Superb ideas on paper will not help growth, WB advises Kenya

Wednesday March 9 2016

A tractor at the Hola irrigation scheme. Talks with four industrialised countries have started to help mechanise agriculture in Kenya in the next two years. PHOTO | FILE

A tractor at the Hola irrigation scheme. Kenya has been challenged to translate its brilliant economic ideas and policies into reality that can cause economic transformation. PHOTO | FILE 

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Kenya has been challenged to translate its brilliant economic ideas and policies into reality that can cause economic transformation.

World Bank Country Director for Kenya Diarietou Gaye said the nation’s economic potential remains locked in isolated ideas that need to be consolidated and implemented to realise a higher economic growth and sustain it.

“Kenya needs institutions that facilitate growth by bringing together the public and private sectors to create the faster growth momentum. We need everybody to have the same agenda because all these fantastic ideas need a bridge towards reaching their implementation and that can be done,” said Ms Gaye.

She was speaking after the global lender launched its report on Kenya’s present economic model a projection on how the country will perform in the future within various economic diversities.

The report titled Kenya Country Economic Memorandum: From Economic Growth to Jobs and Shared Prosperity, points out that the country needs to improve its business environment, promote manufacturing and create more jobs to accelerate economic growth and be at par with her peers from within and outside Africa.


Agriculture and manufacturing were identified as having stagnated, while the service sector was seen as growing rapidly though not enough to provide the needed push for sufficient expansion.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said Kenya has good ideas on paper that have failed to reach implementation hence hurting its growth potential.

“We have challenges with always giving good ideas on paper while implementation is always the issue. I think we have to refine our policy strategies to see the programmes implemented. With more resources am sure we can do better but our growth is still decent compared to other countries. We are looking forward to a sustainable growth with equal share. Growth without jobs is not inclusive so we are cognizant of that and we are making interventions on the same,” said Mr Rotich.

The World Bank report said Kenya needs to address business bottlenecks such as unfavourable labour market regulations to allow for growth in the formal sector in the long run.

Had the local economy grown as fast as its peers in sub-Saharan Africa over the past decade, the average Kenyan’s income would have been 15 per cent higher by 2014, according to the report. The country’s income per capita would have been 45 per cent higher.

World Bank lead economist & programme leader Apurva Sanghi said the economic dynamics challenge the Vision 2030 targets with the double digit gross domestic product remaining hard to attain.