NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 23 – Top CNN business anchor Richard Quest has singled out political instability and shifting policies as the key impediment to Africa’s economic growth.
Quest who appeared on Capital FM breakfast show on Tuesday said there is a need for clear government policies that transcend individual administrations in order to boost investor confidence.
“We all know that Africa has vast resources. We all know the great potential – Africa rising. But why hasn’t Africa risen? The reason is always lack of certainty, lack of stability, lack of knowing what the government policies are going to be,” Quest told Capital in the Morning.
Making reference to Kenya, Quest said squabbles witnessed around electioneering periods have greatly undermined the country’s economic potential as most progress made is often derailed when the nation heads to the polls.
According to Quest, elections should proceed seamlessly and in an orderly manner with the outcome of the same accepted even if some parties do not like the outcome.
“Kenya is great – a wonderful and peaceful society until you have an election. Investors want to know that there’ll be peace and security, and stability of policy, before, middle and after elections,” he said.
“It is no use to having this great period of thriving economics, good education, and then overnight it all changes,” he added.
Quest described Kenya as the most promising country in the region given its “strong bedrock from independence onwards.”
“Kenya – of all countries in the region – has the most potential. Kenya has stability, a strong economy, and it has unique factors that would see it through the future,” he said.
Kenya’s economic growth was said to have been dwarfed by the prolonged electioneering g period last year with provisional Gross Domestic Product estimated in the 2018 Economic Survey released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics reporting a 4.9 per cent growth in 2017.
The 4.9 per cent growth was a percentage shy of the 5.9 per cent revised growth in 2016.
The decline was almost similar to one witnessed in the period leading to the 2013 presidential election when Kenya recording a 4.5 per cent economic expansion in 2012.
Quest, host of CNN’s flagship international business programme – Quest Means Business – is set to join 469 passengers flying to New York on Kenya Airways’ inaugural direct flight on October 28.
On Friday, the airline’s Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate, Events Jacquie Muhati, handed two tickets to young innovators set to join the inaugural flight to JFK International Airport.
Shirlene Nafula and Evans Wadongo, entrepreneurs in the areas of biotechnology and solar energy will be making a roundtrip in what promises to be the fastest connection from East Africa to New York, with 15 hours duration eastbound and 14 hours westbound.