAHITO

Margaret has been a business reporter for the past four years. She holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Communications and Public Relations from Moi University. She also holds a diploma in Film and Video production from the Kenya institute of Mass Communications. Apart from journalism, she has interest in community work, especially helping the disadvantaged.