Kenya maintained its position at the top of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in terms of eligibility for cheap loans from the World Bank.
The Bank’s review under the annual Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) placed Kenya, Cape Verde and Rwanda ahead of 36 other countries.
“We are on the verge of an economic takeoff. We have a Constitution and institutions are strengthening. So I am not surprised by the new assessment that we are still at the top,” said Joseph Kieyah, the head of private sector division at the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (Kippra).
The report showed that a fifth of the countries improved their policy environment last year, putting them in a good position to accelerate growth and cut poverty.
Since 1980, CPIA ratings have been used to determine the allocation of zero-interest financing and grants from the International Development Association, the World Bank Group’s fund for the world’s poorest countries.
CPIA scores assess a country’s progress using 16 indicators in four broad categories – economic management, structural policies, social inclusion and equity, and public sector management.
Of the 39 countries, eight had a rise in overall CPIA scores while a similar number saw their overall CPIA score decline.
Democratic Republic of Congo scored the largest gain, moving to 2.9 from 2.7 while South Sudan and Eritrea had the lowest scores.
“Countries transitioning from conflict, such as Côte d’Ivoire, recorded solid gains in their policy environment. At the same time, the Central African Republic’s CPIA rating was sharply lower, showing that conflict rapidly sets back policy gains,” said the Bank.
Punam Chuhan-Pole, lead economist for Africa at the Bank and author of the report, said the fragile countries, especially post-conflict countries, accounted for over half of the improvement in overall CPIA scores in the region.
“The CPIA score for Africa’s IDA-eligible fragile countries continues to be lower than that of fragile countries in other regions.”