Before attack, Kenya's economic future was bright

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Associated Press

Posted on September 23, 2013 at 2:01 AM

Updated Monday, Sep 23 at 2:02 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall, site of Saturday's mass shootings where 68 have been reported dead, might as well have been a mall in suburban America.

Kenyan consumers could buy shoes from brands such as Nike, Adidas or Converse, or visit Samsung's store and buy a new smartphone. When hungry, a shopper could buy frozen yogurt or sit down for sushi.

Before it became the site of Saturday's mass killings, the Westgate mall highlighted the sub-Saharan nation's status as a regional commercial hub.

"Kenya's economic gains over the past few years are impressive, particularly coming as they have in a context of global weakness and uncertainty," said Antoinette Sayeh, director of the African division of the IMF, in a Sept. 17 speech in Nairobi.

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