Kenya is losing its appeal. For the longest time now, Kenya has been the major economic hub of the region. Tanzania, which has stamped down hard on corruption, has risen to challenge that status quo by invoking the right policies to attract partners in infrastructural development projects within the region.
Projects like the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) arrangement with landlocked Rwanda and the construction of an oil pipeline running through Kenya to Uganda have all fallen through.
Yet this is not for any reason other than bad fiscal policies that are not in tandem with those of other countries in the region according to economic experts in Parliament.
Bad political decisions and a volatile political environment must have scared Rwanda and Uganda into reaching a working agreement with Tanzania, where the costs would be much cheaper, to build to a railway line and a pipeline to Rwanda and Uganda respectively. According to a report by the Parliamentary Budget Office, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo have also cut down on their imports from Kenya.
With a budget deficit of Sh689 billion and losing out on foreign earnings and lucrative deals, there is need for the country to re-examine its economic policies to attract more trading and development partners.