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Efforts at equity get Kenya WB thumbs up

NAIROBI, Kenya, June 6 – The World Bank has lauded Kenya\’s efforts to mainstream gender equality as great contributors to the improvement of the country\’s performance in eradicating poverty and promoting growth.

According to a World Bank report, the country\’s rating increased by a one basis point to 3.8 in 2010 also as a result of the improvement in the implementation of policies relating to \’Equity of Public Resources\’ which are some of the Bank\’s Country Performance and Institutional Assessment (CPIA).

In particular, the introduction of cash transfer to vulnerable members of the society and food subsidy programmes were cited as some of the pro-poor programmes that have contributed to the favourable review.

"I am pleased to inform you that Kenya\’s rating by the World Bank appreciably improved from 3.7 in 2009 to 3.8 in 2010," said Country Director Johannes Zutt in a letter to Finance Permanent Secretary Joseph Kinyua.

The CPIA rating is determined by assessing a country\’s performance against a criterion of 16 indicators which can then be used to indicate areas which can be strengthened to achieve faster growth.

The criteria fall into economic management, structural policies, policies for social inclusion and equity and public sector management and institutions.

While the country continued to register impressive performance in areas such as economic management, fiscal and debt policies compared to the average International Development Association (IDA) borrowers, most of these clusters remained unchanged.

The increased score in the \’Policies for Social Inclusion/Equity\’ cluster however was posted due to the improvements in gender policy. This was attributed to the new constitution which among other things upholds women\’s rights.

"The promulgation of the Constitution was a breakthrough in promoting women\’s rights since it includes provisions to ensure that a significant share of women are represented in Kenya\’s social and political institutions," Mr Zutt noted.

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In addition, the Country Director expressed optimism that the implementation of the National Land Policy would improve the protection of women\’s rights to land and related resources.

Mr Zutt pledged the Bank\’s support to the government to facilitate economic and social development in the country.

According to the Bank, countries that continue to score better on the CPIA scale over a sustained period tend to experience a growth boost.

CPIA is also an assessment tool that is used by the Bank to gauge the allocation that it gives to a country through its IDA.

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