Kenya: The place to be

3 min
Stéphane Collaic
Stéphane Collaic Senior Economist for France and Africa

Kenya is attracting more and more attention. 2018 growth figures are not fully out yet, but it seems that GDP grew by +6%, recovering from +4.9% in 2017. Kenya’s growth performance is one of the broadest based in Africa (significant contributions from agriculture, trade, transport, telecoms and construction). It illustrates the country’s willingness to become a trade and logistics hub in the region, along with diplomatic activism (e.g. improving relation­ship with Ethiopia, mediation in the dispute between Uganda and Rwanda). Moreover, Kenya is reforming fast (rank 61 in the latest Doing Business survey) including the latest moves regarding urbanization, by lowering the size from which a county is defined as an urban area in order to improve the access to basic infrastructures. It includes the access to power in a country where we estimate that USD100bn of additional spending would be needed by 2030 to close the equipment gap with a middle-income economy (e.g. Mexico). Against this backdrop, accurate financing will be the main issue, since FDI inflows finance only 16% of the current account deficit.