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Treasury Pledges to Boost Security to Support Economy

The Government will boost the country’s security apparatus in the year ahead amid concern that a growing number of attacks on East Africa’s biggest economy may impede growth.

Treasury will spend 155 billion shillings ($1.76 billion) enhancing security in the country out of a total budget of 1.58 trillion shillings in the fiscal year that starts July 1, Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich told lawmakers today in the capital, Nairobi. He proposed providing 71.3 billion shillings to the army, 66.2 billion shillings to the police and 17.4 billion shillings to intelligence gathering. Additional funds will be spent on leasing equipment, according to the Treasury.

“Without security the economy will not grow and our objectives of creating jobs for everyone will remain elusive,” Rotich said. “Therefore, through this budget, we have continued to prioritize the strengthening of our security system.”

Kenya is boosting its police and army after a spate of attacks by suspected Islamist militants since it deployed troops to Somalia in October 2011 to fight al-Shabaab insurgents who are trying to overthrow the government. Growth in Kenya’s tourism industry has slowed after a wave of bombings in Nairobi and the port city of Mombasa killed at least 64 people since a Sept. 21 attack on the Westgate Mall in the capital, in which at least 67 people died.

Tourism is the country’s second-biggest foreign-currency earner, generating $1.1 billion last year.

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