The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has urged the government to accelerate reforms that will increase efficiency and transparency in public spending.

IMF Resident Representative for Kenya, Mr. Jan Mikkelsen, cautioned that Kenya’s rising debt needs to be contained so as to shield the economy from unforeseen shocks. He was speaking at the Kara Quarterly Luncheon where he gave a key note address on the theme: The role of IMF towards achievement of inclusive and sustainable economic growth in Kenya. He also urged the government to give more attention to the education and health sectors as key drivers of development. “The government needs to promote investments in the education and health sectors and embrace social safety nets that improve the lives and livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable in the society” he said.

Mr. Mikkelsen challenged the government to enhance access to markets across the region by eliminating trade barriers and fostering partnership with the private sector. On the Government’s Big 4 agenda, the IMF boss pledged support to the government noting that effective implementation of the agenda will accelerate economic growth in Kenya. He however cautioned that the downside risk to Kenya’s economy could stem from fiscal slippages that could endanger macroeconomic stability, for instance, subdued credit growth to the private sector and negative spillovers from the global economy.

Kara Quarterly Luncheon is one of the platforms designed by Kara to provide an opportunity for direct engagement on topical issues between Kara members and key leaders in the society from the government, private sector, development partners, civil society among others. Other platforms include the Bimonthly Talk Series; Residents Dialogue Forum and Town Hall Forums