Private Sector Development, Privatization, and Industrial Policy

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Kenya's Tourism : Polishing the Jewel

2010, World Bank

Kenya's tourism product lines and its source markets function in a cross-sectoral context, which leads to cross-cutting public and private sector issues. Tourism has played a major role in Kenya's development despite economic jolts from time-to-time by internal and external shocks. In 2006 and 2007 the economy grew rapidly and tourism, after a jolt in early 2008, rebounded thanks to market conditions and some solid marketing. The global recession, of course, has since intervened, and Kenya will have to continue with bold and committed actions if it is to regain its iconic position in world tourism. Value chain analysis of safari, coastal, and business and conference tourism highlights constraints and opportunities. Current tourism enterprises are hampered by significant taxation and regulation. Peaks and valleys in tourism flows have exacerbated already limited access to capital necessary for the sector to be competitive. The key to sustainability lies in Kenya's ability to provide a mix of tourism products -safari, coastal, cultural/heritage and business and conference - while protecting the very assets these products celebrate.

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Kenya : Growth and Competitiveness

2005-01, World Bank

The conclusions of the recently-conducted Kenya Investment Climate Assessment (ICA), based on a survey of 368 firms, have a bearing on the country's growth agenda. The results have a bearing on the key issue of labor productivity and its implications on firm performance, revealing that capital-intensity in Kenya was relatively high, compared to the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and also to firms in China and India, but also relatively less productive. Labor productivity in Kenya had not improved materially over the past decade or so, so that unit labor costs compared very unfavorably with those prevailing in Asian countries like India, China, Indonesia or Thailand. Major constraints to doing business cited by firms in the survey related to infrastructure, tax administration and corruption. On infrastructure, power supply was seen as the most problematic, on account of the high number of outages, compounded by high losses in transmission and distribution. 64 percent of firms reported damage to equipment on account of power outages or fluctuations valued at nearly $15,000 per firm per year. To cope with these outages 70 percent of firms had acquired generators, further adding to the cost of doing business. Road and rail services were reported by most firms as being of very poor quality, and nearly a quarter of firms reported having to spend their own resources to improve the quality of roads in surrounding areas. On corruption, three quarters of firms surveyed reported this as a problem, though only about half reported having to spend resources in terms of unofficial payments.