Reforms to the country’s business environment, recent resource finds, greater regional integration, devolution and the impact of the 2014 rebasing exercise are amongst the key topics given wide-ranging coverage in The Report: Kenya 2016. OBG’s latest publication also considers the hurdles that East Africa’s largest economy faces, including its trade deficit, security concerns and the effects of climate change on agricultural production.
OBG’s new report was launched on November 23 at the 2015 edition of the Kenya International Investment and Trade Conference. Around 500 VIP guests and members of the media attended the event, which took place at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC). Keynote speakers included the President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta, the Principal Secretary at the State Department of Commerce and Tourism Ibrahim Mohammed, the Cabinet Secretary at the National Treasury Henry Rotich and the Cabinet Secretary at the Ministry of Devolution and Planning Ann Waiguru.
The Report: Kenya 2016 contains in-depth interviews with leading representatives, including President Kenyatta, the Secretary-General of the East African Community (EAC) Richard Sezibera and the EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, together with a detailed, sector-by-sector guide for investors. The President of the US Barack Obama also gives his views on Kenya’s economic development.
OBG’s CEO and Editor-in-Chief Andrew Jeffreys said that while China’s slowdown, the strengthening of the US economy and low oil prices had combined to make 2015 a difficult year for African markets, Kenya had fared better in a comparative sense than many of its continental counterparts, as the Group’s new report showed.
“Kenya has certainly not been immune to these troubles. However, investors will note that even allowing for downward revisions of growth to between 5.5% and 6% in 2015, the country has maintained stable economic expansion since 2011,” he said. “This significant achievement, which has been supported by Kenya’s devolution efforts, improved business climate and its status as an established trade hub, is perhaps one of the strongest arguments in Kenya's favour.”
Robert Tashima, OBG’s Managing Editor for Africa, added that while the Group’s 2016 report had highlighted across-the-board opportunities for investors, key sectors, such as by financial services, power and agriculture, stood out as ripe for growth on the back of planned projects requiring private sector input.
“It goes without saying that realising the investment opportunities in these fields – and in other promising sectors, like real estate and transport – means grappling with broader structural challenges,” he said. “But Kenya is making a very clear, concerted effort to create a more business-friendly environment and to listen to the needs of the private sector.
The Report: Kenya 2016 marks the culmination of months of field research by a team of analysts from Oxford Business Group. The publication assesses trends and developments across the economy, including macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and other sectoral developments.