Kenya is the top most preferred investment destination in East Africa, with the majority of venture hunters attracted to good infrastructure and ease of doing business, according to a new report in “The Ernst & Young (EY) Africa attractiveness index” released on 9 May 2016 that puts the country at fourth position on the continent after South Africa, Morocco and Egypt. The survey states that Kenya benefits from strong economic growth and prospects, with moderate performance in infrastructure. Kenya is a regional hub in terms of financial, transportation and communications infrastructure and has the largest economy in East Africa. Below is an overview some of the opportunities available in Kenya:
Kenya, famous for its natural beauty and wildlife, is a country which remains subject to limited commercial exploitation of its wealth in minerals. Two recent mining projects, Kwale mineral sands project and Kilimapesa gold mine, have put Kenyan mining on the global map. Both mines are of great national significance, and together with Kenya’s proposed new mining law, may signal the start of the new era for mining in Kenya.
Recently, further potential for gold mining has been discovered along with possible coal and iron ore deposits. The Government intends to carry out a nationwide aerial survey to map potential mineral deposits with a view to boosting the mining sector and attracting foreign investment.
Kenya has no known oil or gas reserves. The Kenyan government is encouraging foreign interest in oil exploration and there is a modest upstream oil industry.
Agriculture and Food Processing
Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy, providing livelihood to approximately 75 per cent of the population. There is considerable scope for diversification and expansion of the agricultural sector through accelerated food crop production, processing and marketing. There are also opportunities for improvement in technological infrastructure such as packaging, storage, and transportation. Intensified irrigation and additional value added processing are areas for investments. These include; Coffee; Tea; Sugar; Cotton; Pyrethrum; Fishing, Beef and Pork; Flowers and Horticulture.
Construction and Real Estate
Kenya has a well-developed construction industry. With increase in population, opportunities exist in the construction of residential, commercial and industrial buildings, including prefabricated low-cost housing. Extensive opportunities for investment exist particularly in the area of upgrading slums and informal settlements, urban renewal, construction of middle and low income housing, manufacture and supply of building materials and components.
Manufacturing sector is an area where investment opportunities exist. The sector plays an important role in adding value to agricultural output. A wide range of opportunities for direct and joint-venture investments exist in the manufacturing sector, including agro-processing, manufacture of garments, assembly of automotive components and electronics, plastics, paper, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, metal and engineering products for both domestic and export markets.
Tourism and Hospitality
Tourism is Kenya’s third largest foreign exchange earner. The tourism industry is growing as a result of the liberalisation measures, diversification of tourist generating markets and continued Government commitment to providing an enabling environment, coupled with successful tourism promotion and political stability. Enormous opportunities exist for investment in film production; recreation and entertainment facilities in the following areas: Conference Tourism; Cultural tourism; Cruise ship Tourism; Aviation/tour and travel Tourism; Eco-tourism
Potential investors can take full advantage of these opportunities through direct investments or joint-ventures with Kenyan entrepreneurs. Opportunities also exist in this sector in the construction of tourist hotels and game lodges all over the country.
Computer and Internet Services
The government of Kenya has made ICT a priority in it’s economic recovery strategy initiatives. With the incentives and benefits that Kenya has to offer, the following areas can be invested in: Internet Cafes; Call Centers for both inbound and outbound calls; Wide range of Business Process Outsourcing activities; Disaster recovery; Software development; Education and Training; Development of Broadband infrastructure.