Why Is Kenya One of the Best Countries in Africa to Invest In
Kenya has been experiencing steady growth for quite some time now. Even though population-wise, Kenya is smaller than Tanzania (54 million vs. 58 million) and just a bit more populated than Uganda (44 million), its geographic location makes it central to East Africa.
Moreover, Kenya is the richest of the three. According to the World Bank, in 2019, Kenya’s GDP per person was $1,816, Tanzania’s was $1,122, and Uganda’s $794. Rwanda, a darling of the Western Press, stood at $820.
These higher GDP figures are not just a fantasy. Kenya is the regional manufacturing hub. Unlike in most African countries, much of the food found in supermarkets is produced locally.
Mombasa Port controls most imports and exports into and out of Uganda and South Sudan. Nairobi is a giant construction site with new highways, high rises, overpasses, and many types of infrastructure being built everywhere you look.
According to the latest data from tradingeconomics.com, Kenya has been shooting up the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings since 2014, a clear indication that it is working towards growing its position as East Africa’s economic powerhouse, and this is a positive sign to investors.
However, what do you need to worry about as an investor? Government Debt to GDP, yes, I say this because it has been going up for the past years. In March, Kenya and International Monetary Fund (IMF) inked a support program worth about 2.5% of GDP, but later the president locked down the country. You remember #stoploaningkenya trending on twitter? The residents are worried about the debt to the GDP. The effects are deep.
On the other hand, Kenya is currently undertaking massive infrastructural projects and the government identified the areas where investment is needed. For instance, Redevelopment of the Northern Corridor, Development of a commuter railways system around Nairobi, Design and Construction of a new terminal at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
The expansion of infrastructure has seen many western brands prefer investing in the country; the brands include Carrefour, KFC, Porsche, Burger King, modern malls, and branded stores.
The new corridor from Lamu to South Sudan and Ethiopia (LAPSET) just commissioned by the President, on Thursday, 21st May, is set to be game changer as it’s the biggest infrastructure project in East Africa. The new port will accommodate large cargo ships, which can handle up to 8,000 TEUs and improve ship turnaround time because of its size.
According to the project’s designs, the port is set to boost investments in the Kenya North Eastern part as road, rail, and pipeline corridor will connect to Ethiopia and South Sudan. Investors can benefit immensely from this trade route once the port becomes operational and the infrastructure is put in place.
The cost of doing business will come down after completing these roads linking Kenya to South Sudan and Ethiopia. In conclusion, Kenya is a country of many opportunities. Take time to research, be perseverant, and learn about the industry you are getting in.