The Kenyan economy has, in the past five years, registered impressive growth. This has translated into surging consumer demand and, inevitably, demand-push inflation.
Nowhere has this phenomenon manifested itself more than in the construction sector. Demand in the industry has pushed prices beyond the reach of most home-builders, a situation that is of mounting concern to both policy-makers and to ordinary Kenyans.
Early this week, President Kibaki, for the second time in his tenure, paid a visit to Devki Steel Mills Ltd for a ground-breaking ceremony for its National Cement Company.
Demand for cement has risen sharply, from 1.2Mt in 2001 to 2.5Mt this year. This has stretched the installed capacity to the limit.
Quite a number of new and old players are working to exploit the vast reserves of raw materials available for cement manufacturing.
This is expected to bring down the price of cement, especially as it is likely to pick up dramatically when demand for expanded infrastructure rises.