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Terror, elections mar economic growth

30 April 2014, 11:28

Nairobi - Government has attributed the slow growth of the economy in 2013 to insecurity, the general election and changes in weather that affected agriculture’s contribution.

According to the Economic Survey report of 2013 launched by the Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and Planning, Anne Waiguru, the decline in exports, high interest rates and reduced spending by government agencies also affected economic growth.

The economic survey 2013 holds that the country’s economy grew at 4,7 per cent as compared to the previous year’s 4,6 per cent.

“Depressed performance of the rains affected the agriculture sector which is the single largest contributor to our GDP,” said Waiguru with regards to the drop in the sector’s decline in its contribution to the economy last year.

The survey also disclosed that elections continued to affect the country’s economy.

Waiguru said that risk aversion in the lead up to the general election in the first quarter of 2013 also contributed to slow growth of the economy.

"Another risk too which has kept investors away from the country and which also contributed to the slow growth is insecurity," the official said.

There have been increased terror attacks in Nairobi and Mombasa since Kenya Defence Forces entered Somalia in 2011. The attacks have been blamed on the militant Al Shabaab from that country.

Waiguru was however optimistic about the country’s 2014 economic growth.

The survey quotes operationalization of the development budgets in the counties as being among the things that will spur growth this year.

Others include foreign investments in oil and gas industry and reduced lending rates.

“Recent discoveries of petroleum oil and natural gas are likely to trigger more foreign direct investment inflows,” said Waiguru.

 - CAJ News

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