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"Kenya can become the leading country in East Africa."

Economist Pedro Mendi presented the first study of innovation in Kenya during the II Week of development of the University of Navarra.

06/06/13 12:21 Isabel Teixeira da Mota
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"The Kenyan Economics can become the leading Economics in the East African community if the country's government conducts a clear policy of removing bureaucratic barriers to business growth and export." So says economist Pedro Mendi, of the University of Navarra's development Center, who led the first innovation survey in Kenya.

This is the first knowledge study of innovation activities in Kenya, conducted on more than three hundred companies in all sectors, at partnership with Strathmore Business School and World Bank funding.

Although the results indicate that the percentages of companies that innovate are very similar to those in Europe, "there is a lack of policies that favor the introduction of new products and new processes that would make Kenyan companies more efficient, with gains in productivity and a consequent increase in per capita income," according to the author.

The study indicates that larger companies with more employees are more likely to innovate, both to introduce new products and new processes; likewise, companies that export are more likely to innovate, especially to introduce new products, but only one third of the companies studied are exporters.

The main barriers to innovation are "lack of access to finance and lack of skill," she says. The research concludes that, given that the largest companies are the ones that innovate the most, it is necessary to eliminate barriers to company growth and exports, and to simplify bureaucratic processes. Pedro Mendi also stresses that "infrastructures and policies must be improved at skill: eliminate cartels and fight corruption".

Pedro Mendi believes that Kenya has the opportunity to become the leading country in the East African community and reach goal of being an income country average by 2030. "Kenya has a Economics more integrated with the rest of the world than the other countries around it, and it is growing," he says.

Study puts price tag on conflict in Kenya

  Laura Guibert Lacasa, assistant at research of the Center for International development (CDI) of the University of Navarra, has developed a study on the economic costs of the post-election violence suffered in Kenya during the 2007 elections.

Applying economic models supported by professionals from Harvard University and partnership of the Bank of Spain, he has compared the economic evolution of Kenya "without post-election violence" (model controlled) with the actual experience of the country and found that during the period 2007-2011, GDP per capita fell by an average of $70 per year, equivalent to about 5% of the level of reference letter in 2007. In 2009, GDP per capita in today's Kenya is estimated to be about 6% less than in the controlled model .

Some results of Laura Guibert's study were already presented at the University of Oxford last March. During these days, Guibert is presenting them in the Navarrese capital within the program of the II Week of development. This session, along with other researchers and experts from around the world, will have as goal to discuss the challenges in the development of the diary of development Post 2015, an initiative promoted by the United Nations.

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