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Kenya’s economy grew by 5.6 per cent last year, slightly faster than the 5.3 per cent growth recorded in 2014, helped by swifter expansion in agriculture, construction and real estate sectors, the statistics office said on Tuesday.

Agriculture, which contributes nearly a quarter of Kenya’s economic output, grew 5.6 per cent in 2015 from 3.5 per cent the previous year, Zachary Mwangi, the director general of the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, told a news briefing.

“This was partly influenced by abundant rainfall characterised by the el Nino weather phenomenon,” he said.

Kenya relies heavily on exports of tea and coffee, as well horticultural produce, such as cut flowers.

Several other economic sectors also expanded except tourism, which continued to bear the brunt of worries about security after a spate of attacks in the past two years or more by Islamist militants, Mwangi said.

Tourism earnings for 2015 were down by 3 per cent to $837.6 million (Ksh84.6 billion) as international visitor arrivals dropped 12 per cent to 1.35 million.

The manufacturing sector jumped 3.5 per cent raising its share of GDP to 10.3 per cent driven by lower energy prices.

In the East Africa, Tanzania’s economy soared with a 6.9 per cent growth, followed by Rwanda at 6.5 per cent. Uganda recorded a GDP growth of 5.2 per cent while Burundi’s economy contracted 7.2 per cent bogged down by political crisis that has seen more than 400 killed and 270,000 fleeing the country.

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