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Country Report Kenya September 2017

Country Report Kenya September 2017

  • September 2017
  • ID: 2358831
  • Format: PDF
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit


Table of Contents

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Outlook for 2017-21

  • The identity of Kenya's next leader remains uncertain after the Supreme Court ordered a re-run of the presidential election (which took place on August 8th) because of irregularities. The new contest must take place by October 31st, although the elections for parliament and other positions are not affected.
  • Security risk will remain a serious challenge, with the main threat being posed by a Somalia-based Islamist group, al-Shabab, and locally recruited radicals, although long-term ethnic rivalries could also flare up again.
  • The main policy challenge will be to alleviate structural constraints, such as weak infrastructure. Major capital projects and structural reforms, such as deregulation and regional trade liberalisation, will promote economic activity.
  • Real GDP growth will ease slightly to 5.1% in 2017 as global and local headwinds combine to constrain expansion. Prospects for 2018-21 are broadly favourable, despite the persistence of structural constraints.
  • Inflation will surge to an average of 9.1% in 2017, reflecting high food prices. It will be more subdued in 2018-21, averaging 6.5% a year, helped by more stable oil prices and prudent monetary policy, barring shocks such as drought.
  • The current-account deficit/GDP ratio will trend downwards during the forecast period, to 3.1% in 2021, supported by growth in nominal GDP and earnings from exports, servicing regional trade, tourism and remittances.


  • The Supreme Court, on September 1st, annulled the result of the presidential election because of serious irregularities attributed to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.
  • The original result of the August 8th election, giving victory to Uhuru Kenyatta (Jubilee Party) by a 54.2% to 44.9% margin over Raila Odinga (National Super Alliance), is therefore annulled.
  • The results of other elections are not affected, leaving Jubilee with a stronger presence in parliament.
  • The number of broadband internet subscriptions jumped by 73.4% to 13.7m in the first quarter of 2017 from a year earlier, equivalent to 30 per 100 people. More than 50% of internet users now use broadband.
  • A combination of drought, slow credit growth and election-related uncertainty will trim growth to 5.1% in 2017, revised from our previous forecast of 5.5%.
  • The exchange rate strengthened to KSh103.56:US$1 in August, from KSh103.88:US$1 in July, helped by the peaceful election outcome. The shilling remains steady, despite the courts ordering a presidential election re-run.

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