The Star (Nairobi)

12 July 2014

Kenya's GNI Per Capita in Steady Five-Year Growth

The country's Gross National Income per capita increased for the fifth straight year, fresh World Bank data show, but still falls short of the middle-income economy band.

The bank's data show Kenya had a GNI per capita of $930 (Sh81,635) last year, and has classified it as a 'low-income' country.

Kenya had a GNI per capita of $870 (Sh76,369) in 2012, $820 (Sh71,790) in 2011, $800 (Sh70,224) in 2010 and $780 (Sh68,468) in 2009, according to the World Bank data.

Neighbouring South Sudan is the only Eastern Africa country in the middle-income band, having been reclassified as a 'lower middle-income' economy.

South Sudan, which marked its third anniversary of independence Wednesday despite prolonged political strife since late last year, had a GNI per capita of $1,120 (Sh98,313) in 2013. This was a third higher than the $840 it recorded in 2012, but still shy of the $1,360 it had in 2011.

The World Bank revises its analytical classification of global economies based on GNI per capita estimates for the previous year. The next review will be done on July 1, 2015.

"The updated GNI per capita estimates are also used as input to the World Bank's operational classification of economies that determines lending eligibility," it said in an update.

It has defined low-income countries as those with a GNI per capita of up to $1,045 in 2013, middle-income as those with up to $12,746 and high-income economies as those with beyond $12,746. Lower middle-income and upper middle-income economies are separated at a GNI per capita of $4,125.

Kenya had a Gross Domestic Product - the value of a country's overall output of goods and services in a fiscal year at market prices, excluding net income from abroad - of $44.10 billion (Sh3.78 trillion).

It aspires to attain a middle-income status in under 16 years, with strategies of achieving this target outlined in a development blueprint christened 'Vision 2030'. A delivery secretariat was set up to oversee the execution of the blueprint.

The country's population is estimated to have increased to 44.35 million last year, with about 40 per cent of the labour force said to be unemployed.

Tanzania's GNI per capita increased to $630 in 2013, Rwanda recorded $620, Uganda had $510, while Burundi ramped up its to $280.

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