he World Bank has predicted that Kenya’s economy will be among one of the fastest to recover in 2021, post Covid-19 pandemic.
According to its latest report on sub-Saharan Africa, the World Bank placed Kenya alongside Cote D’ivoire and Botswana as the breakout economies in the continent.
This is despite President Uhuru Kenyatta noting that the economy lost Ksh 560 billion in 2020 owing to the impact of the pandemic and business disruption.
The World Bank notes that Kenya has done well in pivoting into a digital platform enabling strong recovery in 2021.
Kenya is expected to grow at a faster rate compared to Africa’s three largest economies – Nigeria, South Africa and Angola.
“Ambitious reforms that support job creation strengthened equitable growth. The protection of the vulnerable and contribution to environmental sustainability will be key to bolstering those efforts going forward toward a stronger recovery across the African continent,” said World Bank chief economist for Africa Albert G. Zeufack.
“Non-resource-intensive countries, such as Côte d’Ivoire and Kenya, and mining-dependent economies, such as Botswana and Guinea, are expected to see robust growth in 2021, “driven by a rebound in private consumption and investment as confidence strengthens and exports increase,” he added.
The bank’s report comes amid a public uproar on Kenya’s relationship with its international partners over the appetite for loans which is not matched by accountability.
Over 25,000 Kenyans have signed an online petition seeking the cancellation of a recent Ksh 255 billion credit facility approved by the International Monetary Fund.
According to the IMF, the loan will help the country’s Covid-19 response plan and also bail out struggling parastatals, which Kenyans have criticised for consuming billions with little to show.
“The Fund-supported program will also advance the broader reform and governance agenda, including by addressing weaknesses in some state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and strengthening transparency and accountability through the anti-corruption framework,” reads a statement from the international lender.
The IMF predicts that Kenya’s gross domestic product will grow by 7.6% in 2021.
“The Kenyan authorities have demonstrated a strong commitment to fiscal reforms during this unprecedented global shock, and Kenya’s medium-term prospects remain positive,” IMFDeputy Managing Director Antoinette Monsio Sayeh noted.