NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 6.3 percent in
2018, compared to a 4.9 percent growth in 2017, a senior
government official said on Thursday.
cabinet secretary in the National Treasury, told journalists in
Nairobi that the growth was driven by expansion of the
agricultural, manufacturing and services sectors.
"In 2018, the agricultural sector excluding the fisheries and
forestry subsectors grew by 6.6 percent, up from 1.8 percent the
previous year largely to favorable weather conditions," Rotich
said during the release of the annual publication Economic
Survey 2019 compiled by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics
According to the Economic Survey 2019, most of the key
agricultural products experienced expanded production including
tea, sugar and wheat whose production rose by 12.1 percent, 10.7
percent and 103.8 percent respectively in 2018.
According to the study, the manufacturing sector’s growth
stood at 4.2 percent in 2018 from a rise of 0.5 percent in 2017
on account of increase in production of dairy products, tea,
coffee and sugar due to favorable weather conditions.
The findings also show that during the period under review,
installed electricity generation capacity grew from 2,340 MW in
2017 to 2,711 MW in 2018 due to the injection of wind and solar
power plants into the national grid.
The review also indicated that titanium ore production went
up by 7.1 percent to 597,736 tons in 2018 and while soda ash
output hit 339,025 tons in 2018, translating to a 9 percent
increase over the previous year.
Kenya pledges adoption of
new technologies to boost tourism revenues
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya will scale up adoption of emerging
technologies like block chains, artificial intelligence, big
data and drones to boost competitiveness of the tourism sector,
officials said on Thursday.
Jonah Orumoi, managing director of Tourism Finance
Corporation (TFC), said the government will create a conducive
policy and regulatory environment to facilitate uptake of
disruptive technologies in travel and hospitality industries.
"The tourism sector is very critical to this country’s
economy and we have intensified efforts to leverage on emerging
technologies to ensure it is more competitive, profitable and
resilient," said Orumoi.
He spoke during the Africa Tourism Technology and Innovation
Forum held in Nairobi that was attended by policymakers,
investors, scholars and innovators.
Kenya hosted the first ever tourism and technology innovation
forum in the eastern African region amid efforts to
revolutionize a sector that contributes an estimated 15 percent
to the country’s GDP.
Orumoi said that adoption of disruptive technologies is key
to revitalize growth of the travel and hospitality sectors amid
fierce competition from other destinations in sub-Saharan
"By harnessing cutting edge technologies, we will be able to
market our destinations to a larger clientele base and enhance
bookings," said Orumoi.
"The use of big data in particular will help players in the
tourism industry understand changing consumer preferences," said
He said the government has partnered with investors and
innovators to develop technological solutions that can market
unexplored scenic attractions like archaeological sites.
Fred Kaigua, chief executive officer of Kenya Association of
Tour Operators (KATO), said investors are keen to tap into new
technologies and innovations to boost their revenue streams.
"The tourism sector players are keen to harness opportunities
provided by the expanding digital footprint in the country to
attract millennial clients who have disposable income," said
Expert decries declining
intra-East African trade
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
An expert on Friday decried the declining
intra-East African Community (EAC) trade.
Anthony Mveyange, director of research at TradeMark East
Africa (TMEA) told Xinhua in Nairobi that cross border trade has
been reducing despite the liberalization of trade among member
"We are working closely with member states of the EAC to
ensure the trend of declining intra-regional trade is reserved,"
Mveyange said during a forum on the African Continental Free
The EAC consists of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi
and South Sudan.
Mveyange said that Kenya was traditionally the source of
manufactured goods in the region but other member states have
now developed their own industrial bases.
He revealed that the economic bloc has put in place a common
external tariff that seeks to promote trade amongst the member
He observed that while intra-EAC trade is declining, imports
and exports from the region to the rest of the world are
Mveyange said that one of the ways to boost cross border
trade is through value addition of commodities produced locally,
noting that trade in services such as tourism could help to spur
more intra-EAC trade.
He observed that political will from national governments
will be required to ensure intra-regional trade is expanding.