By Peninah Owila,
With the city that never sleeps, Nairobi, as the financial center of the country’s vibrant market, Kenya is one of the most attractive places to invest in. The country has a market-based economy with major industries such as forestry, fishing, mining, tourism, energy, financial services, and agriculture. Recording gross domestic produce of $ 99.246 billion as of 2019, the country is ranked as 62nd amongst the world’s largest economies. In East and Central Africa, it’s the leading with a per capita GDP of $ 2,010. The country also has liberalized external trade systems making it investment-friendly.
Foreign direct investments in Kenya are not so much regulated except for where state corporations have to maintain their monopoly. This includes areas such as firearms, currency printing and port infrastructure. The government has set up agencies that are mandated with the responsibility of promoting and assisting foreign investments. They include
- The Kenya Investment Authority which assist foreign investors in settling their businesses.
- Export Processing Zones Authority to issue licenses to companies that want to create EPZs.
- Kenya Revenue Authority which collects revenue on behalf of the government.
- Kenya Industrial Property Institute which is in charge of administering intellectual property
- The ministry of mining which issues licensed to potential mining companies.
On the legal documents, one must have to invest in Kenya, the following are included.
- Certificate of incorporation
- Investment certificate
- Operating agreement
- Patent/copyright registration
- Insurance policy
- Non-disclosure agreement
- Business plan and
- Business license
The Kenya Investment Authority is only allowed to issue the investment certificate to a potential investor who is willing to stake $ 100,000. The proposed investment plan should be well defined by the investor to provide a clear outline of how the investment is set to benefit the locals. This is with regard to increasing tax generation, job creation for the country’s citizens, improving their technology, and skill development.
The organization mandated with the collection of revenue, Kenya Revenue Authority, further requires an investor residing out of the country.
- Letter of introduction
- Pin number of a registered tax agent
- Kenya Revenue Authority pin application acknowledgment receipt
- Endorsement letter from the Kenya Investment Authority
- A valid tax compliance certificate
- Documentary proof of investment
- Letter of appointment of the tax agent
- Certified and colored passport
- Letter of appointment
There are no special laws that are directed towards any investor. Both local and foreign investors are treated equally. Further information on these legal requirements is fully available on the Immigration Kenya website.
The geographical position of at the cost of the Indian Ocean provides a reliable import and export means through the harbors. This provides the investor with a suitable means of transportation of raw materials and finished goods. Along with the proper and established infrastructure, the products necessary to be moved are easily transported using means like the new standard gauge railway. The government has also been working towards building roads and improving communication systems for conducive business operation environments for the investors. The Kenyan market is also flooded with readily available labor that comes at a reasonable price to help any investors kick-off and succeed. The well-diversified economy should be in a position to accommodate a well-structured plan for proper execution and eventual success.