3% growth is a recession, Mr. President

Kenyan President, Mwai Kibaki, said today in his Madaraka Day address that things were not as bad as they seem to be for most Kenyans. He assured Kenyans that the grand coalition government was intact and operating smoothly (Mr. Kibaki mistakes most Kenyans for ignorant Martians, I guess) and to buttress his point reminded the country that Kenya’s economy would grow by 3% in the year 2009, up from last year’s projection of 1.7%. Mr. Kibaki also added that his government was in the process of looking into how to create 300, 000 jobs in an effort to arrest Kenya’s crazy unemployment figures.

Like most of the President’s speeches of late, his Madaraka day address seemed like an exercise in speculation and the voicing of half-thought-out wishes.

The coalition government is ineffectual, expensive and divided. 3% growth in a country where income per capita is less than US $2000 is a recession. And about the 300,000 new jobs, I would bet a cow that the president either misread what was in his speech or it was a clerical error – like the one at the treasury that nearly cost Kenyan tax payers KSHS. 10 b – or the president just felt like telling us what he wished was the case.

Kenya is 46 this year. Most Kenyans are lucky if they live to be 46.