President affirms stronger economic growth expected this year

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President Kenyatta meeting EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker at a past meeting. (PHOTO/PSCU)
President Kenyatta meeting EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker at a past meeting. (PHOTO/PSCU)

Kenya’s economic growth is expected to grow by 6.3% in 2019, according to President Uhuru Kenyatta, following a 5.6% growth average in the last five years. In 2018, the estimated growth was 6.1%. The statistics may paint a different picture to Kenyans on the ground who are daily feeling the weight of affording basic necessities, including household commodities. Speaking during the State of the Nation address at parliament, President Kenyatta said this year, the economic growth will come about due to various factors which include continued improvement in the business environment, momentum associated with the execution of the Big Four Agenda, and suatsined macroeconimc stability.

He said in the same reporting period, inflation averaged 4.6% which was within the set target. The official foreign exchange reserves averaged USD 8.7 billion in the review period, representing 5.8 months of import cover. He said the reserves provide an adequate buffer, “These reserves provide the country with an adequate buffer against shocks in the foreign exchange market,” he said. He further pointed out that the government remains true to its long term strategy which is Vision 2030, “The medium-term plan of 2018-2021 is the Big Four Agenda. During this period we expect the economy to grow at an annual average rate of 6.6%.”

The Head of State also outlined his target of ensuring Kenya attains a better rating at the World Bank ease of doing business index after Kenya improved 19 places and was ranked at position 61 last year. “It is our intention to build on this success to further improve our ranking to be among the top 50 by the year 2020.”