Kenyan president plans ‘industrial revolution’

17 Sep 13
An ‘industrial revolution’ is set to take hold in Kenya, ing it achieve its goal of becoming a middle-income country by 2030, Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta said in a major speech today

By | 17 September 2013

An ‘industrial revolution’ is set to take hold in Kenya, ing it achieve its goal of becoming a middle-income country by 2030, Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta said in a major speech today.

Giving the keynote address at a high-level economic conference in Nairobi, the president said robust economic reforms had laid the foundations for growth and the country remained committed to good governance and accountability.

‘My administration intends to set off an industrial revolution to power our ambition of becoming a middle-income country by 2030,’ he told delegates.

This would begin with investment in infrastructure, particularly road and rail links and expanding the country’s power supply. But programmes in science, information technology, manufacturing, tourism and trade were also planned.

Implementing such projects was made possible by the country’s stable macroeconomic climate, Kenyatta added.

‘We now have a steady record of sound economic management founded on low inflation, a stable exchange rate, relatively competitive interest rates and sustainable debt,’ he said.

‘An environment of serious reform has laid a basis for economic management to initiate economic growth and national development.’

Kenyatta observed that Kenya had successfully withstood the financial shocks that had affected so much of the wider world.

‘Kenya averted the devastation of the global economic and financial crisis by pursuing a visionary and robust policy which afforded us space to deploy effective responses.’

But he added that the country’s economic potential had yet to be fulfilled. Kenya, which saw average growth of 4.6% over the decade to 2012, aims to raise its growth rate to double digits by 2018.

Specific challenges to this include slow growth in exports and a ‘swelling public sector wage bill that increasingly challenges fiscal policy’. These issues would be addressed, Kenyatta said.

The president concluded by calling on bilateral and multilateral partners, as well as foreign investors, to ‘walk with Kenya on this promising journey’.

‘We have chosen a path of discipline and integrity. We have chosen a path of good governance and accountability… We are not where we would like. But we will get there.’

The t has been convened by the Kenyan Treasury and central bank together with the International Monetary Fund. It will consider Kenya’s economic success, prospects and challenges.

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