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Kenya’s Economic Rise

David Sand | How We Made it in Africa   in 
March 6, 2015

Imagine vast and beautiful savannah grasslands as two million wildebeest migrate from the Serengeti National Park in the Mara region of Tanzania to the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. This trip is 3,000km in length, and represents, in many ways, the very best of what Africa has to offer the international community. But is this all Kenya puts on the plate? The answer is a definitive “no.” Kenya is moving from a frontier market to an emerging market and is beginning to attract investment from all over the world.

The future of Kenya’s business environment is looking increasingly bright as the national economy continues to grow at an enviable pace. Although Kenya has had its fair share of political unrest since independence from Britain in 1963, including the Daniel arap Moi era, Nairobi has steadily cemented its place as a hub of commercial activity ahead of any competitor in East and Central Africa. Indeed, it is a veritable gateway to the entire region.

Moreover, Kenya is now considered to be the ninth largest economy on the continent, and with a growth of between 5% and 6% predicted for 2015, its place among the African emerging markets will soon be indubitable. Major contributors to the gross domestic product include agricultural produce, horticulture, and the services industry. The Kenyan highlands are one of the most agriculturally productive regions in Africa, and agriculture alone accounts for about 75% of all employment in the country. This level of employment is very high compared to food secure nations, but tea is a major export and funds about 20% of the GDP. Cut flowers are exported to Europe and form another major export item. Lastly, from the produce side of things, is coffee exports.

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