Kenya among top countries in competitiveness

Kenya Investment Authority Managing Director Moses Ikiara.
Kenya’s improvement in the quality of business and investment environment continues to be recognised in various forums.

While the country’s unprecedented rise in the ranking under the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business (from 136 globally in 2014 to 61 currently) is well known, its strong ranking in the global competitiveness index is less appreciated.

The Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), an initiative of the World Economic Forum (WEF) that assesses the landscape of select economies across the globe, ranks Kenya seventh among the most competitive in Africa.

In the latest report, Kenya was ranked position 93 globally behind African peers Mauritius (49), South Africa (67), Morocco (75), Tunisia (87), Botswana (90), and Algeria (92).

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The index provides insight into drivers of productivity and prosperity of the economies.

It consists of indicators derived from WEF’s Executive Opinion Survey conducted at national level by the forum’s network of partner institutes, and published data on various aspects of the economy.

In total, there are 12 pillars and 98 specific indicators that make up the index.

The pillars in which Kenya performed best included labour market in which the country ranked 60th globally, business dynamism (63) and institutions (64).

The pillars and the specific indicators in which the country ranked dismally were infrastructure, ICT adoption, macro-economic stability and health.

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These are pillars that should receive greatest and urgent attention in terms of enhancing public awareness on the progress the country has made and also in terms of actual reforms and remedial investment.

“Global indices give informed insights on the business climate as well as a country’s livability and are thus regarded highly by investors scouting for new investment destinations,” KenInvest Managing Director Moses Ikiara told Weekend Business on Friday.

“Countries that rank better in these reports appear attractive to investors and appeal more as potentially great foreign direct investment hosts.”

WEF used a new methodology in the October 2018 edition to include elements that determine productivity.

Of the 98 indicators (down from 114 previously), 34 were retained from the previous methodology while the other 64 indicators are new.

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The new methodology was applied on the 2017 data, thereby resulting in a revised ranking for 2017 besides the ranking for 2018.

The ranking for Kenya remained the same between 2017 and 2018.

The Global Competitiveness Survey for 2019 kicked off in January and will continue until end of March.

In Kenya, the survey is being conducted by the Institute for Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Nairobi on behalf of WEF.

KenInvest, National Productivity and Competitiveness Centre and IDS will hold several consultative meetings in the country with public and private sector agencies to enhance awareness of the survey and dialogue on imperatives for the country.

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World BankKenyaWorld Economic ForumGlobal Competitiveness IndexCompetitive