News 2008


World Bank Group Statement on Kenya

March 2, 2008

The World Bank Group welcomes the signing of the agreement and creation of a coalition government to bring an end to the political impasse. We commend the leaders for making this important commitment towards peace and reconciliation. We applaud Mr. Kofi Annan and his team for their
skillfull handling of this difficult process which they carried out under the auspices of the African Union. "I am very pleased that this work also draws attention to the root causes that led to the recent crisis, including corruption, and wish to assure Kenyans of the World Bank Groupís support for addressing them," added Robert B. Zoellick, World Bank Group President.

We are hopeful that this agreement marks the beginning of national healing and urgent attention to the welfare of the poor and vulnerable, including those affected by the recent violence. "It is a unique
opportunity for all Kenyans to participate in coalition building that transcends all boundaries at all levels of society," observed Obiageli Katryn Ezekwesili, World Bank Vice President for the Africa Region. We also hope that the peace agreement will focus attention on broad-based reforms that have been central to our dialogue about providing a stronger platform for accelerated growth and poverty reduction.

The World Bank Group remains committed to working hand in hand with the government and people of Kenya in building on the countryís significant development achievements and improving the welfare of all its people. The Bank will do its part to help ensure a quick return to full economic activity, realization of the country's considerable economic potential, and significantly greater attention to equity and governance.

In recent years the World Bank Group has been assisting Kenya in activities such as rebuilding infrastructure; providing free primary education; developing small and medium enterprises, including those owned by women; creating livelihood opportunities in arid and semi-arid areas; and strengthening systems to reduce opportunities for corruption.