Growth & Election Outlook

Of the 82 countries for which we are game enough to make a forecast for GDP in 2050, Kenya is the one that we expect to show the fastest growth: its real GDP in 2050 should be seven times larger than it is today (at the other end of the list is Italy, where we think real GDP will only be 18% higher). Fast population growth, a modest improvement in the business environment, urbanisation and fast-growing neighbours all contribute to the long-term good news story (with climate change posing the largest downside risk).

In the more immediate term, Kenyans will be electing a president on August 8th, and we expect the incumbent, Uhuru Kenyatta, to be re-elected, albeit by a smaller margin than he achieved last time. Elections in Kenya have sometimes acted as a catalyst for social pressures to come to the surface, most notably in 2007, when there was substantial post-election violence. However, the 2013 race, featuring the same two main candidates as this time, was peaceful. Tensions are rising in the lead-up to the poll, including some disputes over ballot papers, but for now we are expecting a fairly smooth election period.

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