Invest in Kenya: East Africa’s Powerhouse

African tech startups had the “best year yet” in investments in 2019, as 311 companies received $491.6 million in funding, according to the African Tech Startups Funding Report 2019.

Total funding grew 47% over 2018’s figures, while the number of startups grew by more than 50%, according to the annual report by news and research portal Disrupt Africa.

Now in its fifth year, the report found that 2019 was “a record year for funding,” as the number of investors increased by 61% to 261.

The fintech sector remained the most popular among investors, says Disrupt Africa co-founder Tom Jackson, with 77 fintech startups raising a $107 million. Interestingly, fintech’s share of total funding fell to 21.8% from 39.7% other sectors – notably logistics, transport, e-commerce, agri-tech and e-health – enjoyed bumper years.

Kenya and Nigeria remained the lead markets in terms of total funding, securing $149 million and $122 million respectively. Egypt, with 88 companies raising funds, was the had the most startups; pushing South Africa out of third spot for investment and startup numbers.

Kenya is the largest and the most advanced economy in East and Central Africa; with strong growth prospects supported by an emerging, urban middle class and an increasing appetite for high-value goods and services.

The dominant economy in the East Africa Community, contributing to more than 50% of the region’s GDP.

Microsoft R&D Nairobi, Kenya

Kenya is open for business to well-positioned companies with strategic objectives of tapping into the growing potential of emerging markets in East and Central Africa. Bluegate Business Solutions has helped 26 companies to stablish their products or services in East Africa, being Kenya the best location.

Economic Overview

Kenya has had considerable growth in the past few years with average growth rate of over 5 percent. As of 2016, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stood at USD 70.53 billion with per capita income of USD 1,587. Kenya’s Economy is distinguished from most African countries by the fact that it is one of the most diversified and advanced.

Key sectors of the economy include agriculture, manufacturing, real estate and services. Although agriculture remains the mainstay of the economy at 30 per cent of GDP, manufacturing’s share of GDP has been rising significantly over the years. At 10 per cent, manufacturing is the second-largest contributor to GDP, with the processing of agricultural products a key factor in growth.

The Economy is Liberalized

Kenya operates a liberal economy which promotes trade and investment.

The country has, abolished price and exchange controls. The Government has also instituted measures to sustain macro-economic stability such as prudent fiscal and monetary policies, improvements in economic governance, and privatization of some public enterprises. These policies continue to promote growth by providing a more secure environment for private sector investment decisions.

Kenya guarantees capital repatriation and remittance of dividends and interest to foreign investors, who are free to convert and repatriate profits

Private enterprises, both foreign and domestic, can freely establish, acquire, and dispose of business enterprises according to the Companies Act. The Constitution of Kenya provides protection against the expropriation of private property. Only permitted subject to the payment of prompt and fair compensation

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