Kenya slips in World Economic Forum table

BY: OLIVER MATHENGE

KENYA has dropped three places to the ninth most competitive economy in Sub-Saharan Africa in new rankings by the World Economic Forum. In Global Competitiveness Report 2015-2016 released yesterday, Kenya has a score of 3.9 out of seven, placing it second in East Africa after Rwanda. Globally Kenya has dropped from position 90 in the 2014-2015 ranking to 99 in the latest table.

Mauritius, South Africa and Rwanda top the table as the three most competitive economies in Sub-Saharan Africa and are among the top 60 in the world.

The report lists corruption, access to financing, tax rates, inadequate supply of infrastructure and inefficient government bureaucracy as the most problematic factors in doing business in Kenya.

Kenya scores highest in health and primary education; labour market efficiency; financial market development; business sophistication and goods market efficiency.

The country scores lowest in technological readiness with use of ICT getting a score of 1.8 out of 7; and infrastructure especially railway transport and electricity.

Kenya is currently constructing the Standard Gauge Railway and has been working on increasing power generation in the country.

Still on infrastructure, the report however gives Kenya a thumbs up on quality of port infrastructure and that of road and air transport.

It lists insecurity, corruption and undue influence as the factors that are affecting efficiency in public institutions thus affecting Kenya’s competitiveness.

The report gives Kenya a negative score on government budget balance and gross national savings as a percentage of the country’s GDP.

The report says that while the Sub-Saharan Africa economy continues to grow close to 5 per cent, competitiveness and productivity remain low.

Switzerland, Singapore and the United States have retained the top three positions for the second year running. The report measures factors and policies put in place by countries, necessary to ensure prosperity of its citizens.

These range from basic requirements that include institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, and health and primary education.