A new report by the International Monetary Fund has ranked Kenya as the third-largest economy in Sub Saharan Africa.
Kenya climbed to second in the latest rankings overtaking Angola while Nigeria and South Africa took the first and second spots as the largest African economies respectively.
IMF compares Kenya to Angola, where it cites a report by Bloomberg which showed that Angola’s economy has been on the decline since 2016 due to reduced oil production making their currency lose strength against the Kenyan shilling.
In 2016, Angola’s currency devalued but the Kenya Shillings held steady during the year. Projections also show that Angola’s economy might contract by 1.4 percent in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic while Kenya’s might increase by one percent.
IMF however notes that most countries are likely to go for emergency funding to counter the Covid-19 pandemic. The Fund said that in a period of ten weeks, 66 countries have been supported by emergency financing totaling up to 23.5 billion dollars.
“As of 3rd June, between 35 and 40 sub-Saharan African countries have made a request for emergency financing assistance from the IMF, and 27 countries so far have received financing from the fund. They have received it for a total of about 10 billion dollars, ”IMF said.
The 10 billion dollars is 10 times more than what IMF been disbursed to the Sub-Saharan region has already been disbursed to the countries without conditionality.
In May, Kenya was among the beneficiaries of a Rapid Credit Facility (RCF)which IMF approved and gave the East African economy 739 million dollars.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has delivered a large economic shock to Kenya. The Pandemic has impacted nearly all facets of the economy -particularly tourism, transport, and trade -and led to an urgent balance of payments and fiscal financing needs, IMF said.
IMF said the emergency financing under the RCF will deliver liquidity support to help Kenya cover its balance of payment gap this year. “It will provide much-needed resources for fiscal interventions to safeguard public health and support households and firms affected by the crisis.”