Kenya’s economy is expected to rebound to 5.8 percent growth in 2018 after electoral uncertainty and drought cut last year’s expansion to the lowest level in more than five years, Finance Minister Henry Rotich said on Wednesday.
The economy will benefit from increased investment in key areas like manufacturing, farming, housing and healthcare, he said.
President Uhuru Kenyatta won re-election in November in a second vote after the first in August was annulled by the Supreme Court citing irregularities. Around 100 people, mainly opposition supporters, were killed mainly by police during the prolonged election season.
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Despite the slowdown in 2017 our outlook is bright,” Rotich said at the launch of the annual economic survey.
“We expect growth to recover to 5.8 percent in 2018 and over the medium term the growth is projected to increase by more than 7 percent.”
Growth slowed to 4.9 percent last year from a revised 5.9 percent in 2016, the statistics office said.
Rotich said the projected economic rebound is supported by favourable economic fundamentals including inflation, which has dropped to about 4 percent this year.
“The ongoing investments in infrastructure, improved business and factory confidence and strong private consumption are expected to support growth,” he said.
Kenya’s diversified economy is better able to withstand shocks like the commodity price drop that started in 2014 and hit oil-producing African countries such as Nigeria and Angola.
But its economy was hobbled by a severe drought in the first quarter of last year that was followed by poor rainfall.
Djibouti commissions $3.5 billion Chinese-built free trade zone
Djibouti commissioned a $3.5 billion, Chinese-built free trade zone on Thursday, deepening ties with the Asian giant and helping the Horn of Africa nation generate more jobs for its youths.
Djibouti, with a population of 876,000, already hosts Chinese, U.S. and French naval bases and it also handles roughly 95 percent of the goods imported by Ethiopia, its land-locked neighbour with 99 million people.
The zone will be jointly operated by Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority and China’s Merchants Holdings company.
The zone which will house manufacturing and warehouse facilities, an export-processing area and a services centre, is expected to handle trade worth $7 billion within two years, and create 15,000 jobs when complete.
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