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Kenya’s economy rebounds as GDP growth rises

The Kenyan economy has continued to show its resilience as it weathers the Covid-19 storm by recording real GDP growth of 9.9 percent in the 3rd quarter of 2021 signaling economic recovery as a result of easing of Covid-19 containment measures.

National Treasury and Planning Cabinet Secretary (CS) Amb Ukur Yatani said that this growth follows an earlier impressive 2nd quarter performance of 10.1 percent of real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth.

According to the World Bank, Kenya’s economy has demonstrated resilience to the Covid-19 shock, with output in the first half of the year rising above pre-pandemic levels. In 2021 as a whole, GDP is expected to grow by 5 percent, one of the faster recoveries among Sub-Saharan African countries.

Yatani outlined the key sectors that drove impressive growth confirming that the easing of containment measures, saw a rebound in growth led by the education, accommodation and food serving activities, transportation and storage, manufacturing and insurance activities at 64.7 percent, 24.8, 13, 9.5, and 6.7 percent respectively.

The government, Yatani said, is committed to ongoing economic recovery efforts. “The 9.9 percent real GDP growth is testament that the economy is recovering from the effects of Covid-19 pandemic, and that the Government’s interventions are working for the good of our people. I thank Kenyans for their hard work and resilience,” said the CS.

Captains of Industry exuded optimism by sharing Yatani’s rebuilding back better hopes and are now expressing cheerful optimism for their 2022 prospects, notwithstanding the general election jitters.

Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) Group CEO, Nasim Devji, said that the year 2021 has been a more positive year as compared to 2020 and various industries including banking drew strength from the resilience born in 2020.

Devji said that business resumption was more evident, and this indeed relieved the economic burden that dominated the previous year.

“As far as banking is concerned, there was a shift in consumer behaviour which saw the adoption of digital channels reach a historic high. In the new year, we remain committed to supporting the SME sector by continuing to pioneer new customer-centric innovations, thereby spurring economic growth in the country,” said Devji.

Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) Managing Director, John Musunga, said that the year 2021 has been a year of recovery for them as they continued to adjust to the challenges that came with the second year of the pandemic.

“We were delighted to partner with the government to procure and provide vaccines to our employees, trade partners and customers, consumers and the communities around our facilities. We are hopeful that the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines will support the return to near normalcy,” said Musunga.

Kakuzi Plc CEO Chris Flowers said that they are committed to enhancing their avocado and macadamia production capacity with several recent investments valued at more than Sh100 million.

“We currently have a thriving new immature avocado development area to boost our avocado production, with production expected to come online in the next few years. Still, land preparation for a new Avocado crop is also underway in a crop area previously under pineapple production,” he said.

United States International University (USIU) Africa Interim, Vice Chancellor, Prof Freida Brown, said that they are looking forward to the New Year confident that it portends excellent tidings for many economic sectors, including the academic delivery institutions.

“We successfully managed to integrate diversified educational delivery systems in the year 2021 that will enable USIU-Africa to act as an integrated academic centre that can deliver fulfilling, seamless, physical and virtual academic programmes. This was a heavy investment that involved the integration of ICT systems and also human capital training,” said Prof Brown.

Kenya Health Federation (KHF) CEO, Dr Anastasia Nyalita, said that the Kenyan economy has shown remarkable recovery capacity in the face of the pandemic.

“At the KHF, we are upbeat that 2022 will be a better year for players in the healthcare delivery sector. The year 2021 saw several healthcare providers affiliated with KHF making critical investments to boost healthcare delivery. A number of our members managed to expand and optimize their branch footprint,” said Dr Nyalita.

Dr Nyalita said that many other existing providers were also able to enhance their delivery capacity by integrating new facilities such as extra beds, ICU equipment, Oxygen delivery systems, and even medical transport solutions.

“All these critical investments estimated at close to Sh5 billion will serve as healthcare enablers. Even as we navigate the current Covid-19 wave, KHF is confident that the local healthcare system, public and private infrastructure are better placed to handle the challenges,” Dr Nyalita said.

She said that they look forward to better health outcomes in 2022 as they continue to support critical reforms touching on public institutions such as the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) and the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA).

By Joseph Ng’ang’a

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