Kenya's 2022 GDP growth forecast flat at 6.6% - finance ministry

The COVID-19 pandemic ravaged key sectors like tourism

  
The Nairobi skyline is seen in the background as a zebra walks through the Nairobi National Park, near Nairobi, Kenya, December 3, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

The Nairobi skyline is seen in the background as a zebra walks through the Nairobi National Park, near Nairobi, Kenya, December 3, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

NAIROBI- Kenya's economy is expected to grow by 6.6% in 2022, unchanged from this year's projection, the finance ministry said, with the main risks being the COVID-19 pandemic and political activity ahead of an August general election.

The East African country, whose economy is still reeling from the impact of the coronavirus like others around the world, is bringing its budget-making timetable forward because of a general election due next August. The budget will be presented in March instead of the usual date in June.

"We expect 2022 being an election year, heightened political activities especially in the fourth quarter of 2021 which are likely to erode investor confidence and affect projected growth," the ministry said in a document seen by Reuters on Thursday.

The COVID-19 pandemic ravaged key sectors like tourism and cut the government's revenue collection last year, sending economic growth down to an estimated 0.6%.

Recovery has started this year but the pace could be curbed by a shortage of COVID-19 vaccines and new waves of infections, driven by the highly infectious Delta variant. 

"The emergence of new COVID-19 variants could lead to reinstatement of containment measures thereby disrupting economic activities," the ministry said.

(Reporting by George Obulutsa Editing by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Jon Boyle and Emelia Sithole-Matarise) ((george.obulutsa@thomsonreuters.com; Tel: +254 20 499 1234; Reuters Messaging: george.obulutsa.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))


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