Kenya’s economic growth slowed to 5.4% in 2019: Finance minister

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Kenya’s economy grew by 5.4% in 2019, down from 6.3% the previous year, partly because of a slowdown in the agricultural, manufacturing and construction sectors, finance minister Ukur Yatani said on Tuesday.

Agriculture grew by 3.6% in 2019, compared with 6% in 2018, hit by drought and then excess rain in the East African nation, Yatani told reporters.

The finance minister said that manufacturing also declined, growing by 3.2% in 2019 against 4.3% the previous year. The construction sector grew by 6.4%, down from 6.9% in 2018.

Kenya’s diversified economy is not dependent on a single commodity or sector and has achieved rapid growth over the past few years, but critics have argued that it has struggled to lift many citizens out of poverty.

The telecoms sector grew by 8.8% in 2019, down from 11.3% in 2018, Yatani added.