Kenya Falls Behind East African Neighbors in Economic Growth Race

By Makula Dunbar Published: June 20, 2013, 10:54 am
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Though Kenya is often spotlighted as East Africa’s technology and innovation leader, a recent world bank report reveals the nation’s economic growth doesn’t measure up to its East African neighbors, All Africa reported.

According to the All Africa, the world bank’s report has never shown Kenya’s economic stance in close quarters of Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda nor Sub-Saharan Africa. Within the last decade, Kenya’s annual growth rate tallied in a 4.6 percent, while the aforementioned nations have thrived at 6.9 percent, 7.1 percent, 7.2 percent and 6 percent respectively.

“Kenyans save less than their neighbors, hence they invest less, and investment is a key ingredient for rapid and sustainable growth,” the world bank report stated. “The business environment has not seen the improvement it needs to unleash Kenya’s economic potential.”

Although Kenya is progressing with monetary policy, natural resource exploitation in the country isn’t as prevalent as it in surrounding areas. All Africa also notes that the world bank report stated a missed commodity boom, infrastructure delays and Kenyan citizens’ lack of saving as factors that slow economic growth.

In a time line fashion, the report elaborates on other issues that have had damaging effects on Kenya’s economy. In 2008, along with the rest of the word, Kenya struggled through a recession. Also in that year poll violence shifted the country’s political and economic stance.  A Drought in 2009 contributed to stalls in the agriculture sector, which affected the entire economy. While All Africa reported the country seeing economic recovery in 2010 — because of microeconomic instability, the following year tugged at Kenya’s progression.

The country’s economy has taken hits mostly in part to internal shocks.

Bloomberg Businessweek reported that although the world bank sees improvement for Kenya’s economy is 2013, the growth rate has never matched the 7 percent growth rate it achieved in 2007.  However, two things that are promising for internal shock stability are facts that Kenya’s poverty level has decreased from 47 percent in 2005 to 34 percent today.

Kenya is also the number one exporter of black tea. The country is also responsible for exporting one-third of Europe’s flowers, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

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