Economic revival, but the road ahead is fraught with challenges


SENSITIVE RISK for enterprise

  • Economic risk

  • Business environment risk

  • Political risk

  • Commercial risk

  • Financing risk

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GDP USD 60.94bn (World ranking 74, World Bank 2014)
Population 45.55 mn (World ranking 30, World Bank 2014)
Form of state Republic
Head of government Uhuru Kenyatta
Next elections 2018, presidential and legislative
  • Large domestic market (population 45mn and member of a regional trading bloc, East African Community, which is expanding and offering good business opportunities.
  • Vibrant horticultural and tourism sectors, although the latter is volatile, subject to domestic political stability and regional security concerns.
  • Regional energy sector has significant potential (including offshore gas fields), with direct (exploitable reserves within Kenya’s territory) and indirect (inputs through Kenyan ports and exports from them) benefits.
  • Strategic importance: regional economic hub.
  • Poor record in terms of political party and individual rivalries and ethnic, tribal and religious divides, which spilled over into violence in 2008. Despite a relatively successful election process in March 2013, these fault lines remain in place.
  • Regional uncertainties (including Somalia, piracy and terrorist activity).
  • Classified as a lower-middle income economy by the World Bank, with associated need to maintain aid and other external assistance flows.
  • Chequered relationship with the IFIs and wider donor community, partly reflecting perceptions of corruption.
  • Twin deficits in fiscal and current accounts.

Trade structure by destination/origin

(% of total)

Exports Rank Imports
Uganda 10%
24% China
Tanzania 9%
11% India
United States 8%
7% United Arab Emirates
Netherlands 7%
5% Japan
United Kingdom 7%
4% South Africa

Trade structure by product

(% of total)

Exports Rank Imports
Coffee, tea, cocoa, spices, and manufactures thereof 25%
14% Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials
Crude animal and vegetable materials, n.e.s. 11%
9% Road vehicles
Vegetables and fruits 9%
5% Textile yarn and related products
Articles of apparel & clothing accessories 6%
4% Telecommunication and sound recording apparatus
Miscellaneous manufactured articles, n.e.s. 4%
4% Iron and steel


Contact Euler Hermes

Economic Research Team

Contact Stéphane Colliac

Senior Economist for France and Africa