Kenya quickly becoming Africa’s leading investment hub


By May 2016, Kenya had already recorded the fastest rise in foreign direct investments (FDI) in Africa and the Middle East, data from the FDI Intelligence reveals.

According to the FDI intelligence website, a total of 84 separate projects from real estate, renewable and geothermal energy as well as roads and railways worth Sh102 billion provided a huge chunk of new jobs for Kenyans.

By close of August this year, eleven of the biggest companies in Japan commanding a total market capitalization of over Sh60 trillion had already expressed their interest in establishing business in Kenya, specifically energy, infrastructure, health and innovative technology sectors, just to mention. When they met President Uhuru Kenyatta one-on-one at State House, Nairobi. The Japanese industry executives, who had initially held a meeting with the Kenyan private sector, were joined by five Kenyan business leaders at the State House talks.

The decision by the Japanese companies to invest in Kenya is likely to boost the country’s economy whose growth is already on a positive trajectory. Kenya has already witnessed significant flows of Foreign Direct Investment (DFI) from Japan with companies like Toyota Kenya, Nissan and Honda establishing motor vehicle assembling plants in the country.

Greenfield investment monitor fDI markets reports that Kenya attracted 96 projects in 2015, a 54.84% increase from 2014 and the highest rate of investment since the monitor began recording data in 2003. During 2015, 71 companies invested in Kenya, the highest number of investing companies to date, with a combined capital expenditure of $2.55bn.

Job creation in 2015 also saw a sharp increase of 163.75% on the previous year, with a particularly strong fourth quarter which increased by 797.02% compared to quarter four of 2014. Figures for 2015 surpass those of 2013, the previous multi-year high in terms of projects won, jobs created and number of investing companies.

Capital expenditure for 2015, however, remained lower than in 2013 because Kenya received several significant multimillion-dollar investments from companies including India’s Delta Corporation, Mauritius-based Liquid Telecom and Nigeria’s Dangote Group. Kenya’s FDI resurgence in 2015 was clearer still when compared with the rest of the continent.

Hosting the TICAD, UNCTAD and AGRF summits this year has also been a major boost for Kenya’s FDI. With TICAD alone being predicted to have raked in Shs.25 billion as 30 heads of state or their representatives and more than 9,000 guests having participated in the event.

The key investing countries in Kenya during 2015 were the UK and US, contributing 16 FDI projects each, followed by India, accounting for 10 projects and South Africa which invested in seven. Nairobi won the lion’s share of investment, attracting 54.17% of all FDI into Kenya between January 2015 and December 2015, followed by Mombasa with 6.25%.

The country having hosted other major global events such as UNCTAD, TICAD and AGRF, the country might just surpass it’s impressive year 2015 performance.