American companies move into Kenya's investment space - CNBC Africa

American companies move into Kenya's investment space

East Africa

by Elayne Wangalwa 0

American companies are showing a vote of confidence for Kenya as an investment hub. PHOTO: Getty Images

Over 90 American companies are exploring business opportunities in the East African country despite the recent spate in terror attacks where over 60 Kenyans have been killed in what has largely been blamed on security lapses in a span of 10 days in the Northern part of the county.

Led by a US organisation, the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) devoted to US-Africa business relations which represent nearly 85 per cent of total US private sector investments in Africa, the companies will not deter from investing in Kenya.

During an interview with CNBC Africa, Stephen Hayes the president and CEO of CCA said, “There is no doubt that they [terror attacks] bring a quick halt to people because we have got to put that into perspective and I think what happened with the miners, what happened with persons in the bus is outrageous,” Hayes said.

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“On the other hand it also shows there is an opportunity to strengthen the security in Kenya as well, so it is not something you can walk away from, so you have got to believe in the future and I believe Kenya has a good future.”

According to Hayes, the American investors are angling to explore business opportunities in sectors like agribusiness, energy, infrastructure and health.

“Kenya is attractive, we expect in the next three years, more than 90 companies from our group will have invested in various sectors of the economy. It [Kenya] is an investor friendly climate and it has a healthy climate. Kenya is a diversified economy and a linchpin to Eastern African countries,” Hayes said.

Hayes however called on the Kenyan government to fast-track the ease of doing business in the country and transparency in systems.

Last month, the government in conjunction with the private sector initiated favorable business reforms and policies that will enable investors in Kenya to take only a day to register their business, file taxes electronically and access both regional and international markets easily.

This is the second time a delegation of US investors are visiting the country this year.

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