Makerere-trained economist who transformed Kenya’s economy

Economy

Makerere-trained economist who transformed Kenya’s economy


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President Mwai Kibaki. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Summary

  • The former head of State boasted an illustrious academic career before throwing his hat into politics.
  • Mr Kibaki in 1955 emerged top of his class with a First Class Honors degree — granting him a scholarship to the London School of Economics (LSE).

Kenyans mourn the death of third president Emilio Mwai Kibaki, a renowned trained economist from the University of Makerere who turned around the Kenyan economy after decades of mismanagement.

The former head of State boasted an illustrious academic career before throwing his hat into politics.

Mr Kibaki in 1955 emerged top of his class with a First Class Honors degree — granting him a scholarship to the London School of Economics (LSE).

In London, he set a record as the first African to graduate from school with a First Class Honors degree.

Despite his cool temperament, he however stopped teaching to join the field of politics commonly characterized by charisma and outspokenness.

He served as an opposition Member of Parliament from 1992 to 2002 where he unsuccessfully vied for the presidency in 1992 and 1997.

Later on, he served as the Leader of the Official Opposition in Parliament from 1998 to 2002.

President Kibaki also previously served as the fourth Vice-President of Kenya for ten years from 1978 to 1988 under President Daniel Arap Moi and held various cabinet positions in the Kenyatta and Moi governments.

He served as the Minister of Finance (1969–1981) under Kenyatta, Minister for Home Affairs (1982–1988), and Minister for Health (1988–1991) under the Moi regime.

In the run-up to the 2002 elections, Mr Kibaki’s Democratic Party formed a collation with several other opposition parties to form the National Alliance Rainbow Coalition (NARC) which won the election that ended Moi’s 24-year rule with 62 percent of the vote.

At the time of his swearing-in, Kenya’s economic growth stood at less than one percent, while close to 60 percent of the population lived in poverty.

Kenya’s economy in the Kibaki years experienced a major turnaround.

According to data from the World Bank, GDP growth picked up from a low 0.5 percent in 2002 to 2.9 percent in 2003, 5.1 percent in 2004, 5.9 percent in 2005, 6.4 percent in 2006, and 6.8 percent in 2007.

During the Post-Election Violence following the disputed 2007 General Elections and later the global financial crisis of 2008, the GDP dipped to 0.2 percent but recovered to 3.3 percent in 2009 and 8 percent in 2010.

Economy Makerere-trained economist who transformed Kenya’s economy Friday April 22 2022 President Mwai Kibaki. FILE PHOTO | NMG By Edna MwendaMore by this Author Summary The former head of State boasted an illustrious academic career before throwing his hat into politics. Mr Kibaki in 1955 emerged top of his class with a First Class Honors…

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