Launch of the Kenya Poverty and Equity Assessment 2023
The Economic Planning Principal Secretary James Muhati officiated at the launch of the Kenya Poverty and Equity Assessment 2023 with the slogan; “From Poverty to Prosperity: Making Growth More Inclusive.”
The event that took place at a Nairobi hotel on 14th December, 2023 was organized by the World Bank and other Key Stakeholders. The wide range of participants were drawn from the private sector, government, research and academic institutions, as well as civil society organizations.
The launch provided a platform to share information on the recent economic developments and the current emerging economic conditions and challenges facing the citizens and explored ways to address the expansion of sources of livelihoods. The deliberations sought to pursue other solutions that will contribute to the mitigation of the devastating environmental concerns that lead to increase in poverty levels in the society.
Prospects to improve the wellbeing and dynamics of society empowerment that will enable Kenya to eradicate poverty and improve the quality of life and future prosperity for generations to come were also discussed at length.
In his speech, the Economic Planning Principal Secretary, James Muhati reiterated that the Kenya Poverty and Equity Assessment Report was evidence-driven. Official data from household surveys was used to determine the poverty levels in the country.
“The Poverty and Equity Assessment is an evidence-driven, core diagnostic tool used to understand who the poor and vulnerable are, as well as the drivers behind recent changes in poverty and inequality. These assessments typically utilize official household surveys, often in conjunction with other data sources, to examine how to create better opportunities for people.” PS Muhati said.
He urged all institutions to invest more on data collection and production of credible statistics to have a solid basis to curb the poverty menace that is devastating most countries in the sub-Saharan region. For the Kenyan situation, devolution that touches every corner of the nation can be used as an avenue to reduce poverty through; poverty mapping which is well aggregated and allocation of equitable share of resources.
With accurate and timely data, the government and other partners are enabled to comfortably formulate sound policy priorities for the nation that will accelerate and formulate mechanisms geared towards strategies whose objective is to create more jobs and opportunities for the unemployed, expand markets, empower the youth through education, reduce the cost of living, increase income incentives for the poor, and make the country a preferred destination for investment opportunities.
While making a presentation from the World Bank on the recent Economic Developments, Ms. Precious Zikhai, an Economist from the Bank noted that the global and regional economic growth weakened in 2023. For Kenya, she indicated that the economic growth is estimated to have strengthened compared to 2022. The growth was supported by recovery in agriculture and moderate growth in the services sector, while inflation declined, fuel inflation remains elevated, and the pressures continue to persist.
Ms. Zikhai added that the economy continues to face several challenges, most notably the heightened fiscal and external vulnerabilities, manifested through high debt levels. Global and Regional economic activity declined in 2023 but Kenya’s growth is expected to perform better than 2022. However, industrial activity slowed in the first half of 2023 due to subdued business sentiment and higher production costs.
Present during the launch was the Executive Director of KIPPRA, Dr. Rose Ngugi and other top officials from the World Bank Nairobi Kenya Office.