- LIVE TV
Kenya’ government is focused on developing infrastructure to enable investment and economic growth.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaska recently visited Kenya during the East African nation’s 50th independence ccelebrations. The visit was intended to open new collaborative economic opportunities for the governments and their respective private sectors.
Eight Memoranda of Understandings including agreements on bilateral relations, bilateral trade and economic and technical cooperation were signed.
New investment patterns have emerged, and international investors are giving the country a much needed boost. Investing countries have varied – struggling Greece, which expressed it’s confidence in Kenya’s stability, Egypt and Germany. The increase in foreign investments has been attributed to the growing confidence in Kenya’s economy. But why is this the case and why the sudden change in fortunes?
There are many reasons, and the first is quite simply that the government has organised itself better. Infrastructure and development are key in the present and future success of Kenya. Through ensuring the country is more organised and structured, the government has provided the foundations to develop a booming economy.
Roads have improved significantly in recent years, with the construction of a main highway and better connections particularly in agricultural regions. Rail facilities have also been improved to connect Lamu in Kenya and Doula in Cameroon, which are vital ports.
90% of the population live within range of a GSM signal – a 40% improvement from 2006 and one of the highest coverage rates on the continent. Quite simply, the infrastructure is in place to provide excellent options for any investors.
A convincing factor has been the many projects that the Kenyan government has put into place. During the visit by President Rajapaska, tea trade agreements were set up. The delegation noted that it would be beneficial for tea-producing countries to collectively approach international tea markets. Such partnerships can push Kenya’s economy to new levels of success, and the benefits are already beggining to be show.
Foreign investment flows in 2013 increased by more than 124% compared to the previous year. A total of 105 proposed projects with a capital investment of Sh136.121bn were presented between these 11 months under review, compared to 103 projects valued at just Ksh60.645bn in 2012..
Benefits for the citizens
Thanks to the improved infrastructure, the effects of the improved economy are trickling down to the population. The high unemployment rate is a concern for government, and there is a firm strategy for creating job opportunities. Since 2008, projects worth more than Sh706-billion have created 65,000 job opportunities.
The government has focused infrastructure development intiatives on improving access and facilities to specific areas identified as the drivers of growth. Manufacture, agriculture, tourism, energy, construction, ICT and mining have benefitted the most, with investors contributing the following:
There are firm initiatives to imporve the investment climate further and to continue with deployment of much-needed infrastructure in order to attract the many companies that are eyeing the region, particularly with the discoveries of natural resources. Said President Rajapaksa: “Sri Lankan private companies have invested in the power and energy sector in Africa, and they have the capacity and desire to extend their business and services in the region, especially in the power and energy sector.”
– Frontier Market Network