Kenya is currently ranked as a middle income country with a Gross Domestic Product in excess of USD 50 billion becoming the second largest non-oil producing economy in Africa.
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is estimated to have expanded by 5.6 per cent in 2015 which was a slight improvement compared to a 5.3 per cent growth in 2014. This growth was mainly supported by a stable macroeconomic environment and improvement in outputs of agriculture; construction; finance and insurance and real estate. The growth in agriculture was mainly supported by improved weather condition that resulted in significant increases in output of maize, horticultural produce and livestock. However, heavy rains in 2015 were unfavorable to cultivation of some crops like potatoes and tomatoes. Nevertheless the significance of crops that were favoured by the weather far outweighed that of crops negatively impacted upon, resulting in an impressive growth of 5.6 per cent in the agriculture sector. Construction recorded the fastest growth of 13.6 per cent in 2015 compared to 13.1 per cent in 2014. Growth in construction activities was mainly driven by the ongoing public infrastructure development coupled with the resilient private sector’s expansion in the real estate sector. The financial and insurance sector maintained a robust expansion to grow at 8.7 per cent in 2015 from 8.3 per cent in 2014. This growth was mirrored by a 19.2 per cent rise in the total domestic credit to KSh 2,830.5 billion in December 2015 compared to a growth of 16.1 per cent in December 2014.
The Country offers one of the best foreign investment climates in the wider East African region, being geo-strategically located at the confluence of the great lakes, Horn of Africa and Indian Ocean contiguity. As the gateway to nearly ten land locked countries in the region, there are several and extensive trade and investment opportunities. The Government of Kenya pledges to continue cultivating the already existing relationships with the traditional trade partners, and welcomes partnerships with developing and developed nations who desire a deeper and more mutually beneficial relationship.
Prudent policies have helped anchor favorable conditions for strong and stable economic growth. Fiscal discipline has improved both the external and domestic debt positions of the country. A more modern framework for monetary policy has helped keep inflation expectations in check, despite adverse internal and external shocks. In addition, stronger supervisory powers have maintained financial stability, even as financial system is expanding rapidly and capital markets are opening up.
As for the tourism, the Government is shifting focus from marketing Kenya as a sun, sand and wildlife affair. New strategies such as meetings and conferences, culture, sports and agro-tourism have been added on the menu to expand Kenya’s tourism market. Already promotion of sport’s tourism, building upon the reputation of Kenya’s sporting prowess is currently being undertaken to transform the country into a preferred destination for Russian and athletes from other countries.
Kenya’s economy is market-based, with a few state-owned infrastructure enterprises, and maintains a liberalized external trade system. The country is generally perceived as Eastern and central Africa’s hub for Financial, Communication and Transportation services. With a large pool of English speaking professional workers, high level of computer literacy, especially among the youth and an investment friendly Government, Kenya is considered the main alternative location to South Africa, for major corporations seeking entry into the African continent. An increasingly significant portion of Kenya’s foreign inflows is from remittances by non-resident Kenyans who work in the US, Middle East, Europe, Asia and Antarctica. Compared to its neighbors, Kenya has a well-developed social and physical infrastructure.
Agriculture – products
The major agricultural products include; Tea, coffee, corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruit, vegetables; dairy products, beef, pork, poultry, eggs
Small-scale consumer goods (plastic, furniture, batteries, textiles, clothing, soap, cigarettes, flour), agricultural products, horticulture, oil refining; aluminum, steel, lead; cement, commercial ship repair, tourism
Exports – commodities
Tea, horticultural products, coffee, petroleum products, fish, cement
Exports – partners
Tea, horticultural products, coffee, clothes, tobacco and tobacco manufactures, petroleum products, fish, cement.
Imports – partners
Machinery and transportation equipment, petroleum products, motor vehicles, iron and steel, plastics in primary and non-primary forms, medicinal and pharmaceutical products, wheat, and organic and inorganic chemicals.