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Kenya Economy

    Economy—overview: Since 1993, the government of Kenya has implemented a program of economic liberalization and reform. Steps have included the removal of import licensing and price controls, removal of foreign exchange controls, fiscal and monetary restraint, and reduction of the public sector through privatizing publicly owned companies and downsizing the civil service. With the support of the World Bank, IMF, and other donors, these reforms have led to a turnaround in economic performance following a period of negative growth in the early 1990s. Kenya's real GDP grew at 5% in 1995 and 4% in 1996, and inflation remained under control. Growth slowed in 1997-98. Political violence damaged the tourist industry, and the IMF allowed Kenya's Enhanced Structural Adjustment Program to lapse due to the government's failure to enact reform conditions and to adequately address public sector corruption. Moreover, El Nino rains destroyed crops and damaged an already crumbling infrastructure in 1997 and 1998. Long-term barriers to development include electricity shortages, the government's continued and inefficient dominance of key sectors, endemic corruption, and the country's high population growth rate.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$43.9 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 1.6% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$1,550 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 29%
    industry: 17%
    services: 54% (1997)

    Population below poverty line: 42% (1992 est.)

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 1.2%
    highest 10%: 47.7% (1992)

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.5% (1998)

    Labor force: 9.2 million (1998 est.)

    Labor force—by occupation: agriculture 75%-80%, nonagriculture 20%-25%

    Unemployment rate: 50% (1998 est.)

    Budget:
    revenues: $2.6 billion
    expenditures: $2.7 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1997 est.)

    Industries: small-scale consumer goods (plastic, furniture, batteries, textiles, soap, cigarettes, flour), agricultural products processing; oil refining, cement; tourism

    Industrial production growth rate: 3.8% (1995)

    Electricity—production: 3.81 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 10.5%
    hydro: 81.63%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 7.87% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 3.985 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 175 million kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: coffee, tea, corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruit, vegetables; dairy products, beef, pork, poultry, eggs

    Exports: $2 billion (f.o.b., 1998)

    Exports—commodities: tea 18%, coffee 15%, petroleum products (1995)

    Exports—partners: Uganda 16.1%, Tanzania 12.8%, UK 10.4%, Germany 7.5% (1996)

    Imports: $3.05 billion (f.o.b., 1998)

    Imports—commodities: machinery and transportation equipment 31%, consumer goods 13%, petroleum products 12% (1995)

    Imports—partners: UK 13.2%, UAE 8.2%, South Africa 7.6%, Germany 7.4% (1996)

    Debt—external: $6.45 billion (1997 est.)

    Economic aid—recipient: $642.8 million (1995)

    Currency: 1 Kenyan shilling (KSh) = 100 cents

    Exchange rates: Kenyan shillings (KSh) per US$1—61.802 (January 1999), 60.367 (1998), 58.732 (1997), 57.115 (1996), 51.430 (1995), 56.051 (1994)

    Fiscal year: 1 July—30 June

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)