3 things World Bank says will fast-track Kenya’s economic growth

3 things World Bank says will fast-track Kenya’s economic growth
  1. Improving conditions for people and business in Kenya

Improving conditions for people and businesses in Kenya’s cities by aggressively investing in infrastructure and reforming land markets is the key to fast-tracking economic growth, job creation and improving city competitiveness, the World Bank has said.

A report by the global lender dubbed ‘Africa’s Cities: Opening Doors to the World’ states that for Kenya to grow economically, it must open its doors and connect to the world.

  1. Formalize land markets

“The first priority is to formalize land markets, clarify property rights, and institute effective urban planning that allows land to be brought together,” read the report in part. “The second priority is to make early and coordinated infrastructure investments that allow for interlinkages among housing, infrastructure, commercial, and industrial development.”

Read also: Good governance key for country’s economic growth, World Bank says ahead of August elections

World Bank Vice President for Africa, Makhtar Diop said Kenya needs to have more affordable, connected and liveable cities, a move he says will improve the economy and grow social dividends from urbanization.

The report notes that Africa is urbanizing at as incomes grow at slower rates than other developing regions with similar urbanization levels.

Rapid urbanization, coupled with lower incomes has meant that capital investment in African cities has remained relatively low in the region for the past four decades.

  1. Investing in Infrastructure

The report emphasizes that investments in African cities’ infrastructure, industrial, and commercial structures have not kept pace with concentration of people, nor have investments in affordable formal housing.

The analysis adds that the potential for coordinated investments in infrastructure, residential, and commercial structures is great and has the potential to connect people with jobs.

Read Also: IMF wants state to abolish the law on capping interest saying the law signed by President Kenyatta will weigh down economic growth

It has also emerged that city dwellers pay around 35% more for food in Africa than in low-income and middle-income countries elsewhere. Overall, urban households pay 20 to 31% more for goods and services in African countries than in other developing countries at similar income levels.

In addition, urban workers in Africa are also forced to pay high commuting costs, or they cannot afford to commute by the vehicle at all, and the informal minibus systems are far from cost efficient, leaving many to have to walk to work limiting these residents’ access to jobs.

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