National

Kenya aggressively pursuing reforms to woo investors

Amrita Nair Ghaswalla Mumbai | Updated on January 22, 2018 Published on December 14, 2015

William Ruto, Deputy President

Govt committed to making it easier, cheaper to do business in Kenya: Deputy President

Kenya is East Africa’s largest economy and its economic outlook for the years ahead looks robust, despite recent challenges such as trade deficit and rising debt, a recent report said.

Compared with more volatile conditions in other parts of Africa and underwhelming growth in advanced economies, the Kenyan economy is projected to do well.

Economic indicators

Official forecasts state that Kenya is set to outperform key economic indicators, with GDP growth expected to be around 6.5-7 per cent in 2015, and to continue at a similar level in the coming years. This follows a growth of 5.3 per cent in 2014, and 5.7 per cent in 2013.

The Oxford Business Group’s report was launched by Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto, at the recent Kenya International Investment Conference (KIICO) 2015 in Nairobi. The conference showcased investment opportunities in Kenya.

Reiterating the government’s commitment to making it easier and less expensive to do business in Kenya, the Deputy President pointed to the rapid improvement of Kenya’s ranking in the World Bank's ‘Ease of Doing Business’ as evidence of the government’s efforts in this regard.

The Ministry of East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism through Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) hosted the second edition of KIICO, at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi, with the theme: ‘Think Investment, Make it Kenya’.

Kenya’s macro economic strengths, county devolution, and key growth sectors were among the main focus areas that took centre-stage during the conference, alongside focused sector- specific debates and discussions to aid investment facilitation.

Speaking to Business Line, Moses Ikiara, Managing Director of KenInvest, said in terms of the ease of doing business, Kenya provided a proper environment and robust policy framework to help propel investments. The World Bank’s ease of doing business 2016 report ranks Kenya in the 108th position from its 129th position in the previous year, he said.

“Last year, our foreign direct investment (FDI) grew 93 per cent. In the previous year, our FDI grew 98 per cent. However, FDI has not slipped, the rate of growth has reduced a little. We expect to grow even higher next year, around 100 per cent,” said Ikiara.

The World Bank ranked Kenya as the third most reformed country in its global Ease of Doing Business 2015 report. Kenya attracted investments worth $1.2 billion in 2014. For the last two years, the country has been aggressive in implementing a series of reforms.

Rising FDI

Referring to data from UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), Ikiara pointed out, “In 2012, Kenya attracted $259 million FDI, while in 2013, it was $514 million. In 2014, Kenya attracted $989 million, almost double, though the African Development Bank has placed this number at $1.2 billion in 2014.” Stating that the country has had a very busy year, “with a first visit from a sitting US president (Barack Obama), the visit of the Prime Minister of Italy, the Africa Travel Association meeting, and the Pope's visit,” including the nation's efforts to broker peace in South Sudan, Ikiara said the country has gained a more visible role both in the region and internationally.

He added that the country was becoming a favoured business hub, not only for manufacturing, but also for real estate, and information and communications technology. Kenya is also building a $14.5-billion information technology hub, Konza Technology City, outside Nairobi, to attract investment in business process outsourcing, software development and data centres.

The official pointed out that KIICO 2014, the inaugural session, had successfully underlined the growing interest in doing business in Kenya, with the country seeing significant uptake in opportunities in the agribusiness, apparels and textiles, leather, renewable energy, real estate, tourism and logistics sectors. The second edition (KIICO 2015) further enumerated on the many reasons why it was the right time to invest in the country.

(The writer was in Kenya at the invitation of the Kenyan Government)

Published on December 14, 2015

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.