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World Bank, UN chiefs due in Kenya to strengthen peace, security

25 October 2014, 18:26

Nairobi - World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon are due in Kenya next week for talks on regional peace, security and development in the Horn of Africa, officials said on Friday.

A statement from the World Bank office in Nairobi said the two leaders, who will arrive in Nairobi on Oct. 28, will hold meetings with President Uhuru Kenyatta.

"Kim will later meet with private sector representatives to discuss regional integration and economic opportunities for countries in the Horn," said the statement.

The World Bank chief's visits Kenya comes at a time when Kenyans are optimistic about prospects for better growth and equity driven by devolution and discovery of petroleum resources.

Kenya has progressed to lower middle-income status following rebasing of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in September.

However, the World Bank says vulnerability to rising insecurity in the Horn remains a serious challenge, noting that tourism, a major foreign exchange earner, has suffered from crime linked to terrorism, high youth unemployment and long-standing conflicts over natural resources.

Also read: Kenya economy accelerates despite tourism drop

Kenya recorded growth in real estate and manufacturing sectors, which were some of the industries that experienced the largest increase.

Kenyan officials have expressed optimism that the upward revision of GDP will result in improved international perception and rating for the country.

"This could also result in Kenya becoming eligible for extra borrowing in international markets," Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) Acting Director General Zachary Mwangi said recently.

 The World Bank has actively supported the development of statistics in Kenya for over a decade, including financing the collection of new source data that underpined the re-basing exercise.

Kenya is East Africa's largest economy and a key partner in the World Bank's strategy of ending global poverty and increasing shared prosperity.

Under its new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for FY14-18, the World Bank projects to invest a total of 4 billion U.S. dollars mainly through the International Development Association (IDA), the IFC and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).  

- Xinhua

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