Kenya's New President Will Struggle to Fulfill His Pledge of Quick Economic Relief
MIN READSep 15, 2022 | 20:34 GMT
Incoming Kenyan President William Ruto lifts a sword at the Moi International Sports Center Kasarani in Nairobi, Kenya, during his inauguration ceremony on Sept. 13, 2022.
(SIMON MAINA/AFP via Getty Images)
Amid a worsening cost of living crisis, Kenya's new president is unlikely to deliver on early economic promises, which will impede his government's ability to carry out fiscal consolidation measures to ensure debt sustainability. William Ruto was inaugurated as Kenya's fifth president on Sept. 13 after months of campaigning on revamping the East African giant's ailing economy, with low- and middle-income Kenyans facing food and fuel shortages, rampant inflation and record unemployment. Following his inauguration, Ruto reiterated his commitment to alleviating Kenya's cost of living crisis within his first 100 days in office. Rather than targeting direct consumer assistance, Ruto is prioritizing reducing food production costs. Proposed measures include expanding the school feeding program, increasing investment in agriculture, slashing prices for fertilizer, and raising funds to offer small- and medium-sized businesses reliable access to credit. In line with his disapproval of high spending on direct assistance measures, Ruto canceled Kenya's...