Kenya « We are still the Hub! »

For the top management which includes, the president Uhuru Kenyatta (56 years old) and his golden boy, the course is maintained. Nothing needs to slow down the process until 2030, when the country is expected to become an emerging country.

Report from Nairobi by Dounia Ben Mohamed

« We are still the hub ». Kiprono Kittony, president of the Kenyan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, prominent personality at the local level and incidentally millionaire, is formal: « We are always the hub! », and explains: « We had to reach 7% but our growth has been slowed by recent election-related events that have been longer than expected, though still strong, above 5%. We had a challenge to meet. It shows that Kenya is a real democracy and stands out from other African countries.  »

The drought, but especially the elections, which resulted in three months of socio-political turmoil have, in fact, impacted upon the Kenyan economy. But even if the opposition maintains the pressure, for the Head of State and the authorities, at the level of the government and the private scene, the time is up for recovery. As a proof, the Nairobi-Mombassa railway line, operational since last June, is so successful that we need three days in advance to hope to buy tickets. Online, via M Pesa, the mobile payment application continues its local and regional expansion through service diversification. Konza Technology City, a future digital city, is being built. In part, Technopolis, a built in its heart and entirely run by the Tics and Green, wants to be the showcase of the project designed to confirm the country’s positioning as a regional digital hub.

« Kenya remains a crucial corridor to develop export or import to Burundi or Uganda, »

But if for this we have to wait until the investors operate there, other sectors have been attractive again, especially the motor industry. After Volkswagen, Peugeot has established through an assembly unit, which might bring the capacity of the Kenyan car fleet to 5 million vehicles in 2030, with in addition to Volkswagen and Peugeot, Isuzu, Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi … Which meets the new industrial ambitions of the Head of State. « Kenyan industry is on the move, » President Kenyatta said, adding that his country is likely to consolidate its position as the economic hub in East Africa.

In fact, business seems to have resumed. « Kenya remains a crucial corridor to develop export or import to Burundi or Uganda, » said Vimal Shah, CEO of Bidco Africa, another millionaire and Kenyan workers confederation boss, before admitting that: 2017 was not good because of the elections but things are resuming. The elections have already been organized, now we have to look towards the next five years and make Kenya stronger. »

In the top 5 of Doing Business 2018

And he continues, for this purpose, to strengthen its attractiveness. After becoming Africa’s second-largest FDI country after South Africa with nearly $ 2 billion in FDI in 2016 compared to $ 390 million in 2013, according to data from the Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest), the authorities are now targeting 3 billion FDI in 2018. Until then curbed by corruption, almost widespread, Kenya has progressed in the Doing Business ranking and has managed to rank in the World Bank top 5 in 2018, for the reforms conducted between 2016 and 2017 to improve the business environment.

« The time of politics is over. It’s now time to talk about development »

And if the opposition maintains the pressure of Raila Odinga (73 years), the challenger of Kenyatta for the vote of last August, not validated by the constitutional court and reorganized last November, does not admit defeated so far and organized, on January 30, in Nairobi his inauguration as « president of the people » _, for Kenyatta, « the time of politics is over. It is now time to talk about development. The dialogue we are interested in today aims to transform lives and urge development. » His election promises included affordable houses and the establishment of a universal health system.

Report from Nairobi, by Dounia Ben Mohamed

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