The just concluded elections in Kenya received a favourable rating by the East African Community and other regional and international observers. Their peaceful conduct was much welcomed and applauded across the region. But, on a humorous note, some voters jokingly censured them as having been uncharacteristically quiet, as if the calm was a bad thing. This saw terms such as “dull” and “boring” being bandied about across Kenya’s famously irreverent social media. “Is it possible thats how elections should be? Boring, routine democratic exercises where we vote, go home, chill & wait for results...,” one voter, tongue in cheek, wondered on Twitter. Yet, jokes aside, it was already foretold there might be nothing to worry about the elections turning violent and disruptive. It turns out that the country’s economic growth projections have been something of the proverbial canary bird in the coal mine, able to predict if elections will pose a risk. This suggests a rule of thumb keen watchers of Kenyan elections in the region would probably like to know. For thirty years now, beginning with the 1992 elections that ushered in Kenya’s multi-party democracy, economic performance has been something of a gauge to tell if the elections will be disruptive. That year registered some of the very first election clashes in the country, with the consequence that Kenya’s GDP contracted to a negative 0.8 per cent from 1.44 per cent. It was the same five years later as elections approached in 1997, seeing the GDP drop to 0.48 per cent from 4.15 per cent. Negative projections were similarly observed in the subsequent four elections up to the 2017 polls when economic growth slowed to 3.82 per cent from 4.21 per cent. Not so, however, during the just concluded 2022 elections. Bucking the trend of negative predictions, the economy is projected to grow despite the inevitable poll jitters. And none is better telling it than key economic players. Analysis of the country’s growth outlook from 18 leading banks, consultancies and think-tanks, including the World Bank Group and the Central Bank of Kenya, projects the economy will on average expand by 5.39 per cent this year. More telling perhaps is the uncharacteristically low uptake of insurance covers against political violence, which insurance companies say points to businesses assessing lower risk levels for physical damage to premises and looting in the aftermath of the presidential poll outcome. More telling perhaps is the uncharacteristically low uptake of insurance covers against political violence, which insurance companies say points to businesses assessing lower risk levels for physical damage to premises and looting in the aftermath of the presidential poll outcome. But, for a more personal feel of this, I think the anecdote that best captures the confidence being shown by the businesses was captivatingly told by the veteran Ugandan journalist and writer Charles Onyango-Obbo in his Daily Nation column. He was explaining how Kenyan politics has become predictable and gave the example how the Kenyan-Asian business community has always been a good source for gauging risk. They are, he writes, very sensitive to the likelihood of turmoil and have a good nose for sniffing danger. He goes on to explain that one of the biggest surprises is that, this time, a member of the community whom he has turned to for many years gave him the most optimistic take he (the friend) has ever doled out in an election period. “There might be something small, which is inevitable, but don’t expect any election violence this time,” the friend told him. So far this prediction seems to hold. As I write this, the “boring election” joke mentioned above appears to have turned to anxiety, as the country awaits announcement of the winner in the presidential poll that seems to have taken too long. This is despite results from all poll stations having been made available on the national elections body (IEBC) website for review by anybody who wishes and conduct their own private tally as they await official announcement. Putting the results on the website at everyone’s disposal has been likened to Bitcoin’s blockchain in its bid to reduce the single points of failure. It is meant to ensure transparency after the country’s Supreme Court memorably nullified the presidential poll in 2017. Hope abounds all will be well, however. As you read this, therefore, the winner might already have been called hopefully vindicating the confidence shown by the business people.