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Kenya Lost Sh560bn in 2020 owing to pandemic – Govt

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 15 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has said the country’s economy remained resilient in 2020 despite the harsh economic environment occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his first 2021 address to the public on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic, the head of state compared the slight growth rate witnessed on the country’s GDP in 2020 to other major world economies whose GDPs shrunk owing to the virus effects.

“If our economy grew by 0.6 percent, the global economy declined by -3.5 percent that of the Euro Area by -7.2 percent, the United Kingdom by -10 percent and sub- Sahara African economies grew by at a negative rate of 2.6percent. This means that economies around the world shrunk, but Kenya’s did not despite our major sacrifices,” said Uhuru.

He further lauded the government for assisting on the implementation of the COVID-19 containment measures adopted since the outbreak of the pandemic.

“The National as well as county governments have been that of speedy actions, further, projections indicate that, despite the COVID plunge, our economy is likely to bounce back and grow 7 percent in 2021. If we had not made the bold decisions of 2020, as is projected, our economy would, in 2021 contract by 15 percent,” Kenyatta added.

However, in the quest to save lives, the country lost approximately Sh560 billions of GDP caused by the effects of the pandemic on the Kenyan soil.

“The opportunity cost of saving these lives was therefore the foregoing of Sh560 billions of GDP in order to preserve life. Indeed, it was worth every cent,” said Uhuru.

In January, the World Bank forecast Kenya’s economy to rebound at 7 percent in 2021, the highest growth in the continent.

Kenya’s rebound is expected to be slightly stronger, although below historical averages.

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According to World Bank, the growth is to be boosted by the resumption of activities in the education sector, giving warmth to beneficial sectors like transport, manufacturing and agriculture whose growth was equally shunned by the outbreak of the coronavirus disease.

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