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Kenya counts on $28 billion budget to achieve recovery

Kenya counts on $28 billion budget to achieve recovery
Kenya's Cabinet Secretary at the Ministry of Finance, Ukur Yatani, holds up a briefcase containing the Government's Budget for the 2022/23 fiscal year.   -  
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SIMON MAINA/AFP or licensors


Kenya's finance ministry unveiled on Thursday the Government's budget for the 2022/23 fiscal year aimed at reviving the economy. The budget still awaits Parliament's approval.

Ukur Yatani presented Thursday a $28 billion budget aimed at reviving an economy undermined by the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 2022-2023 budget, announced four months before national elections, also includes billions of dollars in infrastructure projects driven by outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta, mostly funded by China.

The budget aims "to put the economy back on a more sustainable growth path," Treasury Secretary Ukur Yatani told parliament.

According to him, the Kenyan economy is expected to grow by 6% this year, compared to 7.6% the previous year. In 2020, GDP fell by 0.3 per cent, the first decline since 1992.

The 3.3 trillion shillings ($28 billion) budget illustrates the dilemma facing the government: increase Kenyans' purchasing power or replenish the government's coffers by raising taxes.

Mr. Yatani plans to reduce the deficit to 6.2 per cent of gdP, down from 7.5 per cent last year. If the budget is approved by parliament, the government will also spend 146 billion shillings ($1.27 billion or 1.1 billion euros) on the "Big Four" program, which sets four priorities for the country: health, housing, food security and industrial development.

Kenya has been hit hard by the global coronavirus pandemic, which has reduced revenues from tourism, one of the engines of the economy.

By 2020, more than 700,000 people have lost their jobs and Kenyans are still facing high prices for basic consumer goods such as food and fuel, while drought has hit several parts of the country.

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