Some of the numbers that defined Moi’s legacy

Daniel Moi

Kenya’s former President Daniel arap Moi’s presidency was a mixed bag on the economic front. While his administration paid a keen interest to social sectors such as education, Kenya’s economy experienced peaks and troughs that were blamed on bad policies and weak macroeconomic management.

Life expectancy

At the start of his rule in 1978, life expectancy in Kenya stood at 56.8 years. By 2002, life expectancy had declined to 52.4 years. Today, life expectancy in Kenya is at 66 years.

Kenya’s economic growth rate

Kenya’s annual economic growth rate was at just 7 percent in 1978. By 2002, Kenya’s annual economic growth rate stood at 2.9 percent. In the third quarter of 2019, Kenya’s economic growth rate stood at 5.1 percent.

Per capita income growth

Per capita income growth also decelerated from 2.9 percent to about 0.2 percent in 2002.


Inflation during Moi’s era had its many highs and lows, peaking at nearly 29 percent in 1994 before declining to just under 2 percent in 2002. As at January this year, inflation stood at 5.78 percent.

Unemployment levels

Unemployment levels also rose during Moi’s reign to 10 percent by 2002. Today, unemployment levels in Kenya are at 9.3 percent.

External debt levels

Kenya’s external debt levels doubled under Moi’s administration from about Ksh300 billion to Ksh600 billion. External debt in Kenya averaged Ksh939.31 billion from the year 2000 until 2019, reaching an all-time high of Ksh3.1 trillion shillings as at July 2019.

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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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