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New Report On Kenya Highlights Two-Fold Drive To Galvanise Economy And Address Challenges

Oxford Business Group launches 2018 publication on country’s economy

Press Release – Nairobi, November 2018: A new report from the global research and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group (OBG) explores Kenya’s efforts to boost economic activity by sharpening its focus on key trade initiatives and innovative policies, after a difficult year marked by political uncertainty.

The Report: Kenya 2018 shines a spotlight on the areas of the economy identified by the government as drivers of future growth – namely food security, affordable housing, manufacturing and affordable healthcare – in its Big Four initiative.

In addition, the publication examines the infrastructure development under way which will help Kenya to increase trade within East Africa. Other topics analysed include the country’s growing role in a broad-based bid to unify African produce for global export through the LAPSSET corridor programme and planned regional rail links.

The country’s recovering tourism industry is another focus. OBG examines the national push under way to boost visitor numbers and sector earnings through the implementation of more forward-thinking policies, while charting the progress made in raising the country’s profile on the international stage and MICE market.

Kenya’s plans to become an industrialised middle-income country by 2030 will require a strong and steady energy supply. OBG’s report considers the potential for growth across the energy sector, which includes a diverse mix of sources, ranging from hydro, geothermal and solar to wind power. It also looks at the significance of Kenya’s oil finds, which could see the country take on the role of hydrocarbons exporter for the first time.

The Report: Kenya 2018 contains a contribution from President Uhuru Kenyatta, together with a detailed sector-by-sector guide for investors.

It also features a wide range of contributions from other high-profile personalities, including: Monica Juma, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade; Peter Munya, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives; Liam Fox, UK Secretary of State for International Trade; Anne Kirima-Muchoki, Chairperson, Kenya Investment Authority; and Ray W Washburne, President and CEO, Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

Commenting ahead of the launch, OBG’s Editor-in-Chief, Oliver Cornock, said that while Kenya still faced a number of significant challenges, forecasts point to heightened economic activity in 2018 and beyond.

“Kenya’s economy now looks to have settled on an upward trajectory, which will provide investors with a degree of reassurance,” he said. “However, the structural fiscal deficit and expanding public debt continue to be a cause of concern, while highlighting the need for the government to ensure its economic reforms remain a priority if the country’s 2030 targets are to be met.”

Souhir Mzali, OBG’s regional editor for Africa, agreed that the reform programme had a key part to play in stabilising Kenya’s legal and political climate, and driving longer-term growth.

“The government has made clear its plans to to boost revenue by overhauling the tax framework, as part of broader efforts to address the challenges it faces,” she said. “While this will require something of a balancing act to ensure that growth isn’t stifled, other measures, including a national trade policy focused on facilitating market access, are helping to improve conditions for growth, which will be critical for the economy longer term.”

The Report: Kenya 2018 marks the culmination of more than 12 months of field research by a team of analysts from Oxford Business Group. The publication assesses trends and developments across the country, including those in macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and others.

The Report: Kenya 2018 has been produced with Genghis Capital, EY Eastern Africa and the law firm Okseko & Ouma. It is available online and in print.

About Oxford Business Group

Oxford Business Group (OBG) is a global research and consultancy company with a presence in over 30 countries, from Africa, Asia and the Middle East to the Americas. A distinctive and respected provider of on-the-ground intelligence on many of the world’s fastest growing markets, OBG has offices in London, Berlin, Dubai and Istanbul, and a network of local bureaus across the countries in which we operate.

Through its range of products, OBG offers comprehensive and accurate analysis of macroeconomic and sectoral developments, including banking, capital markets, tourism, energy, transport, industry and ICT. OBG provides business intelligence to its subscribers through multiple platforms: Economic News and Views, OBG Business Barometer – CEO Survey, Roundtables and conferences, Global Platform – exclusive video interviews, The Report publications and its Consultancy division.

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