On Thursday Kenyan Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta predicted a low growth of 3 percent for the June year end as the financial crisis hits the country's economy.

I want to continue to be an optimist, but I must be pragmatic. If nothing changes we can expect a continued downtrend to our growth, he told a news conference.

In 2009, we expect the global economic crisis to start impacting negatively on key sectors of our economy with growth in the fiscal year 08/09 now revised downwards from 5.8 percent to about 3 percent.

Kenya's economy is heavily dependent on agriculture, tourism and international financial support.

Both agriculture and tourism have taken a knock.

In 2007, Kenya’s economy grew a healthy 7 percent. In 2008 however it suffered a major setback due to political violence and a disputed presidential election.

The hopes of a speedy recovery have been dashed with subsequent shocks from drought, high food and oil prices and the global financial crisis.

Kenya's Treasury said last week it was facing a $539 million external financing gap this fiscal year and expected its current account deficit to widen further in 2009 due to rising food imports to plug a shortage.

Kenyatta said the government's total debt was 960 billion shillings. Some 512 billion shillings of that is external debt.

Kenya has requested a $100 million International Monetary Fund loan that it expects could come through in April or May.