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Govt says economic growth on right track

05 September 2013, 19:00

Nairobi - The government says it has managed to establish a good track record of sound economic management that will shield the country's economy from external shocks to spur growth.

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich on Wednesday said Kenya has also undertaken far-reaching economic and political reforms that have made the country more resilient to shocks.

"Although we have not exploited our full potential, we have been able to sustain growth and make progress in the war against poverty even under very challenging circumstances including the severe droughts that we have undergone in the past four years and the heightened security challenges associated with the instability prevailing in Somalia," he said.

He said Kenya designed a program for economic management in 2011 and invited the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to work with the government in implementing it in the context of the Extended Credit Facility (ECF).

"I am pleased to inform you that we have successfully implemented this program and we are on course to see its successful completion in October 2013 when the final review will be undertaken," Rotich told journalists in Nairobi.

He was briefing journalists on the forthcoming conference which Kenya will co-host with IMF on Sept. 17-18 under the theme 'Kenya's Economic Successes, Prospects and Challenges'.

Rotich said the conference will explore the policy challenges Kenya faces in building upon its economic success to achieve emerging market status.

The event will bring together about 150 participants from the Kenyan private sector, the international business community, civil society, the Kenyan government, and international institutions with a goal to broaden the dialogue on the vision for Kenya's future.

"Kenya has undertaken far reaching economic and structural reforms over the years," said Domenico Fanizza, the IMF Mission chief for Kenya.

"The purpose of the conference will be to showcase its track record of sound economic management and demonstrate that effective economic reforms have a high pay off," he said.

Fanizza added that the event will highlight the growing contribution of Kenya's traditional and non-traditional development partners including China, India, Australia, and Brazil and identify new areas for collaboration.

Organisers said the conference will focus on policy priorities that will help Kenya achieve sustained and inclusive growth as part of its quest to reach emerging market status over the next decade.

In addition, the conference will provide an opportunity to highlight the growing role played in the region by non-traditional development partners -- including China, India, Australia, and Brazil -- and identify new areas for collaboration.

"We are very much looking forward to listening to all our Kenyan partners at this crucial moment in the country's development," IMF Director for Africa Department Antoinette Sayeh said.

"We have had a very constructive dialogue with the Kenyan authorities and this conference will provide an opportunity to open the discussion to all stakeholders," Sayeh added.

The meeting which will be opened by President Uhuru Kenyatta will also highlight macroeconomic progress the nation has made in recent years including the context of an Extended Credit Facility with the IMF that was approved in January 2001 as well as in the implementation of structural and institutions reforms.

"It will also take stock of the key remaining challenges that Kenya needs to address in order to spur faster, inclusive economic growth," Sayeh said.

- Xinhua

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