Kenya’s Economy To Steam Ahead After Elections, As Kenyatta Takes Early Lead

Kenya Economy
Kenya has east Africa’s largest economy

AFRICANGLOBE – Kenyan analysts expected the country’s on-going economic recovery to go ahead unless something drastic happened after the polls, the Nairobi-based Business Daily reported on Tuesday.

Dickson Khainga, an analyst with the Kenya Institute of Public Policy Research and Analysis (Kippra), told Business Daily: “We have had a strong growth from the third quarter of last year and conditions for growth have not changed much.”

On Monday, Kenyans went to the polls in a very tense election atmosphere and the results of these elections could determine the direction of the country’s economy.

According to Voice of America (VoA), Ahmed Issack Hassan, chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), announced that voter turnout in Kenya’s general election was high and that preliminary results would be digitally relayed in real time.

Polls in Kenya’s election officially closed at 5 p.m on Monday, but long lines reportedly compelled the IEBC to extend voting at certain stations.

“The voter turnout has been overwhelming,” VoA quoted Hassan as saying. “By 5pm… our indications are that over 70 percent have turned out.”

But the vote was not without scattered acts of violence. According to VoA, atleast thirteen people, including five police, were killed in election-related violence along Kenya’s coast.

“Despite what happened last night, no further incidents of security have happened. We want to commend Kenyans for keeping the peace,” Hassan was quoted by VoA as saying.

However, in recent months, Kenya’s economy has rejected the edgy political ambience, trudging on the growth trajectory.

A smooth transition after elections is expected to fast track growth, assisting the country in tackling some of its most urgent problems, which include high unemployment rates.

The London Telegraph reported that some analysts believed that Kenya was too big to fail, no matter what happened.

It added that the country was a transport and business hub with multinationals such as Google and Nokia having offices there.

“Equity markets have been in a bull market since May last year, and remain so,” Telegraph quoted one analyst as saying. “Bond markets have been very well behaved. The central bank stabilised the macro economy and inflation is at a record low … It is either the calm before the storm or markets are signalling a positive outcome around the elections.”

According to the Business Daily, the stock market was expected to take cue from the conduct of the general election and subsequent handling of any arising disputes.

Business Daily reported that analysts said investors had bet on a peaceful polls outcome as showed by the strong performance of the bourse.

“The conduct of the polls, as was the case five years ago, is expected to over-ride economic fundamentals and set the tone for at least the remainder of the year,” Business Daily quoted head of trading and business development at Old Mutual Securities, Alistair Gould, as saying.

“The overall sentiment is positive but all eyes are on the polls,” Gould said.

In a related development, as millions of Kenyans await results of the presidential elections, early reports have revealed that Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta holds an early lead over his main rival, PM Raila Odinga citing reports from over a third of polling stations.

However, The head of the electoral commission,  emphasised these were provisional figures and urged Kenyans to wait patiently for the final outcome.

 

By; Mzwandile Jacks