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Kenya advances up the Global Competiveness ladder

05 September 2013, 10:27

Nairobi - The World Economic Forumhas confirmed that Kenya has joined the league of the 100 most competitive nations in the world.

This is good news for the Kenya Vision 2030 National Development goals, as the Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014 released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Wednesday confirms that Kenya has edged up ten slots in the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) rankings.

By edging up ten slots, Kenya has incredibly managed to score big as the most improved African and sub-Sahara country on the GCI top 100 rankings.

The GCI score is one of the three major dimensions that are, relied upon to evaluate Kenya’s Vision 2030 progress.

Speaking in Nairobi, moments after receiving a communique from the World Economic Forum earlier forwarded to the Vision Delivery Secretariat Director General, Mugo Kibati, the Vision 2030 Delivery Board Chairman Dr James Mwangi, described Kenya’s global competitiveness comeback as a positive affirmation of the on-going efforts to transform the country.

Institutional and policy reforms

Following a string of institutional and policy reforms enshrined in the new constitution and related Acts of Parliament, Dr Mwangi said that the country is now on a national development recovery path.

Recent efforts to step up the reforms agenda across the economic, social and political fronts, Dr Mwangi said will also help solidify Kenya’s GCI ranking next year as a number of on-going flagship projects begin to bear fruits.


“The VDB is confident that projects such as the stringent implementation of our new constitution, construction of the Standard Gauge Railway line, JKIA upgrades and related infrastructural developments at the Port of Mombasa, will further serve to enhance our global competitiveness,” Dr Mwangi said.

On his part, Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat Director General, Mugo Kibati, said the independently evaluated report had served to pass a valid verdict on Kenya’s development agenda.

“The overarching goal of Kenya Vision 2030 is to transform the country into a globally competitive and prosperous nation with a high quality of life for its citizens by the year 2030,” Mwangi said. He added that; “This goal entails three main dimensions: National Prosperity, a High Quality of Life and Global Competitiveness as affirmed in the Global Competitiveness Report.”

While noting this year’s positive score, Kibati noted that since 2003 when Kenya started participating in the GCI rankings, our national ranking had been progressively declining from position 83 in 2003 to number 106 in 2012 among the 142 participating countries.

“Today, I am excited and glad to note that in line with the overall goals and spirit of vision 2030, Kenya’s global competitiveness is now on a growth trajectory, effectively confiming that Vision 2030 Inatendeka,” Kibati said.

Kibati stressed: “As we take stock of the report details, we cannot afford to be complacent by slowing down on the pace of reforms.”

According to the report highlights, Kenya’s advances on the GCI ladder was largely on the on the back of greater confidence in the institutions indicator. On this particular indicator, which tests a country’s investor protection positioning, Kenya is, now ranked at position 88.

At position 31, Kenya’s economy scored well on the back of support from the well-developed financial markets by international standards.

Kenya, also scored well on its innovative capacity and is ranked at position 46 buoyed by high company spending on Research and Development (R&D) and good scientific research institutions that collaborate well with the business sector in research activities.

Further, supporting this innovative potential is an educational system that gets relatively good marks for quality (44th) as well as for on-the-job training (49th).

On the flipside, a number of factors are holding back Kenya’s overall competitiveness. Health remains an area of serious concern (121st), with a high prevalence of communicable diseases contributing to the low life expectancy of fewer than 58 years and reducing the productivity of the workforce. The security situation in Kenya also remains worrisome (131st).

On a continental scale, the report notes that the sub-Saharan Africa region continues to underperform significantly in providing health and basic education. The region’s poor performance across all basic requirements for competitiveness however stands in stark contrast to its comparatively stronger performance in market efficiency, where particularly the region’s middle-income economies such as Kenya, South Africa and Mauritius fare relatively well and rank in the top 20 per cent in financial market development.

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