Politics and policy
Donors warn next elections may hurt projected growth
Posted Wednesday, June 20 2012 at 19:49
Kenya’s development partners have expressed fear that the projected five per cent growth may not be realised unless the forthcoming General Election is carried out smoothly.
The World Bank said during the Development Partnership Forum held in Nairobi on Tuesday that key policy decisions have been postponed while potential investors have been shunning the country in view of increased uncertainty ahead of an poll.
“The government and its partners need to stay focused on economic governance, including the fight against corruption even as citizens exercise their fundamental rights of political governance,” said World Bank country-director Johannes Zutt.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who co-chaired the forum with Mr Zutt, said the government would ensure that elections do not disrupt economic activities.
“We have learnt from our past mistakes, especially after what followed the 2007/08 presidential election,” he said, asking the partners to avoid issuing adverse cautions to investors and tourists.
Mr Odinga said that implementation of the Constitution offers Kenya the best chance to chart a new direction that would create jobs, spur long-term economic development, and enhance social equity.
He said that development partners’ contributions towards the fiscal year 2012/13 are estimated to reach Sh225 billion, representing a 22.9 per cent increase from the year just ending.
The donors, who included ambassadors and high commissioners, also asked the government to urgently implement 12 commitments made during the third forum a year ago.
“A thread that binds these concerns together is governance; how effectively the government exercises its power to manage the country’s resources for development,” Mr Zutt said on behalf of donors.
He said future aid would depend on how well the government manages the elections process, the fight against graft and structural reforms.