changes its ways

Introduction - Reforms - Harsh Times - Economy - Investment - Finance - Stock exchange
International Markets - Industry - Transport - Tourism - Telecom - Energy
Agriculture - Natural Ressources - Conclusions


The Nation Center houses the Stock Exchange and the Nation Newspaper

Something seems to be finally stirring in Kenya. Those who knew it in the 1970īs say things have gone down, but for those who visit the country for the first time, it still surprisingly developed. Kenya has been the African darling of the West well before its independence from the British Empire on December 12th, 1963. This land of haunting beauty has been the refuge of adventurers, artists and aristocrats, capturing the imagination of the developed world through literature and films such as Karen Blixen's Out of Africa. This romantic image has pervaded the identity of the country - and probably of the whole continent - until today. What is not widely known, though, is that Kenya is the most developed country in Eastern and Central Africa, and one of the motors of the continent, only behind South Africa, Egypt, Morocco and Nigeria.
However, in the past few years Kenya's economy has fallen into the fist deep recession in its history. In 1998 it recorded a 1.8% growth, as compared to 4.4% in 1996. This partly has to do with a bad performance and a slow down of key sectors of the economy such as agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and trade. But the economic miracle also came to a halt due to rampant corruption, mismanagement, deviation of funds, excessive government borrowing and the consequent suspension of all financial support from the Bretton Woods institutions who froze all new aid programs in 1992. President Moi is resolved to return Kenya its old luster. This is partly due to pressure from the international donor community, mounting criticism at home, and to restore his image in his last presidential term.

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© World INvestment NEws, 1999.
This is the electronic edition of the special country report on Kenya published in Forbes Global Magazine.
November 29th 1999 Issue.
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