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Kenya’s Kenyatta Targets Sustained GDP Growth of More Than 10%

President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya said his government wants to create sustained economic growth of more than 10 percent, in part by cutting a public wage bill that is almost 12 percent of the gross domestic product.

The growth rate would help “Kenya to become a middle-income country within a generation,” he said today in the capital, Nairobi, during his first address to lawmakers since being sworn in on April 9.

East Africa’s biggest economy may expand at 5.5 percent to 6 percent this year from 4 percent to 5 percent in 2012, the International Monetary Fund said Feb. 14.

Kenyatta plans on “putting the public wage bill in check” because it accounts for almost half of the revenue collected by the government and threatens funding for development projects, he said.

The new government also plans to reduce a housing deficit of 200,000 units a year and take measures to move the agriculture sector away from subsistence farming, he said. It will also invest in tourism infrastructure to help double the number of visitors to the country to 3 million by 2017, Kenyatta said.

Kenyatta, Kenya’s fourth president, succeeded Mwai Kibaki, who retired after two terms in office. The 51-year-old son of founding president Jomo Kenyatta is the first president elected under a 2010 constitution designed to devolve power and avoid clashes like those which followed a disputed 2007 poll.

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