Experts on Wednesday projected that Kenya’s economy will grow by 4.9 percent in 2021 following the tactical easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
John Gachora, the managing director of the Kenya-based regional bank NCBA Group, said during a virtual meeting that the economy is estimated to have contracted in 2020 following a hard and broad-based hit on output in the second and third quarters due to the pandemic.
“However, looking ahead, there is a reason to be optimistic, the phased reopening of the economy has seen a return of about 80 percent of activity as consumer and labor mobility improves and supply chains are restored,” said Gachora during the release of its latest economic outlook.
NCBA Group operates in five countries of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ivory Coast.
Gachora said that economic recovery will require bold, innovative and extraordinary actions on the part of policymakers.
“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to upend our lives, businesses and economies in unprecedented ways with profound and far-reaching implications for the way we live and do things,” he noted, while urging the government to focus on health with priority on a quick rollout of vaccinations that should help enhance broader economic confidence.
Gachora said that the 57 billion shillings (520 million U.S. dollars) post COVID-19 Economic Stimulus has helped restore activity in some sectors especially construction and minimized the negative effects on others, with positive gross domestic product (GDP) spillovers.
“To further repair the damages from the pandemic and avert a prolonged economic descent, it is essential that the Economic Recovery Strategy as proposed tactfully addresses the ‘lives versus livelihoods’ dilemma,” said Gachora, calling for more efficiency in domestic resource mobilization as well as debt management.