NAIROBI: THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission to Kenya has concluded its tour by giving a positive rating of the country’s economic outlook.
Mauro Mecagni, who led the IMF mission to the country, said that Kenya’s economy had continued to grow with a pick-up in credit to the manufacturing sector and renewed foreign investor interest, notably in the extractive industries.
“Inflation remains within the central bank’s target band, reflecting the implementation of sound monetary policy, and has contributed to the stability of the country’s currency,” said Mecagni.
He mentioned the success of the country’s inaugural sovereign bond.
“Following a successful sovereign bond issue, international reserves have reached a level of more than five months of import coverage.
“Kenya’s expanding financial sector remains robust, and the ongoing process of financial inclusion has opened up the possibility of extending credit at more affordable rates to small and medium-sized enterprises,” he said.
He added that efforts to develop Nairobi into a regional hub for financial services had advanced with the strengthening of the Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism framework and Kenya’s recent graduation from the Financial Action Task Force’s monitoring process.
Mecagni nonetheless pointed out the challenges facing the country’s economy.
“At the same time, the economy faces some challenges, notably low rainfall and security-related concerns that have affected tourism,” he said.
The delegation emphasized on a number of recommendations which echo what the IMF Director pointed out when she visited the country earlier in the year. Among their sentiments include safeguarding devolution, the EA Monetary Union Protocol and institutional reform’s impact on sustainable growth.
SOURCE: CAJ NEWS AGENCY