Kenya among 100 most competitive nations – report


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NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 4 –Kenya is now among the 100 most competitive nations in the world according to the World Economic Forum.

The Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014 released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Wednesday confirms that Kenya has edged up 10 slots in the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) rankings.

Kenya managed to score the most improved African and sub-Sahara country on the GCI top 100 rankings.

At position 31, Kenya’s economy scored well on the back of support from the well-developed financial markets by international standards.

Kenya, also scored well on its innovative capacity and is ranked at position 46 buoyed by high company spending on research and development and good scientific research institutions that collaborate well with the business sector in research activities.

According to the report highlights, Kenya’s advances on the GCI ladder was largely on the back of greater confidence in the institutions indicator.

On this particular indicator which tests a country’s investor protection positioning Kenya is now ranked at position 88.

The GCI score is one of the three major dimensions that are relied upon to evaluate Kenya’s Vision 2030 progress.

Welcoming the report, Vision 2030 Delivery Board Chairman James Mwangi, described Kenya’s global competitiveness comeback as a positive affirmation of the ongoing efforts to transform the country.

Through a string of institutional and policy reforms enshrined in the new Constitution and related Acts of Parliament, Mwangi noted that the country is now on a national development recovery path.

He said that recent efforts to step up the reforms agenda across the economic, social and political fronts will also help solidify Kenya’s GCI ranking next year as a number of on-going flagship projects begin to bear fruits.

“The Vision 2030 Delivery Board is confident that projects such as the stringent implementation of our new constitution, construction of the Standard Gauge Railway line, JKIA upgrades and related infrastructural developments at the Port of Mombasa, will further serve to enhance our global competitiveness,” Mwangi said.

On his part, Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat Director General, Mugo Kibati, said the independently evaluated report had served to pass a valid verdict on Kenya’s development agenda.

“The overarching goal of Kenya Vision 2030 is to transform the country into a globally competitive and prosperous nation with a high quality of life for its citizens by the year 2030,” Kibati said. He added; “This goal entails three main dimensions: National Prosperity, a High Quality of Life and Global Competitiveness as affirmed in the Global Competitiveness Report.”

Kibati noted that since 2003 when Kenya started participating in the GCI rankings, the ranking had been progressively declining from position 83 in 2003 to number 106 in 2012 among the 142 participating countries.

“Today, I am excited and glad to note that in line with the overall goals and spirit of vision 2030, Kenya’s global competitiveness is now on a growth trajectory, effectively confirming that Vision 2030 is progressive,” Kibati said.

He said that as the country takes stock of the report details, it cannot afford to be complacent by slowing down on the pace of reforms.

On the flipside, a number of factors are holding back Kenya’s overall competitiveness.

Health remains an area of serious concern (121st), with a high prevalence of communicable diseases contributing to the low life expectancy of fewer than 58 years and reducing the productivity of the workforce.

The security situation in Kenya also remains worrisome (131st).

On a continental scale, the report notes that the sub-Saharan Africa region continues to underperform significantly in providing health and basic education.

The region’s poor performance across all basic requirements for competitiveness however stands in stark contrast to its comparatively stronger performance in market efficiency, where particularly the region’s middle-income economies such as Kenya, South Africa and Mauritius fare relatively well and rank in the top 20 percent in financial market

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