Monday, February 1, 2010


Yes there is! In countries where corruption is rife, you give in to corruption because you know you will get whatever it is you want, but here in Kenya, you could pay for it and pray for dear life that you get it.

That’s inefficient corruption.

These are the kind of insights that get me out of bed every last Saturday morning of the month.

But the Topic was not on Inefficient corruption:-).

Woflgang Fengler, who is the Lead Economist for the World Bank in Kenya was the main man at Aly Khan Satchu’s, :Mindspeak.The Business Club", this past Saturday. After quite a party on Friday Evening, I made it just in time for the short and sweet look at Kenya’s Economic Outlook for 2010.

It felt like I was in a Mini Davos, engaging with critical minds on the shape that the Kenyan economy is likely to take in 2010. ( I dare dream!)

Fengler’s presentation was great, straight to the point and very well researched. Being an economist for the World Bank is no mean feat.

It is a common notion that Agriculture is the backbone of the Kenyan economy, contributing 25 % of GDP and employing over 70% of the population. But the Service sector, according to Fengler contributes much higher to the GDP. This point raised quite some reaction from the audience, with some asking about the sustainability of the Services sector, being one that is somewhat intangible and averse to shocks both internally and externally, based on the nature of the sector itself.

That of course led to other questions about Vision 2030 and its focal areas. Fengler projected that Agriculture and Tourism may reduce their contribution to the economy, as urbanization drives the populace from the farms. Concerted efforts and good strategies by the government can however drive the sectors forward.

Interesting observations: One young man asked if Piracy was included in the economic outlook for 2010. We laughed about it, but it is not funny how much Piracy is entrenched into the economy, just talk a walk down river road, or please do try finding an original DVD in your house. Original does not mean one that has an ink stained stamp” Original.” This form of economic contributors falls under “others”.

Other topics raised at the Silverbird theatre included lessons learnt from the Global financial crisis, Capitalism, free markets, Investment, Innovation, and other economic issues.

Tell me, isn’t this what was being talked about in Davos?


  1. It exists....inefficient corruption that is. You think you are paying the extra award and you still have to wait for the outcome to be the service you'd normally have to get anyway....;-)

  2. I laughed about it...but it's true..I just found it a sufficient title for the story, though Fengler's Presentation was on the Kenyan economy, and not on corruption, Thanks for dropping by.

  3. Interesting take....we are feeling the full effects of corruption down here in South Africa. The question about piracy was quite poignant, I think,...given Kenya's focus on IP driven industries (like BPO etc). One would have hoped the discussion "double clicked" on that topic..Thanks for keeping us stimulated with tales from the coalface..

  4. nice talk, shame i missed it. though some have argues that about good corruption or mild corruption being acceptable, i disagree. i'd argue that in kenya,where corruption occurs, people get the service (rarely is it withheld)