Kenya emerges as investment hotspot

by Elayne Wangalwa 0

According to a report launched during the inaugural Kenya International Investment Conference (KIICO) in Nairobi by Oxford Business Group, it was highlighted that the success of the East African country’s economy is pegged on the successful implementation of devolution.

“The report is the result of ten months’ worth of on the ground research in Kenya speaking literally with hundreds of stakeholders from the public sector and private sector. So the idea is to provide this comprehensive and overview of the investment environment if possible,” Robert Tashima, the regional editor for the Oxford Business Group said.

“We take a look at everything from banking to transport to health and education and I think a few of the high growth areas that we are seeing rising include energy, power, transport and off course agriculture. There are all real economic sectors that we are seeing significant outlook for upside growth both in terms of capital investment as well as production in exports.”

The Kenyan government in conjunction with the private sector has 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.

Tashima says that these initiatives by the government and other factors have seen the country’s ease of doing business improve slightly.

“At the moment given how much attention Kenya is putting on its infrastructure in terms of upstream energy, power and transport, those are the three sectors that jump up in particular to what investors ae eyeing and this has been made easier as you can now get partnerships with the government through PPPs,” Tashima said.

Other reforms initiated by the government in a bid to woo international investors include opening of capital markets for foreign participation, abolishment of exchange controls, freeing of the Kenyan shilling exchange rate to be market driven and removal of price controls.