Kenya's Rise

by Developed Africa 1. May 2014 09:00

Following Nigeria’s ascent to the largest economy in Africa after a rebasing of its economy, Kenya is doing the same, and it appears that after the rebasing its GDP will rise by 2 0 percent, moving it up to the status of a “middle-income” country. Again, as with Nigeria, it will take a while before the increase is properly announced, but by September, Kenya will be ranked as middle-income and will have a much higher ranking GDP.

The new economic data is expected to cement Kenya's position as East Africa's largest economy and Africa's fourth-largest economy after South Africa, Nigeria, and Angola."

However, it would appear that investors are a little cautious in terms of the rebasing. The chairman of the Kenyan Chamber of Commerce is wary of what the new statistics will do for the country, he is acutely aware of the way in which it will affect the special treatment they are given for being a developing country.

Kenya's products will now be required to compete on the same terms with those from highly developed economies."

And this is a valid point, whilst there may be no real change, the change in status will affect the way in which international investors and other countries will deal with Kenya.

This again brings into question what the real meaning of a rebasing is. If there is no real change in the actual workings of the country’s economy, it just hasn’t been recognised properly, does that improve its situation or just put a better label on a still not fully formed product.

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