Gross County Product: Some [un]surprising Facts About Siaya County

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A few days ago, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) released its inaugural Gross County Product (GCP) report. The GCP is supposed to measure economic activities at the county level, just like the GDP does at the national level. Thus, conceptually, you can refer to the GCP as the county GDP. It is from the GCP 2019 report that the following observations are made about Siaya County and Luo Nyanza counties.

If you wish to see the charts, follow this Facebook post for that (I hate the way the charts look on WordPress blog here – or perhaps I have no clue how to make them neater or more presentable in a blog post). Here are the facts:

1. Of the four Luo Nyanza counties, Siaya is the third county after Kisumu and Homa Bay in terms of its contribution to national growth. It is placed 29 out of the 47 counties.

2. Siaya is the fastest growing county among the Luo Nyanza counties and the fourth fastest in Kenya behind Elgeyo Marakwet, Nyandarua and Laikipia counties. It grew by an average of 8.4 per cent over the period (see chart 2).

3. Siaya recorded the fastest per capita growth among the four Luo Nyanza counties with a per capita growth of 6 per cent. It recorded the fourth-fastest per capita growth in Kenya over the period behind Tharaka Nithi, Nyandarua, and Elgeyo Marakwet (see chart 3).

4. Siaya added the least wealth per person in absolute terms among all the Luo Nyanza counties (Sh. 40,728) over the period. Real per capita growths for the three other counties were as follows: Kisumu (Sh. 97,842), Migori (Sh. 44,814) and Homa Bay (Sh. 42,587). Siaya was 44 out of 47 on this indicator (see chart 4).

5 (a). Agriculture contributes 53 per cent to the growth of Siaya County. The sector accounts for 59.8 per cent of the growth of Homa Bay, 42.4 per cent to Migori and paltry 26.5 per cent to the growth of Kisumu (see chart 5).

5 (b). In terms of the contribution of counties to national agricultural output, Siaya (1.8 per cent) is third after Homa Bay (2.4 per cent) and Kisumu (1.8 per cent) with Migori (1.4 per cent) contributing the least among the four counties. Siaya occupies position 21 of the 47 counties on this front.

5 (c). We can conclude that the four counties are heavily reliant on the sector but their contribution to the national output is very poor (a total of 7.4 per cent). Clearly, there is room for more growth in this sector in order to improve the contribution of the four counties to national growth.

6 (a). The manufacturing sector is almost non-existent in Siaya county as it only contributes 0.2 per cent to Siaya’s growth. Homa Bay (0.5 per cent) and Migori (2.8 per cent) counties are not any better. It is in Kisumu (11.9 per cent) that the sector makes some significant contribution, albeit small (see chart 6).

6 (b) On the contribution of the county to national manufacturing output, Siaya occupies position 34 out of 47 counties and the last in Luo Nyanya with a contribution 0.02 per cent. Kisumu county tops the four Luo Nyanza counties with a contribution of 3.6 per cent followed by Migori (0.4 per cent) and Hom Bay (0.1 per cent).

6 (c). It is safe to conclude that the four counties have performed poorly in terms of the contribution of manufacturing sector output (combined contribution of a paltry 4.1 per cent). It also shows an opportunity for more investment in the sector.

7 (a). The services sector drives 41 per cent of the growth of Siaya county. The sector makes a more significant contribution in Kisumu (54.6 per cent) and Migori (47.5 per cent) and the least in Homa Bay (37.8 per cent) (see chart 7).

7 (b). On services, Siaya contributes the least of all the Nyanza counties with a contribution of 1.1 per cent. It occupies position 28 of the 47 counties in Kenya. It falls behind Kisumu (3 per cent), Migori (1.3 per cent) and Homa Bay (1.2 per cent).

7 (c). While this sector contributes to most growth in the four counties, the combined contribution to national output (6.6 per cent) is too low. This offers more room for improvement – the private sector is key here.

What is your opinion on the topic?
Fredrick Ombako
Fredrick Ombako is a research consultant at ResearchPro Solutions and Director at Bukas Accountancy & Consulting Limited. He consults mostly for NGOs and county governments by conducting research studies, Monitoring & Evaluation, and Project Management. You may reach him on 0721977108
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