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Kenya urged to avail investment data to become Africa’s gateway

PHOTO | Selestus Mayira

Kenya’s has been challenged to ensure investment data and information is available to investors in order to become competitive as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) gains traction.

During the second day of the 3rd Kenya International Investment Conference (KIICO) being held in Nairobi, Investment Promotion Principle Secretary Abubakar Hassan said Kenya is keen to become a trade and investment hub.

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“We continue to position Kenya as a competitive investment destination, not an aid destination and not a loan destination,” said Hassan.

According to PS Hassan, the government is committed to ensure Kenya is competitive continentally and globally as demonstrated by billions of shillings the country has invested to improve infrastructure that has enhanced connectivity and trade in the region.

“Kenya has a good network of ports, railways, roads, airports and supported by energy mix that is 92% green. Kenya also ranks 2nd in terms of venture capital deals, and is ranked 3rd in Africa in the ease of doing business,” said PS Hassan.

Official statistics indicate that Inward Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) declined from Ksh 50.8 billion in 2021 to Ksh 46.4 billion last year as outward FDI declined from Ksh 45 billion to Ksh 5.8 billion over the same period.

In order to shore up FDIs Kenya is now being challenged to ensure investors get first had information on investment opportunities to remain competitive investment gateway in Africa.

“As Afreximbank we have recognize that Kenya has the potential to become the gateway and we did this through earmarking quite a significant part of our balance sheet in order to support Kenya from its industrialization strategy,” said Kundakwashe Matereke, Afreximbank Regional Manager.

According to Equity Group Chief Executive Officer Dr James Mwangi, east Africa’s largest economy is well diversified while its advanced infrastructure and energy mix where 92pc of energy generated is from green sources makes it a frontrunner in attracting global capital.

“For us to unlock the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), we need massive investments and we need massive markets for exports and Kenya ticks the bill very well when you look at position,” said Dr Mwangi.

The country is further being challenged to ensure it has investment friendly policies as well as open up the mass market to allow increased private sector participation.

“If you go back and you think where you can really make it big. It is not UAE, it’s not Europe, and it’s not US. The potential of making it big is in Africa, whether in mining or agriculture,” added Walid Hareb Al Falahi, Dubai Trade Center Chief Executive Officer.

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