NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 26 – Improved power generation, especially geothermal and significant progress in the oil, gas and minerals sectors raised Kenya’s economic status to become the 9th largest economy on the African continent in 2014.
Speaking while giving his State of the Nation address on Thursday, President Uhuru Kenyatta noted that with these developments during the year, Kenya managed to achieve a middle-income status.
“We are one of the African economies that can boast a diversified and balanced economy,” he said.
Higher power generation has translated into greater supply of electricity leading to an average reduction in consumer bills by 25 percent in the period between August 2014 and February 2015.
Costs of electricity to industry have also fallen, making the country a more competitive location for the manufacturing sector.
He says the government will ensure the growth trend continues with focus being on ensuring the country becomes the leading investment hub in the region and the continent.
“Last month, a prominent international publication singled Kenya out as one of seven outstanding emerging markets worth investing in. Earlier this month, of the 57 fastest-growing economies ranked by Bloomberg, Kenya was the third fastest growing economy behind China and the Philippines,” President Kenyatta noted.
He says the government will also work on stabilising inflation to remain at single digits as well being keen on continued drop on interest rates for higher credit access.
The exchange rate he said, remained stable in 2014 and the public debt sustainable, reflecting his sound fiscal and monetary management.
“Inflation has been contained at single digits, capping the prices of basic goods for Kenyans. Interest rates are falling, allowing Kenyans to access credit for their businesses, homes and farms.”
He says despite sluggish global growth, the country’s economy is steadily expanding at 6 percent.
“Across the country, businesses, large and small, are expanding, creating employment and prosperity. As Government meets its end of the bargain in providing cheaper power, it is my expectation that businesses will pass on these savings to the Kenyan consumer.”