NEW YORK – 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.