Gross County Product: Nairobi leads counties in contributing to Kenya’s growth

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GCP 2019

A recently released report on Gross County Product (GCP) shows that Nairobi contributes 21.7 per cent to Kenya’s growth hence the largest contributor to Kenya’s growth. This settles the long-running debate about the contribution of Nairobi to Kenya’s growth with some claiming that Nairobi accounts for 60 per cent of Kenya’s growth. Thus, while Nairobi contributes the most to Kenya’s GDP, it is not anything close to past claims.

In its seminal Gross County Product report, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) analysed data from all the 47 counties and showed that Nairobi County leads in terms of county contribution to national growth.

An analysis of top 10 counties in terms of their share of GCP (see Figure 1) shows that Nairobi was followed by Nakuru (6.1 per cent), Kiambu (5.5 per cent) and Mombasa (4.7 per cent). These figures are based on a five-year average of GCPs. A full analysis (see Figure 2) shows that counties in Northern Kenya contribute the least to Kenya’s overall growth.

Rift Valley Counties top GDP contributors

The report also puts to rest the claim by Central Kenya leaders’ claim that Central Kenya counties contribute 60 per cent to Kenya’s GDP. While these claims had been debunked using other available data, no authoritative data were available at the time to debunk the myth.

With this newly released data, the debate can now settle. Regional analysis shows that Rift Valley counties account for 25 per cent of Kenya’s GDP followed by Nairobi (21.7 per cent) while Central counties come third at 19.1 per cent (see Figure 3).

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This is a valuable report that will aid in county planning and investment. Counties will use the Gross County Product report to relook at the areas in which they can improve by inviting investors to take up some of the opportunities within the counties. Investors will also use this report as a way to gauge areas in which they can make the biggest contribution. For researchers and policy analysts, this report offers an opportunity to interrogate the impact of counties on people’s livelihoods.

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