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IMF's hand in sale of KICC & 10 other gov't-owned companies

Why Kenya has revived privatization of state-owned companies after 15 years

President William Ruto and Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), at the New Global Financing Compact summit in Paris on 22 June 2023.

The National Treasury has announced the revival of its privatization program, initiating the sale of stakes in 11 state-owned enterprises.

This move comes as part of the economic reforms supported by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The privatization program, which had stalled after the offering of shares in Safaricom Plc 15 years ago, is being kick-started with the sale of stakes in companies such as Kenya Pipeline Company, National Oil Corporation of Kenya, Kenyatta International Convention Centre, and New Kenya Co-operative Creameries Ltd. all fully owned by the government.

The IMF's involvement in Kenya's economic program, which began in 2021, is expected to unlock approximately Sh687 billion in additional financing in 2024.

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This support is tied to various reforms aimed at improving macroeconomic stability and restoring confidence and access to funding.

President William Ruto signed into law the Privatization Act,2023 to accelerate the process as part of the reforms agreed upon with the IMF.

The privatization and restructuring efforts are aligned with the government's objectives for fiscal consolidation and economic development.

The proceeds from the sales are expected to raise revenue for the cash-strapped government while reducing the reliance of loss-making entities on the National Treasury.

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The government's decision to revive the privatization program amid IMF-supported reforms reflects a strategic move to enhance economic efficiency, attract private investment, and reduce the burden on the national budget.

The successful implementation of these reforms and privatization initiatives is expected to have a positive impact on Kenya's economic outlook and stability in the medium term.

The reforms agreed upon between Kenya and the IMF include fiscal consolidation centered on increasing tax revenue and carefully prioritizing expenditures while safeguarding resources to protect vulnerable groups.

The program also advances the broader reform and governance agenda by addressing weaknesses in state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and strengthening the country’s anti-corruption framework.

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  1. National Oil Corporation of Kenya
  2. Kenyatta International Convention Center
  3. Kenya Pipeline Company
  4. Kenya Literature Bureau
  5. Kenya Seed Company
  6. Rivatex East Africa 
  7. Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers
  8. New KCC
  9. Western Kenya Rice Mills 
  10. Mwea Rice Mills
  11. Numerical Machining Complex 

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