President Ruto of Kenya Unveils Proposal for Privatization of 35 Companies

Cape Town — Kenya’s President William Ruto announced that the government has decided to privatise 35 state-owned companies that are operating inefficiently due to bureaucratic red tape, Al Jazeera reports.

In October 2023, the government changed the law to make it easier to sell state enterprises to private companies.

Kenya’s economy is facing many economic challenges, including high inflation, rising government debt due to loans from the IMF and the World Bank for infrastructure projects, as well as high food and fuel prices.

Kenyans have been under increasing pressure from the government with tax hikes proposed to bring an end to government lending.

The IMF reportedly approved a loan of close to U.S.$1 billion and urged reforms in public sector firms including the power company and Kenya Airways, which suffered record losses in 2022.

AllAfrica reports that Kenyans have been protesting at the rising cost of food and petrol prices in recent months – protests that were also fuelled by opposition party leader Raila Odinga’s cost of living protests in the run up to the presidential elections that was won by President William Ruto.

While the government has been forced to cut spending, including the cutting of trips by government officials and trimming its burgeoning debt, to among others the International Monetary Fund, an enormous burden has been placed on citizens by the government to pay additional taxes to ensure the completion of infrastructure projects in the country.

Another 100 companies will also be considered for privatisation in due course, the president said.

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