, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 6 – Kenya’s economy is likely to grow beyond seven percent this year if the electoral process which has been principally peaceful, ends without a hitch.
According to the Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat Director General Mugo Kibati, most of the local and even international investors are ready to put in their money into the country but remained cautious.
Kibati said the sectors likely to boost the economy greatly are the tourism sector, agriculture and manufacturing.
“We have been very apprehensive about these elections, because of what happened in the 2007/08 elections and that’s why not only Kenyans but the whole world have been keen on what will happen. However things are so clear that the process may end as peaceful as it has been so far and this will be a great gain to this country,” Kibati told Capital FM Business.
“The economy will accelerate further after this event. You know most of the African countries have been known to have chaos during the election period. But I believe every Kenyan is ready to ensure that we get through this peacefully,” Kibati added.
He said the growth will also be driven by the coming in of the new county government expected to start operation in the next few weeks.
“Some of the international investors expressed their willingness to venture into Kenya like three years ago with their main focus being the counties. To be honest many of the investors are on the sidelines until all this process is over,” Kibati said.
Meanwhile John Kiarie, Partner Deloitte Consulting, said the country was on the good trend as far as good governance, accountability and rule of law is concerned.
“There is a lot of optimism that the economy will continue to grow in the future. Kenya seems to be making good progress. This is most definitely going to improve the country’s ratings. In the short term, the elections must be peaceful. Kenya will be the eye for Africa,” Kiarie said in an interview. “Going forward a lot will depend on the policies that whoever wins will put in place to grow the economy, create employment and encourage investors.”
He feels that the government and the private sector need to focus seriously on value addition in the existing and new agricultural value chains around the country to create more jobs and increase incomes.
Key priority areas in addressing unemployment, he argued, include the promotion of good governance, a reliable Judiciary, policies to improve and grow infrastructure, support to small businesses, and increase trade and investment.
In this year’s Budget Policy Statement, The Treasury had predicted a 5.6 percent economic growth in the year 2013 up from about 5 percent in 2012.
Kenya experienced a strong economic performance between 2004 and 2007, with real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth averaging almost 6 percent a year.
However due post-election violence in 2008, growth slowed to 1.6 percent in 2008, compared to 7 percent in 2007, with inflation surging from 4.3 percent in 2007 to 16.2 percent in 2008.