Effect of Elections on Kenya’s Economy

In February 2016, Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, the Secretary General of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, was concerned with the effect of the political campaigns on Kenya’s economy. He asked Kenyans to reduce political temperatures in the country and focus more on growing its economy. He claims, “It is sad that the country registers a decline in its economy due to incessant political bickering”. This brief provides an analysis with an aim of ascertaining whether or not the above claim is true. This analysis will involve exploring the GDP growth rates from 1963 to 2014 to examine trends in economic performance and identify whether there exists any patterns that lead us to confirm that economic performance is affected by political campaigns. The years of general elections will form a criterion upon which the comparison of GDP growth rates would be made (here we make an assumption that election campaigns are epitomized at this period hence would have the highest impact on economic performance of the country). The growth rates on election years will be compared with those on non-election years. Aware of the fact that GDP growth rates may be affected by occasional factors such as drought, terrorism and economic sanctions, this analysis covers a long period of time (51 years); from 1963 to 2014. Analyzing GDP rates over a long period minimizes the effect of occasional factors.