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Lagarde: Kenya on Africa's economic frontline

Jan 03 2014 18:00
Washington - International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde is set to visit Kenya from 5 - 8 January, a month after the final disbursement of a three-year $750m support loan for the country.

Lagarde will hold talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta and other political and society leaders.

The IMF has dubbed Kenya one of the continent's "frontier" economies, a low-income country that has been growing strongly for several years and is headed toward the more sustained "emerging market" stage.

The loan programme  had backed major restructuring of economic policies and strengthening of the government's financial position.

Moving forward

Lagarde said in a statement: "I'm very much looking forward to my visit to underline the fund's strong partnership with Kenya, one of the most dynamic economies in a region that has been a bright spot in the global economy.

"Kenya has emerged as one of Africa's 'frontier economies' and I'm very interested in learning how the country's leaders and people will build on this success moving forward."

The IMF's most recent projections forecast the country growing 6.2% in 2014, an increase from 5.9% in 2013 and 4.6% the year earlier.

The Fund praised the government's "strong commitment to fiscal discipline" in a statement on 2 December, marking the final disbursement of the loan.
"The external and fiscal positions are now stronger, high inflation has been tamed and the economy's resilience to shocks has been boosted.

"Improved policies have placed Kenya in a good position to tap the international financial markets."

However, it noted continued risks to the economy, urging continued work with the IMF to help manage the risks.

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christine lagarde  |  kenya  |  us  |  economy



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