Rising terror threats may hinder Kenya’s growth – experts

Threat of terrorist attacks is one of the key challenges that are likely to influence or affect businesses in Kenya in 2016, risks analysts said on Wednesday.

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Officials from Control Risks, a global risk consultancy firm that specializes in political, security and integrity risk said such increased attacks will result in a slump in tourism which is a major foreign exchange earner.

“The threat of terror attacks, which have in the past greatly affected the tourism sector and foreign investment, is likely to be a key driver of the Kenyan economy in 2016,” Nick Allan, Control Risks CEO for Europe and Africa told journalists in Nairobi.

“Terrorism is a risk that is not going away. Actual terror attacks aside, a major concern to businesses is the threat of these attacks which has the effect of deterring foreign investors from entering Kenya, investing or partnering with Kenyan companies,” Allan said during the launch of the “RiskMap 2016” report.

The East African nation has faced increased terror threats by Islamist fighters from Somalia and their sympathizers in Kenya, resulting in loss of lives and injuries.

The most recent deadly attack took place in southern Somalia where several Kenyan soldiers were killed and others injured by Al-Shabaab in Gedo region.

Paul Gabriel, Senior Analyst with Global Risk Analysis said terrorism in the region will be shaped by competition between Al-Qaida and IS as each will be trying to convince Al-Shabaab to join their ranks.

“Not much progress has been made in neutralizing Al Shabaab, and the African Union faces a challenge of containing the fight against the group,” Gabriel said.

He said the nature and form of terrorist attacks against Kenya have escalated and become more sophisticated, prompting an increase in costs of security in the country.

Many firms in Kenya spend considerable capital on security costs which in essence does not add to their output of improve the quality of their product.

The annual RiskMap report highlights some of the most significant trends, as well as political and security concerns that private and public organizations need to be aware of in 2016. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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