NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya expects to make tremendous improvement in
attracting foreign direct investments this year, the country’s
head of investment agency told Xinhua in an interview on
“Our outlook is very
bullish,” said Moses Ikiara, Managing Director of Kenya
Investment Authority (KenInvest).
“In the last two
years, there has been a lot of inquiries from foreign investors
but because of August 2017 elections, they did not commit
finances. But there was growth of projects nevertheless. The
projects were coming but the actual release of money was being
held back as many wanted to see the conduct of the elections,”
Ikiara said in Nairobi.
He said the
expectations are positive as he expects those who had identified
projects but had not committed money to do so now.
“We expect to see
the money flowing in now. From what we have seen already, the
activity is very strong,” he said, pointing to the launch of
Nippo Express and the commissioning of Pinnacle Towers Complex
Nippo Express is set
to become the world’s third largest logistics company, while
Pinnacle Towers when completed will be the second tallest
building in Africa, according to Ikiara.
Ikiara however said
all depends on the political developments. “If the political
situation remains and tensions do not go up again, we are going
to have an excellent two years period,” said Ikiara.
Kenya elections were
peacefully held on August 8, 2017 but the Supreme Court
nullified the presidential vote.
A repeat election in
October was boycotted by opposition leader Raila Odinga who
swore himself in as “Peoples’ President” on Jan. 30, sparking a
new wave of political tensions.
Ikiara said the most
popular sector with foreign investors is construction, given the
real estate’s high returns in Nairobi, followed by the energy
popular but the key challenge here is the issue of land
ownership which is preventing a lot of investors from committing
funds,” said Ikiara.
Kenya ministry highlights small
firms to boost exports
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya plans to empower small and medium
enterprises (SMEs) in a bid to boost exports, an official said
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Trade, told a trade forum
in Nairobi that the government has recognized the significant
role that small firms can play in helping the country to boost
“We need a
tremendous growth as well as a positive trajectory in the number
of SMEs exporting so as to increase export volumes in order to
help narrow the gap of the country’s ballooning trade deficit,”
Kiptoo said during a mini exhibition for selection of
participants to attend the 22nd Addis Ababa Chamber
International Trade Fair that will take place from Feb. 22 to
The trade ministry
plans to roll out a product development program for SMEs that
will include an enterprise capacity building component to focus
on export trade training.
Kiptoo said the
program also aims at equipping the entrepreneurs with knowledge
and exporting skills as a way of increasing their readiness to
The PS said that
though the opportunities in the export market can not be over
emphasized, the reality is that, for Kenya to maximize and tap
into these opportunities, it needs to re-align its orientation
and deliberately work towards addressing the needs and
requirements in the market.
According to the
Economic Survey report of 2017, the East African nation’s total
exports reached 5.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2016 compared to 8.5
billion dollars worth of imports in the same year.