The Star (Nairobi)

3 September 2014

Kenya Ranked 6th in Sub-Sahara's Most Competitive Economies List

Kenya has been ranked sixth on a list of ten most competitive economies in Sub-Saharan Africa in a report by the World Economic Forum, falling behind Mauritius, South Africa, Rwanda, Botswana and Namibia.

WEF's Global Competitiveness Report credits Kenya's upward trend from last year to the adoption of the new constitution in 2010. The report says the constitution has made the government more efficient with corruption levels gradually decreasing.

The report further states that Kenya's economy has improved in almost all pillars of the index, especially market efficiency. It also states that the country's education system is generally good, though tertiary enrollment rates, considering Kenya's shift towards middle-income status, are low.

The country's telephone and electricity infrastructure, however, do not meet the needs of an economy that is the largest in East Africa and health and security continue to be concerns.

The WEF report, which assessed 144 economies, says the Sub-Saharan Africa region has provided "something of a silver lining" in the otherwise broadly felt global economic downturn of the recent years.

Also according to the report, Sub-Saharan economies continued to register impressive growth rates of close to five per cent in 2013 - with rising projects for the next two years - below only emerging and developing Asia.

However, risks remain with more than half of the 20 lowest ranked countries in the report also being from Sub-Saharan Africa.

"Many markets have insufficient infrastructure and poor levels of health and basic education. More than a decade of consistent high growth has not yet trickled down to all segments of the population and most economic activity takes place in the informal sector, which employs more than 80% of the population," WEF said.

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