The Kenyan economy grew slower in 2014 registering a 5.3 per cent growth compared to 5.5 per cent recorded in the previous year.
The Kenyan government had been optimistic of registering improved growth in 2014 despite obvious challenges. However in 2014 the economy slowed down by 0.4 per cent as a result of a decline in performance of several sectors in particular agriculture.
“Agricultural sector in 2014 recorded a growth of 3.5 per cent compared to a growth of 5.2 per cent in 2013. The agricultural sector recorded mixed performance mainly attributable to erratic rains with some regions experiencing depressed rainfall,” Anne Waiguru, Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and Planning said during the launch of the country’s economic survey 2015 depicting the performance of the economy last year.
With the country’s security situation remaining a daunting challenge for the tourism sector which has been perturbed by terrorism since 2012, the sector continues to register a decline on account of a number of factors.
“The number of international visitor arrivals contracted by 11.1 per cent from 1.52 million in 2013 to 1.35 million in 2014. Tourism earnings declined by 7.3 per cent from KSh 94.0 billion to KSh 87.1 billion over the same period,” Waiguru noted.
As for the manufacturing sector, despite recording a decline in 2014, the sector is said to have benefited from an improved economic environment. The sector managed to register an increase in formal employment in the country. The sector declined in 2014 registering 3.4 per cent growth compared to 5.6 per cent in the previous year.
“The total value of manufacturing projects approved by financial institutions rose by 30.3 per cent to 237.9 billion Kenyan shillings in 2014 from 182.6 billion Kenyan shillings in 2013," Waiguru said.
“The value of export of articles of apparel to USA, under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), increased by 24.4 per cent to 30.1 billion Kenyan shillings in 2014 from 24.2 billion in 2013.”
Nevertheless, sectors like ICT and construction upheld a rapid expansion. These industries registered impressive growth backed by increased investments both at national and county levels.
For 2015, Kenya expects an accelerated growth across most sectors. This, the government hopes, will be sustained on a number of policy interventions already lined up.