NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s overall economic health will not suffer major
setbacks this year despite shocks linked to an acute dry spell,
public debts, volatile geopolitics and disruptions in the global
trading regime, an expert said.
Eva Wanjiku, Africa
strategy associate principal at Standard Chartered Bank, said that
Kenya is in a vantage position to sustain economic growth thanks to
growth in diaspora remittances, higher tourist arrivals and
concerted efforts to widen the tax bracket and service external
"Kenya’s economic growth story that is expected to average 5.6
percent this year is sending positive signals as the country shakes
off negative impacts of a prolonged election in 2017 and
inflationary pressures linked to drought," said Wanjiku.
She spoke on Thursday evening at a Chinese New Year business
roundtable organized by Standard Chartered Bank and attended by Guo
Ce, the economic and commercial counselor at the Chinese embassy in
Chinese investors based in Kenya also graced the new year
business forum that sought to highlight opportunities and challenges
in the east Africa’s largest economy.
Wanjiku was optimistic that Kenya is in a better position to
attract foreign direct investments given the diversification of its
economy coupled with ongoing public sector reforms and abundance of
"We expect private sector credit growth to be sustained as the
Kenyan shilling become more resilient due to higher volume of
horticulture exports and a 20 percent annual growth of diaspora
remittances aided by technological platforms," said Wanjiku.
The Kenyan economist downplayed the risk of a debt pile-up saying
that the country has the ability to mobilize domestic resources and
repay commercial loans from bilateral partners.
"It is encouraging to note the government is moderating public
debts and is very keen on tax mobilization.
"In fact, Kenya is the second highest tax mobilizer in
Sub-Saharan Africa after Ghana.
"It is paying debts using taxes," said Wanjiku.
She said that Kenya has a favorable credit rating that will
enhance its ability to raise money from the international financial
Wanjiku said that investments in the government’s Big Four Agenda
like affordable housing, food security, universal health coverage
and manufacturing, are expected to stimulate economic growth.
On external shocks, Wanjiku was optimistic that the issue of
Brexit will not have debilitating impact on Kenya’s foreign exchange
earnings since the country has diversified export destinations.