Economy overview: Kenya’s geographic location allows it to serve as a growth engine for East Africa, but its economy has stagnated due to poor governance and inconsistent reform efforts. In 1993, the Kenyan government embarked on a program of economic liberalization and reforms that included abolishing import licensing, price controls, and foreign exchange controls. Supported by the World Bank, the IMF and other donors, the reforms contributed to a rapid improvement in the economy after a period of negative growth in the early 1990s. GDP growth was 5% and 4% in 1995 and 1996. respectively; inflation was kept under control. However, in 1997-2000. growth rates decreased, amounting to an average of 1.5% per annum. In 1997, political violence damaged the tourism industry; the program of structural transformation of the economy was curtailed due to the failure of the government to implement reforms and curb corruption. Severe drought in 1999 and 2000 demanded rationing of the distribution of water and energy and dealt a blow to the agricultural sector. A new government economic team in 1999 renewed efforts to reform, strengthen the civil service, and fight corruption. The IMF and the World Bank resumed aid to Kenya in mid-2000, but a series of failures in the economic reform agenda in late 2000 has left donors and private businesses feeling renewed concern about the government’s willingness to pursue prudent policies. Intractable problems are the shortage of electricity, the inefficiency of public administration in key sectors of the economy. See cheeroutdoor.com to know more about Kenya Business.
GDP: at purchasing power parity – $45.6 billion (2000 est.).
Real GDP growth rate: 0.4% (2000 est.).
GDP per capita: at purchasing power parity – $1,500 (2000 est.).
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 25%; industry: 13%; services: 62% (1999 est.).
Proportion of population below the poverty line: 42% (1992 est.).
Percentage distribution of family income or consumption: per 10% of the poorest families: 1.8%; by the top 10% of families: 34.9% (1994).
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 7% (2000 est.).
Labor force: 9.2 million people (1998 est.).
Employment structure: agriculture 75-80%.
Unemployment rate: 50% (1998 est.).
Budget: revenues: $2.91 billion; expenditures: $2.97 billion including capital expenditures – NA (2000 est.).
Economic sectors: small-scale production of consumer goods (plastic products, furniture, batteries, textiles, soap, cigarettes, flour), processing of agricultural products; oil refining, cement production; tourism.
Growth in industrial production: 0.5% (2000 est.).
Electricity generation: 4.225 billion kWh (1999)
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 31%; hydropower: 67%; nuclear fuel: 0%; others: 2% (1999 est.).
Electricity consumption: 4.075 billion kWh (1999).
Electricity export: 0 kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 146 million kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: coffee, tea, corn, wheat, sugar cane, fruits, vegetables; dairy products, beef, pork, poultry, egg.
Exports: $1.7 billion (free on board, 2000 est.)
Exports: tea, coffee, horticultural crops, oil products, fish, cement.
Export partners: Uganda 18%, UK 15%, Tanzania 12%, Pakistan 8% (1999).
Imports: $3 billion (free on board, 2000 est.)
Imports: machinery and transport equipment, petroleum products, iron and steel.
Import partners: UK 12%, UAE 8%, Japan 8%, US 7% (1999).
External debt: $6.2 billion (2000) Economic aid recipient: $457 million (1997)
Economic aid donor:
Currency: Kenyan shilling.
Currency code: KES.
Exchange rate: KES/USD – 78.733 (December 2000), 76.176 (1999), 70.326 (1999), 60.367 (1998), 58.732 (1997), 57.115 (1996).
Fiscal year: July 1-June 30.
Telecommunications Telephone lines: 290,000 (1998).
Mobile Cell Phones: 5,345 (1997).
Telephone system: unreliable; some modernization efforts are being made to serve the business; internal: trunk lines mainly use microwave radio relay; entrepreneurs use the very small aperture terminal (VSAT) system; international: satellite ground stations – 4 Intelsat.
Broadcast stations: AM – 24, FM -8, shortwave – 6 (1999).
Radio receivers: 3.07 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 8 (1997).
TVs: 730,000 (1997).
Internet country code: ke
Internet service providers: 5 (2000).
Number of users: 45,000 (1999).
Transport Railways: total length: 2,778 km; narrow gauge: 2,778 km (1,000 m gauge); note: the most important for the country is the branch that connects Nairobi with the port of Mombasa.
Roads: total: 63,800 km; coated: 8,868 km; unpaved: 54,932 km (1996 est.)
Waterways: part of Lake Victoria belongs to Kenya.
Pipelines: for oil products – 483 km.
Ports and harbors: Kisumu, Lamu, Mombasa.
Merchant fleet: total: 2 vessels (displacement 1,000 tons or more) with a total displacement of 4,893 gross register tons / 6,255 long tons of gross tonnage; ships of various types: oil tankers – 1, ferries – 1 (2000 est.).
Airports: 230 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 22; over 3,047 m: 4; from 2438 to 3047 m:1; from 1524 to 2437 m:3; from 914 to 1523 m: 13; less than 914 m: 1 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 208; from 2438 to 3047 m: 1; from 1,524 to 2,437 m: 14; from 914 to 1523 m: 109; less than 914 m: 84 (2000 est.).
Branches of the armed forces: army, navy, air force, paramilitary General Police Support Service.
Total military manpower: men 15 to 49: 7,712,402 (2001 est.).
Eligible for military service: men aged 15 to 49: 4,774,889 (2001 est.).
Number of persons reaching military age each year:
Military spending in dollar terms: $197 million (FY98-99).
Military spending as part of GDP: 1.9% (FY98-99)
International issues International disputes: the administrative border with Sudan does not coincide with the internationally recognized border.
Illicit drugs: small fields of hemp are cultivated everywhere; a transit point for heroin from South Asia on its way to Europe and North America, and for methaqualone from India on its way to South Africa.