With the General Election just three weeks away, Kenya has been ranked the second worst country in the world to invest in as per a new report released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
According to the report, Kenya is only better than Colombia in terms of political uncertainty that makes investors shy off from channeling billions for economic development.
This is because of the political heat that is currently being witnessed in the country ahead of the polls that will see Kenyans electing President Uhuru Kenyatta’s successor, with Deputy President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga the frontrunners in the race.
Opinion polls have shown that Mr Odinga and Dr Ruto are in a dead heat, with neither likely to garner 50 per cent plus one of the votes cast required for an outright victory in round one.
According to the report compiled by World Uncertainty Index (WUI), which measures economic and political uncertainty in various countries, economic and political uncertainty in Kenya has risen sharply by 84 per cent.
“A research that was done by WUI to measure economic and political uncertainty among 143 countries that represent 99 per cent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), showed that political uncertainty in Kenya is so high,” read the report.
Electioneering period is one of the main causes of uncertainty in the county with investors fearing an outbreak of ethnic lashes as was the case after the 2007 elections.
Another issue that is of concern to investors in the election process as was reflected in the 2017 General Elections, whose presidential results were nullified by the Supreme Court, leading to repeat elections. As such, some investors held back their purse strings to see what happens after the polls.
On the other hand, Covid-19 pandemic was also highlighted as a source of uncertainty in the country, with the index rising to 0.452 in the second quarter when the country recorded its first Covid-19 case.