Saturday, February 19, 2011

Good economics is good politics, bad politics is bad economics

It can be said that Kenya's economy has grown the last 9 or so years. It can be said that Kenya has not known the kind of political we've had in the last 9 years.
But the economic growth has widened the gap between the "haves" and the "have nots". Secondly, it has not been a "jobs" growth whereby, the economy was absorbing jobless graduate, secondary leavers and of course KCPE-leavers. At an average of 4.5%, this means that once you take off the effect of 2.3% population growth, it has grown at a paltry 2.2%. Good enough for the West economies, not for a developing nation. The growth has also not been sustainable. With the exception of the telecom industry, other sectors remain dependant on exogenous factors (agriculture, tourism among our largest fx earners); in others such as manufacturing and infrastructure building, we are still dependant on foreign money or investment.

It has also been growth that has seen concomitant growth in corruption. It has not been felt by the majority of Kenyans in a positive way. Negatively yes because now staple foods and basic necessities are more expensive, but earnings have not kept up. Pour into the mix a very young population and really the growth looks anything but stellar.

Kibaki doesn't do politics. Politics is not just about being able to take smart political decisions, but also more importantly, being able to take the public pulse into on major decisions.
On both fronts, we are not giving ourselves the chance to grow.

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