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Post BREXIT Data Partnerships: Kenya’s First ‘Adequacy Partnership/ Decision’?

The United Kingdom on Thursday announced their Post-Brexit approach to international data transfers which includes future partnerships with Kenya. India, Brazil and Indonesia are also in this priority list.

The first territories which it will prioritise striking ‘data adequacy’ partnerships will be the United States, Australia, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, the Dubai International Finance Centre, and Colombia. These will build on the existing 42 adequacy arrangements the UK has in place with international partners including New Zealand, Japan and Canada, as well the Crown Dependencies of Jersey, the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Isle of Man.

The announcement also confirmed that the new data adequacy partnerships, which will be subject to assessments that ensure high data protection standards, will build significantly on the £80 billion of data-enabled service exports.

The UK plans to use the power of data to drive growth and create jobs while keeping high data protection standards. It will work hand in hand with the UK’s trade agreements and support the country’s ambitious trade agenda to unlock data flows and minimize unjustified barriers or conditions.

 

What’s in it for Kenya

The question that is lingering is whether Kenya is ready for this? In 2019, the Data Protection Act was passed to law and it provides for the transfer of personal data to another country. In 2021, the Data Protection Task Force came up with a draft Data Protection (General) Regulations which contains provisions on cross-border data transfers. 

Since the partnership is something that the UK will pursue in the near future, there is hope that Kenya will have all the necessary structures in place by then. The European Commission is yet to grant any African country adequacy though so far it has recognised Andorra, Argentina, Canada (commercial organisations), Faroe Islands, Guernsey, Israel, Isle of Man, Japan, Jersey, New Zealand, Switzerland and Uruguay as providing adequate protection. On 28 June 2021, the Commission adopted two adequacy decisions for transfers of personal data to the United Kingdom, under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Law Enforcement Directive (LED) respectively.

There is hope that the partnership between Kenya and the UK will be a leap towards getting European Commission adequacy.

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE FOURTH QUARTERLY ECONOMIC AND BUDGETARY REVIEW REPORT IN THE 2020/21 FY

The 2021 Budget Review and Outlook Paper (BROP) has been prepared in accordance with the Public Finance Management (PFM) Act, 2012 and its Regulations. The document provides the fiscal outturn for the FY 2020/21, the macro-economic projections and sets sector ceilings for the FY 2022/23 and the Medium Term Budget. The document also provides an overview of how the actual performance of the FY  2020/21 affected compliance with the fiscal responsibility principles and the financial objectives outlined in the PFM Act as  well  as  information showing  adjustments  made  in  the projections outlined in the 2021 Budget Policy Statement (BPS). 

 

Highlights from the report include:

 

  1. Economic growth

The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the economy and the attendant containment measures slowed down economic growth in 2020. Economic growth in the first three quarters of 2020 contracted by an average of 0.4 percent compared to an average growth of 5.3 percent over the same period in 2019. Leading economic indicators for the fourth quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021 point to strong recovery from the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

  1. Stable prices

Year-on-year overall inflation rate remained low, stable and within the Government target range of 5+/-2.5 percent. The inflation rate increased in June 2021 but remained within the target range. It increased to 6.3 percent from 4.6 percent in June 2020, mainly on account of higher food and fuel prices.

 

  1. Interest Rates

Short-term interest rates remained fairly low and stable. The Central Bank Rate was retained at 7.0 percent to signal lower lending rates. The money market was relatively liquid in June 2021 supported by government payments, which offset tax remittances. As such, the interbank rate remained low but increased slightly to 4.6 percent in June 2021 from 3.3 percent in June 2020. 

 

  1. Money and Credit

Broad money supply, M3, grew by 7.6 percent in the year to May 2021 compared to a growth of 9.9 percent in May 2020. The growth in M3 was attributed to an increase in the Net Domestic Assets, particularly improvement in net credit flows to the government and the private sector.

 

  1. Current Account

The current account deficit was at USD 5,361.8 million (5.4 percent of GDP) in the year to May 2021 from USD 5,137.5 million (5.2 percent of GDP) in the year to May 2020. The current account balance was supported by an improvement in the merchandise account balance, the net primary income balance and the net secondary income balance.

 

  1. Foreign Exchange Reserves

The official foreign exchange reserves held by the Central Bank was at USD 7,871.6 million (4.8 months of import cover) in May 2021 compared with US$ 9,738.3 million (5.9 months of import cover) in May 2020. This fulfils the requirement to maintain the reserves at minimum of 4.0 months of imports to provide an adequate buffer against short term shocks in the foreign exchange market.

 

  1. Capital Markets

The NSE 20 Share Index was at 1,928 points by end of June 2021, a slight decline compared to 1,942 points by end June 2020. However, market capitalization increased from Ksh 2,104 billion to Ksh 2,702 billion over the same period indicating increased trading activities.

 

  1. Revenue Collection

The National Government’s cumulative revenue collection including A-I-A for the period between July 2020-June 2021 amounted to KSh. 1,783.7 billion (16.0 percent of GDP) against a target of KSh. 1,837.8 billion. The revenue was below target by KSh. 54.1 billion mainly due to underperformance in ministerial A-I-A, other revenue, corporate income tax and excise duty.

 

  1. Expenditure and Net Lending

The total expenditure and net lending inclusive of transfers to County Governments for the period ending 30th June, 2021 amounted to KSh. 2,755.8 billion, against a target of KSh. 2,886.9 billion. The resultant under expenditure of KSh. 131.1 billion is mainly attributed to lower absorption recorded in recurrent and development expenditures by the National Government and lower than targeted transfers to County Governments.

 

  1. Guaranteed Debt

The government did not service any guaranteed debt on behalf of Parastatals during the period under review. As at the end of June 2021, all guaranteed debts were performing.

 

  1. Fiscal Balance

The fiscal balance excluding grants (on a commitment basis) amounted to a deficit of KSh. 972.1 billion (8.7 percent of GDP), as at the end of June, 2021.

 

  1. External Financing

The Net Foreign Financing amounted to KSh. 323.3 billion (2.9 percent of the GDP) during the period ending 30 th June, 2021.

 

  1. Net Domestic Borrowing

Net domestic financing amounted to a net borrowing of KSh. 626 billion (5.6 percent of GDP) in the period ending 30th June, 2021.

 

  1. Domestic Debt Stock

The stock of gross domestic debt increased by KSh. 519.6 billion from KSh. 3,178.4 billion in June 2020 to KSh. 3,698 billion in June, 2021.

 

  1. External Debt Stock

The total external debt stock, including the International Sovereign Bond, stood at KSh. 4,015.3 billion by the end of June, 2021. The debt stock consisted of multilateral debt (41.3 percent), commercial debt (29.8 percent), bilateral debt (28.4 percent) and suppliers’ credit (0.4 percent).

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