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IMF chief Lagarde visits Kenya for economic talks

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 The IMF managing director Christine Lagarde at a past event. Photo/AFP

The IMF managing director Christine Lagarde at a past event. Photo/AFP 

By  SAMUEL NJIHIA, snjihia@ke.nationmedia.com

Posted  Sunday, January 5  2014 at  16:11

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director, Ms Christine Lagarde, arrives in Nairobi Sunday for economic talks ahead of planned negotiations for a new credit line from the lender.

During her four-day visit, Ms Lagarde will hold talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta and other government and civil society leaders.

She will also deliver a speech to private sector leaders at the Stanley Hotel on Monday afternoon.

“I am very much looking forward to my visit to underline the Fund’s strong partnership with Kenya, one of the most dynamic economies in a region that has been a bright spot in the global economy,” Ms Lagarde said ahead of her trip.

Ms Lagarde has previously visited Côte d’Ivoire, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, and South Africa in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Kenya has emerged as one of Africa’s ‘frontier economies’, and I am very interested in learning how the country’s leaders and people will build on this success moving forward,” she said.

Ms Lagarde’s visit comes barely a month after the IMF's final disbursement of Sh9.5 billion out of a three-year Sh65 billion ($750 million) foreign exchange support loan to Kenya.

Negotiations for the next round of financing from the Bretton Woods institution are scheduled to take place during the first quarter of this year.

The IMF has predicted a 6.2 per cent growth for Kenya in 2014, an improvement from 5.9 per cent in 2013 and 4.6 per cent the year earlier.