Kenya

Kenya is a country on the rise.

Kenya has grown dramatically since becoming independent in 1963. Once free from centuries of colonial rule, the country adopted economic policies favoring property ownership and access to land, self-determination, equity, democracy and intellectual freedom.

Since gaining independence, Kenya has never experienced military rule, and, although it is a democracy, the country has experienced politically-instigated violence based on ethnic divisions and tribal lines.  Following the 2007 post-election violence, Kenya held a constitutional referendum which led to the ratification of a new constitution in 2010—which instilled stronger political checks and balances. In addition to the new constitution, Kenya has made significant structural and economic reforms that have contributed to sustained political stability and economic growth in the past decade and the country is now considered the economic center of the East African Community (EAC) with a GDP that accounts for 40% of the region’s total GDP.

Timeline

1963
Independence
1967
Kenya’s First President Jomo Kenyatta plays a crucial role in setting up the East African Community
2003
President Mwai Kibaki implements the Economic Recovery Strategy for Wealth and Employment Creation
2008
Vision 2030 launched to meet Millennium Development Goals
2008
Plans approved for Konza Techno City, a flagship Kenya 2030 project, projected to create 100,000 jobs
2010
Operation begins at Olkaria IV Geothermal Power Plant, the world’s largest single turbine geothermal plant, designed to reduce the cost of electricity by 30%
2013
LAPSSET Corridor Project launches, the 1st major infrastructure project initiated without external assistance

Overview

Demographic + Economic Overview

Kenya is one of the most ethnically diverse, well-educated and relatively peaceful countries in East Africa. Literacy among adults is 78%, with many fluent in English and Kiswahili, the country’s two official languages among numerous indigenous dialects.

46M Current
Population
80.1M Projected Population Growth by 2050
19.3 Median
Age
43.4% Poverty (2012)
67.4% Workforce
Participation
  • Income Level Classification:
  • Low
  • Lower Middle
  • Higher Middle
  • High

Outlook

Economic Outlook

The strongest economy in the EAC, Kenya is a regional hub for transport and financial services. Massive infrastructure improvements will further strengthen inter­regional trade and bolster the manufacturing, service and tourism industries.

$63.1B Gross
GDP
$3,300 Per Capita
GDP
GDP Growth Chart Comparison
5.4% Kenya
3.4% Sub-Saharan Africa
2.4% World
6.4% Inflation
$944M Foreign Direct
Investments
108 / 189 Ease of Doing Business Ranking
139 / 168 World Corruption Ranking
103.15 KES / $1 USD
Current Average Exchange Rate Currency: Kenyan Shilling (KES)

Key Sectors

Key Sectors

Though Kenya has long been an agricultural economy and a leading global producer of coffee and tea, it continues to diversify, particularly given the discovery of major oil and gas deposits in the Rift Valley, along with renewed mineral and mining policy. In addition, the service and industrial sectors are projected to become strong drivers of economic growth, particularly in telecommunications, real estate, aviation and manufacturing.

GDP
by Sector
29.9% Agriculture
50.6% Service
19.5% Industry
Workforce by Sector
10% Agriculture
20% Service
70% Industry