Kenya can be one of Africa’s success stories. Its dynamic private sector, rapidly growing number of young people, new Constitution and recent peaceful elections are important ingredients in Kenya’s journey to secure growing prosperity shared across all communities in the coming years.
Yet poverty is high and income inequality persists; four out of 10 Kenyans are poor and the richest 10 per cent of the population receive 40 per cent of the nation’s income.
What will it take to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity by 2030?
Drawing on Kenya’s own research and analysis, an assessment by the World Bank Group highlights the need for economic growth to take off at rapid, sustained rates and in sectors that are most likely to reach the poorest.
The private sector can lead the expansion by creating jobs, with government playing a constructive role in setting an environment that helps firms operate competitively.
Improving infrastructure is the backbone of long term growth, and Kenya can invest in better transport and energy by leveraging private sector resources through innovative public-private partnerships.
Kenya can also attract private investment by improving business regulations and placing a premium on integrity in the public and private sectors.
The prudent and well-established macroeconomic environment needs to be maintained, and government revenues spent carefully including by controlling current expenditures on wages and salaries and carving out more resources for public investment.
Growth needs to be inclusive to ensure that prosperity can be shared by all. It is unfortunate that so many Kenyans face a life full of hardships largely because of the place of their birth and family circumstances rather than their own talents and toils.