09 November 2008

Kenya and its economy

Economic growth drops by nearly half
By WAIKWA MAINA Posted Sunday, November 9 2008 at 19:08

Kenyan economic growth has gone down by nearly a half this financial year from earlier projections. Acting finance minister John Michuki has also blamed the current inflation to congestion at the Mombasa port.  He said that the economy will grow at between 4 and 5 per cent against the expected 8 per cent. This is in comparison to last year’s 7 per cent growth.  Mr Michuki attributed the drop to the post-election violence that rocked the country early in the year following disputed presidential election results.

Board expects bumper coffee yields
By MUCHIRI GITONGA Posted Sunday, November 9 2008 at 18:44

Coffee production could surpass the 60,000 metric tonnes projected by the Coffee Board of Kenya this season.  The main reasons are the favourable weather and a move by farmers, particularly in Mt Kenya region, to embrace production of specialty coffee.  CBK official Richard Wahome said on Sunday that the main coffee growing districts of Nyeri, Kirinyaga and Embu were projecting a 77 per cent increase in production.

Financial crisis may make Africa less aid-dependent
By RASNA WARAHPosted Sunday, November 9 2008 at 16:42

Many Donor-dependent countries are worried that the global financial meltdown and impending recession will lead to reduced foreign aid.African countries, in particular, are worried that domestic financial problems will force rich countries to cut down the amount of resources allocated to international development assistance.  Rich countries, on the other hand, are being urged to continue supporting developing nations to prevent the latter from sinking further into poverty.  

At a White House summit on international development held last month, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stated: “Some will ask the inevitable question in these troubled times: ‘How can we afford it?’ I would ask instead, ‘How can we not afford it?’ ”  Ms Rice inadvertently admitted what many critics of development assistance have been saying for years – that foreign aid helps donor countries more than it does recipient countries, and that countries that give maintain an upper hand over countries that receive.  Foreign aid is, in many ways, an “investment” for rich countries as it allows them to gain tremendous political and economic advantage over poor nations for a very small fee.  Think about it.   Official overseas development assistance (ODA) accounts for less than 1 per cent of donor countries’ GDP.