With elections right around the corner and new plans to move Kenya’s economy forward, 2012 will be a ‘defining year’ for this East African country. But how will Kenya move forward when majority of Kenyans are not optimistic about what the new year will bring?
The Daily Nation On The Web release a new survey by Ipsos-Synovate stating “62 per cent of Kenyans expect that the economic conditions in 2012 to worse than 2011.”
“The poor economic conditions experienced in 2011, evidenced by soaring fuel prices and ever increasing prices of basic commodities, have made Kenyans pessimistic about the economic prospects 2012,” said Ipsos-Synovate’s managing director Maggie Ireri.
Regardless of the pessimistic opinions, economists project the economy to reach 5 per cent for 2012 if Kenya is able to manage the risks.
Earlier this week I joined a first-ever World Bank Africa livestream event on the state of Kenyan economy, held January 10, 2012. In a social media era host Wolfgange Fengler, lead economist for Kenya was able to get questions through Facebook, Twitter, and livestream chatroom.
“Africa is on a growth path, but Kenya, particularly, has two advantages, great people and a great location,” said Fengler.
ICT sector has been the driving force behind Kenya’s economy growing twenty percent per year over the last ten years. Fengler also explains the importance of the roles that cities play in developing Kenya’s economy. “Nairobi is a good hub for global attraction, along companies to come and invest,” said Fengler.
Fengler also made references to ’Navigating the Storm, Delivering the Promise,’ a World Bank report which much like this discussion covers that Kenya has an advantage to turn the economic challenges into a better outcome.
“The Government has managed past economic challenges well, and can do so again. The key challenge for 2012 will be managing the political transition well, to avoid a repeat for the post-election violence seen in 2008 and to ensure continued growth in investment and job creation,” said Johannes Zutt, World Bank Country Director for Kenya.
If plans go accordingly, 2012 will be a defining year for Kenya. Fengler also hopes by 2033 Kenya will be an urban country if the country continues to accumulate an additional 11 million people per year and the development of the economy improves.
To watch the livestream discussion please click here and don’t forget to leave comments below.