Kenya is an ideal location for the growing global Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) economy. High population growth, high urbanization rates, and strong GDP growth highlight Kenya’s fundamental strengths. Kenya’s annual GDP growth has been consistent at 4-6% per year since 2010, compared to the 2-4% global average. Kenya’s economy is fueled by growth in several industries: agriculture, tourism, construction, transport, communications, and most notably, ICT. Nairobi is already an established business center, with multilateral institutions like the United Nations, numerous corporate headquarters, and a growing number of tech entrepreneurs. The capital of Kenya has become a center for the technology industry in Africa, with IBM and Nokia locating global research centers in the region. Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Kenya’s global air hub, provides non-stop flights to Europe, the Middle East, Asia and across Africa, and is currently undergoing an extensive expansion. Kenya is at the heart of Sub-Saharan Africa, one of the fastest growing regions in the world.
Kenya and ICT
The Government of Kenya is committed to growing the ICT sector in Kenya. Since 2009, the Government of Kenya has made significant investments in ICT infrastructure, developing the necessary policy and legal frameworks to enable rapid growth of the sector. Infrastructure projects, such as The East African Marine System (TEAMS) and the Notational Optic Fiber Backbone Infrastructure (NOFBI), have upgraded and strengthened broadband and communications systems. Notable new policies include the Kenya Communication (Amendment) Act of 2009, the Information and Communications Regulatory Guidelines of 2010 and the Special Economic Zone Policy and Legal Frameworks of 2012, all of which have prioritized ICT growth and streamlined the process of doing business in the ICT sector.
Kenya has a robust network of public and private sector ICT research and development hubs, including public institutions such as the University of Nairobi’s Fab Lab; private institutions such as Strathmore University’s iLab Africa; and private sector hubs such as iHub, among many others.
Investing In Kenya
Kenya is a stable and thriving economy, a ripe environment for investing. Kenya has made significant recent investments in creating a supportive policy and legal environment for the successful execution of public private partnerships (PPPs). Recent actions include the establishment of a dedicated PPP Secretariat at Treasury and PPP Nodes in Contracting Authorities. Kenya is also committed to adopting and localizing internationally successful PPP models and has prioritized PPPs within the country’s reform agenda.
Kenya has an excellent track record in sound economic management. Kenya received a score of 3.8 out of 5 in the 2012 Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) by the World Bank, compared to the 3.3 average of IDA (low income) countries. Kenya received a B+ stable credit rating from Standard & Poor’s and a B+ positive from Fitch Ratings.