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Kenya’s vulnerabilities

26 Nov

Of late we mostly hear good news about the Kenyan economy. With the macroeconomic performance of the economy having improved significantly in the last year, it is not difficult to figure out why the country has become a place for opportunity not only for major investors but also for the ordinary person whose goal, when leaving the country for the Diaspora was just to merely support their families by sending money to pay bills and cover daily expenses.  It has become an opportunity for the working class community in the Diaspora to invest in property and small businesses, some of which have grown significantly riding on the wave of this fast expanding economy.

If we are to be objective however, there are challenges. Challenges that should not be ignored lest this promising outlook be just but a dream we never see coming to fruition.

First, Kenya will need to reduce its high reliance on agricultural outputs to limit its vulnerability to climate hazards by diversifying the economy. Second, Kenya may be vulnerable to another political shock as it faces 2012 elections.

I think it helps to be aware of any potential pitfalls in any economy, not simply because we have emotional ties to the country and it is home to so many, but  also because when we send money to Kenya on a regularly for whatever reason, we are making an investment which needs to be guarded, protected and nourished.  So this is not a bash at the economy, just constructive criticism for a country we all love so dearly.


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