Kenyan president hopes to trigger 'industrial revolution'

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
23 September 2013

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Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta has announced he wants to trigger an “industrial revolution” to move the nation to become a middle-income country by 2030.

 

In a speech opening an economic conference last week organised by the government, the Central Bank of Kenya and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kenyatta said programmes would focus initially on improving infrastructure and power supply. 

But he voiced ambitions to make Kenya “Africa’s gateway” and the region’s technology hub with plans to build techno-city “Silicon Savana”.

 

“The Kenya Vision 2030 has brought us to the stage where we are laying a robust national economic foundation,” he said. “This entails the implementation of programmes in infrastructure, energy, security, science, technology and innovation.

 

“We want to make Kenya Africa's gateway, manufacturing and technology hub and a home to millions of entrepreneurs.”

 

However, Kenyatta said the country was “not realising our full economic potential yet”, with economic growth averaging 4.6 per cent in the decade to 2012 against a sub-Saharan Africa average of 6 per cent. He said he aimed to reach double-digit growth by 2018.

 

IMF Africa director Antoinette Sayeh praised the country’s economic reform.

 

“Kenya is now less vulnerable to the vagaries of the global economy and to domestic generated shocks than it was three years ago, when it embarked on its economic reform program with financial support from the IMF,” she told the conference.

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