Kenya emerges stronger from covid setbacks to post 7.5pc growth

Kenya’s gross domestic product expanded 7.5% last year on account of relaxed COVID-19 containment measures and improved vaccination which brought normalcy in key sectors of the economy.

Latest data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) indicated that the economy rebounded strongly in 2021 after contracting by 0.3% in 2020 on account of coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Economic Survey 2022, Construction sector grew by 6.6% last year compared to 10.1% in 2020. This was supported by construction boom especially in public sector infrastructure which subsequently saw cement consumption increase 23% to 9.1 million tonnes in 2021.

Similarly, total length of paved and national roads increased by 2.3% to 21,800km in 2021

On the other hand, output in the manufacturing sector was up 6.9% compared to – 0.4% growth recorded in 2020.

Total sales to EPZ increased by 21.5% to Kshs. 98.7 billion in 2021 as the number of persons in formal manufacturing employment increased by 6.7% to 338,000.

However, the agriculture sector recorded a negative growth of -0.2% in 2021 on account of suppressed growth in tea, coffee, maize and wheat subsectors despite positive growth recorded in sugarcane, rice and cut flower.

“The observed performance was attributed to erratic and poorly distributed long rains as well as inadequate short rains,” said KNBS.

Aggregate maize production decreased from 42.1 million bags in 2020 to 36.7 million bags in 2021 while coffee production also declined 6%, from 36, 900 2019/20 to
34, 500 tonnes in 2020/21 crop year.

Tea production declined by 5.6 per cent from 569, 500 tonnes in 2020 to 537,800 in 2021,
due to unfavourable weather conditions.

While there was a general decline in unemployment, wage employment recorded a growth of 6% as 926, 100 jobs were created.

Modern sector accounted for 1172, 300 of total jobs created while informal sector was responsible for 753, 800 new jobs.

KNBS says international trade value of exports improved from Kshs. 643.7 billion in 2020, to Kshs. 743.7 billion in 2021 as the value of imports increased from Kshs. 1.6 trillion  in 2020, to Kshs. 2.2 trillion last year.


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