Kenya's economy expanded by 5.6 per cent during the 2010/2011 Financial Year according to the Third Annual Progress Report (APR) released on Tuesday. The growth is attributed to macroeconomic stability, increased credit to the private sector and low inflationary pressure among other factors.
However, the growth which is an improvement of 4.1 per cent compared to that registered in 2008 is below the target of 9.2 per cent contained in the First Medium Term Plan (MTP 2008-2012) of the Kenya Vision 2030.
Speaking during the launch of the Report at KICC, Hon. Peter Kenneth, Assistant Minister for Planning, National Development and Vision 2030 said that “if the country gets its act right the economy can grow at a rate higher than 10 per cent and this can ensure that the Vision is realized before 2030.”
Mr. Kenneth underscored the need for the Government to align its budget to the Kenya Vision 2030 and its flagship projects to spur economic growth.
“With our population growing at 1.2 million people per year, it means that in 10 years time the country will have a population of 52 million people. This means that if we do not develop agricultural sector, we will have serious shortcomings,” he added.
The MTP 2008-2012 seeks to accelerate the development of effective and reliable infrastructure to promote Kenya's competitiveness at the national, regional and global levels through improved connectivity, said the minister.
“A well developed infrastructure is the backbone of national economic growth. It is for that reason that the Government focused on the upgrading and rehabilitation of the major road networks and corridors.”
Commenting on the Annual Progress Report, Dr. Edward Sambili, Permanent Secretary, in the Ministry of State for Planning, National Development and Vision 2030 said generally a lot of progress had been achieved in many areas.The PS called for concerted efforts to boost the tourism sector noting that it had not achieved the projected growth targets during the period under review.
In the period, the total international tourist arrivals were 1,609,110 against a target of 2,550,000 while bed nights available reached 17,161,764, marginally surpassing the MTP target of 17,000,000. “There is need for increased resource allocation towards marketing Kenya as a tourist destination of choice both locally and internationally,” he said.
Besides the 5.6 per cent Gross Domestic Product (GDP), other key achievements include; employment creation, increased revenue collection, New Constitution, infrastructure, energy, land reforms, public sector reforms, manufacturing, health, education and training, Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
The Annual Progress Reports are tracking instruments that the Government through the Ministry of State for Planning, National Development and Vision 2030 prepares to track the progress made in the Implementation of policy blue prints in the country. This process has been on-going since the year 2005 and utilises the National Integrated Monitoring and Evaluation System (NIMES) that is coordinated by the ministry. The NIMES system aspires to provide performance scores and information in the implementation of national policies and programmes covering the different sectors of the economy as outlined within the current national policy blue print, the Kenya Vision 2030.
The APRs are designed in such as a way as to allow leaders and Kenyans in general to understand with ease, how the country is performing against the provided targets and indicators. These documents endeavour to provide information on both the operational and strategic successes that the government achieves on yearly basis. The document provides a review benchmarks, targets, output and out comes while at the same time, assesses overall government performance and related achievements.