Despite Bloody Mall Siege, It’s Business As Usual In Kenya

Despite Bloody Mall Siege, It’s Business As Usual In Kenya

From Mail & Guardian

The attack by al-Shabab militants on Kenya’s upscale Westgate mall captured world headlines, as the longest, and possibly most dramatic, terrorist attack in the history of Africa played out over four days.

The incident, being described as Kenya’s 9/11, left behind passages strewn with blood. So far, it had been estimated that about 70 people had died and 170 were injured.

What it will mean for the economy is anybody’s guess although an educated one would suggest that not even something as horrific as the attack could dim this African rising star.

The Kenyan government this week insisted the attack on Nairobi’s largest mall — said to be retribution for recent United Nations-sanctioned Kenyan military action against al-Shabab in Somalia — would not have economic repercussions for a country whose economy grew at 4.3 percent in 2012 and is expected to grow by 6 percent in 2013.

“It’s an isolated incident … we don’t see this having any impact on the economy at all,” said Kamau Thugge, the permanent secretary of the Kenyan treasury.

Kenya is by far the biggest economy in the five-member East African Community and the region, so it has become a dominant force in the region’s economic fortunes, said Dianna Games, executive director of Africa@Work and author of Business in Africa: Corporate Insights.

“Similar attacks” not so similar coverage
Peter Draper, a senior research fellow at the South African Institute of International Affairs, said “similar attacks” by al-Shabab in Kampala, Uganda in 2010, when suicide bombers targeted crowds in two different places where the Fifa World Cup final was being screened, didn’t receive nearly as much media coverage as the attack on the Westgate mall.

Read more at Mail & Guardian.