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Kenya COVID-19 Vax Program, Services Could Spur Economic Surge

Amid an increased focus on COVID-19 vaccination and a recovering services industry, Kenya anticipates that its economy will bounce back strong in 2021, up 6.6 percent this year after a growth of 0.6 percent in 2020.

The projected growth would be Kenya’s highest in at least a decade, according to the International Monetary Fund, per a Thursday (August 5) Bloomberg report.

“Our economy will rebound to above 6% over the medium term,” said Treasury Secretary Ukur Yatani said on Thursday in Nairobi.

Read More: Kenya Forecasts Economy to Expand at Fastest Pace in a Decade

Yatani added that Kenya’s economic growth is reliant on “the progress of the vaccination effort, macroeconomic stability and implementation of the projects” focused on improving the country’s healthcare, housing, manufacturing and food security.

Kenyan officials ordered at least 13 million Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccination shots. Those doses are expected to start arriving this month.

The lifting of travel restrictions should provide a boon to Kenya’s hotels, restaurants and travel sectors. The total number of hotel workers is at about 62 percent of pre-pandemic levels as of July, per a survey conducted by the country’s central bank.

Read Next: IMF Boosts 2021 Global Growth Forecast To 6 Percent

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised its forecast for global growth in 2021 to 6 percent in the April edition of its World Economic Outlook, an increase of 0.5 percentage points from the 5.5 percent growth forecast issued in January.

In April, the IMF lifted its forecast for global growth in 2022 from 4.2 percent to 4.4 percent year over year. The IMF typically publishes this report once in the spring and once again in the fall.

“The upward revision reflects additional fiscal support in a few large economies, the anticipated vaccine-powered recovery in the second half of 2021, and continued adaptation of economic activity to subdued mobility,” IMF officials wrote on the organization’s website.

“The outlook depends not just on the outcome of the battle between the virus and vaccines — it also hinges on how effectively economic policies deployed under high uncertainty can limit lasting damage from this unprecedented crisis,” according to materials accompanying the report.

In the IMF report, U.S. growth is predicted to hit 6.4 percent in 2021 and 3.6 percent in 2022, matched for 2021 among developed countries only by Spain.

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