Exclusive interview: Dr. Moses Ikiara, PhD, MBS Managing Director KenInvest
Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) promotes investments in Kenya. It is responsible for facilitating the implementation of new investment projects, providing After Care services for new and existing investments, as well as organizing investment promotion activities both locally and internationally. We speak to its Managing Director Dr. Moses Ikiara.
In 140 characters or less – what is KenInvest?
Kenya’s investment promotion agency – KenInvest – promotes and facilitates local and international investment into Kenya.
What was the driver for creating KenInvest – what gap did it fill?
KenInvest was created through an Act of Parliament (Investment Promotion Act No. 6 of 2004) with the main objective of promoting private investments in Kenya. Previously it had existed as Investment Promotion Centre since 1986.
KenInvest provides investors with pre-and-post investment information and services, assisting in areas such as licensing, tax incentives, advice on the business climate, operating rules, sources of capital, how to navigate government agencies and aftercare support. KenInvest’s primary goal is to act as a bridge between investors and the market, offering continuous liaison and interfacing with investors in their day-to-day operations; ultimately to make it easier to do business in Kenya.
As a result of KenInvest’s efforts and sustained momentum in promoting Kenya’s investment proposition led by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta, The Deputy President, The Cabinet and private sector agencies, FDI into Kenya has doubled year-on-year, rising by 98 percent in 2013 and 92.4 percent in 2014. With major investments being made by international companies in various sectors, including tech giant Google purchasing a stake in Africa’s largest wind project, we are confident this momentum will continue.
Who is it primarily for?
KenInvest is coordinating local and international players engaging in private investment and continues to build a comprehensive and up to date database of investment opportunities in Kenya touching all sectors and counties across the country. Moreover, KenInvest, in conjunction with investment project promoters in the public and private sectors, is profiling investment projects to ease investor decision-making.
What difference does KenInvest want to make?
KenInvest is integral to the country’s development blueprint – Vision 2030, which aims to transform Kenya into a ‘newly industrializing, middle-income country providing a high quality of life to all its citizens by the year 2030.’ Private investment plays a big role in this. KenInvest is therefore promoting and marketing the country as the preferred investment destination in order to attain investment to GDP ratio of at least 32 percent.
KenInvest’s vision is to be a global leader in investment attraction and to position Kenya as a leading FDI destination.
What are the barriers to making that difference? Who’s helping you overcome those barriers?
As part of our remit, we are firmly focused on enhancing ease and cost of doing business in Kenya by urging the relevant institutions to implement reforms required to overcome barriers.
Kenya has made significant strides in improving its regulatory framework; recently enacting a New Companies Act, Insolvency Act and Business Regulation Act; in addition to the PPP Act of 2013 and on-going reforms to its Public Procurement Act.
We are also due to open a one-stop investor shop in Nairobi to provide investors with end-to-end guidance on establishing and growing businesses in Kenya. Investors will be able to visit KenInvest to seek guidance from our experienced consultants on navigating the business landscape in Kenya.
Following on from these reforms, Kenya has been ranked as the third most reformed country in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business 2016 report – an indication of the positive progress made by the country in overcoming barriers to doing business.
Beyond the regulatory sphere, the Government of Kenya has made unprecedented public investments in security, infrastructure, public infrastructure and economic and political governance structures, and continues to invest heavily in human resource development.
Is global action today commensurate with the energy challenges we face?
The Government of Kenya has identified energy as one of the infrastructural enablers of the three pillars of Vision 2030 – Kenya’s development blue print. The country has recognized and planned for an expected surge in energy use within the commercial sector in the coming years.
Kenya’s energy plans encompass renewable energy projects including wind, geothermal and solar energy development programmes on a commercial scale, with the Government of Kenya introducing an attractive feed-in tariff policy to attract private investments.
The country is targeting to generate an additional 5000MW of power in less than three years, and as a result opportunities within the sector are abound for global investors.
How can people – individuals and organizations – find out more about KenInvest?
Local or international investors eager to learn more about doing business in Kenya can visit www.investmentkenya.com or contact us via email@example.com with information on their sector focus. A member of our team will then be in touch. We also encourage investors to visit makeitkenya.com for an overview of Kenya’s investment landscape and latest news.
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