Things are looking up, but we’re not there yet
Posted Tuesday, May 15 2012 at 20:25
The Economic Survey released on Tuesday confirms that Kenya has been well on the way to recovery after the meltdown following the 2007 elections.
Kenya attained, in 2010, a GDP growth of 5.8 per cent, up from 2.7 in 2009 and a low of 1.5 in 2008.
That latter figure was a major decline recorded from the seven per cent growth before the post-election violence brought the dream of sustained recovery tumbling down.
The impressive growth recorded in 2007 was itself the outcome of a slow and steady recovery after the change of guard in December 2002.
A new administration instituted policies geared towards rescuing Kenya from the depths wrought by a regime seemingly dedicated to destroying the economy and all institutions of governance.
The results, within one electoral cycle, were there for all to see. Come the elections, however, and all the good work was undone.
Even as the numbers show a steady economic recovery, they also reveal that the electoral cycle downturn is upon us again. Growth declined from 5.8 per cent in 2010 to 4.4 per cent last year. For this year, projections are as low as 3.5 per cent.
Several factors are cited for the declining growth. Some are external, such as contraction in the global economy and high fuel prices. Others include inconsistent rainfall, high interest rates, and the cost of devolved government structures.
The report also acknowledges the uncertain political environment as electioneering kicks in.
It is surprising, therefore, that in the policy interventions outlined, there is scant mention of the urgent need to fix bad politics and bad governance.
That is where lies the greatest threat to stability, peace, unity, and ultimately, to economic growth.