There has been a lot of negative coverage about the forthcoming gen elections in Kenya on 9th August 2022.
The Economist's article below a few months back is typical:
It fairly cites a lack of a viable choice and focuses on the cynicism of Kenyan politics; Where politicians change allegiances and political parties - usually one-election vehicles for whatever frontrunner is in current fashion - more often than they change their expensive imported Versace and Armani suits; Of which they can easily afford a warehouse-load on a Kenyan politician's ludicrously-inflated salary when compared to even those in the most powerful countries in the west.
Sure, the curse of tribal politics is nowhere more visible than in Kenya on the continent. A curse that always comes at the cost of actual viable social and economic policies that are almost an afterthought and hard to discern between the two current frontrunners - Raila Odinga and William Ruto:
Both candidates aspire to "bottom-up economics", whatever that actually means, and a vague promise of subsidies on fertilisers. Ultimately they both inspire nothing more than apathy in the Kenyan electorate.
But that is missing a trick.
The supply-side mayhem caused by pandemic and war and that sparked a bout of global inflation for the first time in a generation; Whether transitory or not, what is certain is that it is a dry-run for the persistent and much higher inflation or even stagflation we were always likely to face later in the decade.
An edited version of this article appeared in the Opinions and Analysis section of Business Day (South Africa) on 23/12/2021: https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/2021-12-23-george-philipas-infrastructure-spending-in-africa-is-at-a-crossroads/
The pandemic has certainly not been kind to investment prospects in Africa. Lead by a slowdown in infrastructure investment from China, foreign direct investment (FDI), already heading south before the onset of the pandemic, fell by 18% in 2020. More ominously, greenfield investment, investment in new projects, fell precipitously by 63% according to the Global Investment Trends Monitor released by UNCTAD in Jan 2021, the largest regional fall on the globe last year. The proverbial onslaught culminated with the announcement earlier this month at the recent Forum of China-Africa Cooperation conference (FOCAC) in Dakar, Senegal that plots Sino-African relations for the next three years, of a vertical drop in investment from China from US$ 60 billion to US$40 billion.