Kenya has been named the best African emerging economy to invest in due to accelerated infrastructure development and a stable political and macroeconomic environment.
Ian Bremmer, president of global political risk research and consulting firm Eurasia Group, writing in the February issue of Fortune magazine said the attractiveness arises from a diminished threat of political and economic turmoil that has affected other large African economies such as Nigeria and South Africa.
Mr Bremmer said Kenya’s combination of enhanced state security bureaucracy in the wake of recent terrorist attacks and the decision by the International Criminal Court to withdraw charges against President Uhuru Kenyatta bring a new measure of stability.
“Backed by a majority in both legislative chambers, President Kenyatta appears poised to advance long-delayed plans to develop the country’s power sector and national infrastructure.
“The implementation of IMF-supported fixes to Central Bank and Treasury management ought to keep inflation in check and the currency stable as well,” he said.
Kenya stands to leverage on a stronger services sector that is increasingly attracting inflows compared to other large African economies which are supported to a large extent by commodities such as oil, gas, metals and minerals.
Mr Bremmer ranked Kenya among the top seven emerging economies around the world for investment. Others are India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Mexico, Poland and Colombia.
These countries, according to him, are more attractive in the eyes of investors because some of the more popular emerging economy investment destinations like China, Brazil and Russia are either in slowdown or facing recession.
Industrialisation and Enterprise Development secretary Adan Mohamed, said Kenya has been able to attract international investors by emphasising infrastructure development, especially in the power sector.
“The reducing cost of doing business and stable macroeconomic environment continue to make a clear signal that Kenya is ready to do business with the world and we are delighted that investors are showing increasing confidence in our country,” he said in a statement.
Kenya is implementing a 5,000-megawatt power plan with some 280MW of cheaper geothermal electricity already in the grid.
Infrastructure projects include expansion of the Mombasa port and the Sh327 billion standard gauge railway now underway.