Kenya’s future offers both opportunities and significant challenges. It is a continental leader in information technology and has well-developed health and education systems relative to other lower middle-income African countries, despite average incomes being at the low end of that threshold. However, access to other basic services is poor and various corruption scandals have cast a shadow over development prospects. To shape a better future Kenya must improve the quality of governance and accelerate service delivery without sacrificing gains in other areas.
It is a stylized fact that very few countries in the world have realized high economic growth rates and incomes without the manufacturing sector playing a pivotal role. Manufacturing industry in crucial engine for sustaining economic growth and development, job creation and poverty alleviation. Historically, manufacturing sector’s contribution to the economy in Kenya has stagnated at around 10% of the gross domestic product (GDP) and was about 8.4% in 2017. There is renewed interest in the manufacturing sector through the Big 4 Agenda which seeks to increase the GDP contribution of the sector to 15% by 2022.
Kenya’s future offers a wealth of opportunities, as well as some significant challenges.
On the one hand, the country is a continental leader in information and communications technology (ICT) and has relatively well-developed health and education systems. Despite average incomes in the country (about US$1 380) being at the very low end of the World Bank lower-middle-income country threshold (US$1 006 to US$3 955), Kenya has relatively good outcomes on a number of human development indicators. For example, people in Kenya have, on average, more years of education in the adult population (over the age of 25) and longer life expectancy (by about five years) than people living in other lower-middle- income African countries. The country is also a relative island of stability in a strategic – if turbulent – region, and scores above the average for other lower-middle-income African countries on various measures of social equality and government efficiency.