In a week’s time, there will be a new administration in Kenya. After the euphoria of victory comes the hard part of addressing the problem of an economy that is experiencing falling productivity among firms and the attendant job losses.
Companies reported in the monthly Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) published by Stanbic Kenya that their production has fallen to lows last seen in April 2021 during the third wave of Covid-19.
While the current fall in productivity is related to high global and local inflation, weak circulation of cash and poll jitters, the task of remedying the situation falls on the incoming administration.
Those in charge will need to hit the ground running, with little of the honeymoon period that the previous administrations have enjoyed upon taking power.
It will be important for those tasked to run the economy from next week to identify priority areas that will provide jobs and address the high cost of living, thus unlocking the demand to spur firms to raise their productivity. Demand and productivity are vital for the economy to perform at its optimum.
Addressing the inflation problem will need thinking outside the box, for instance through temporary tax reliefs on inputs to make the final price of products more affordable.
In order to do so, government must exercise fiscal discipline that has been sadly lacking in the past and tame its own appetite for funds that has made tax cuts difficult to offer due to the gaping revenue-expenditure gap.
The government must also pass a firm message that the time of incessant politicking is over.