President to lead hunt for investors

Trade CS Peter Munya with KenIvest board chairman Dennis Waweru perusing the newly launched Kenya’s investment policy at Crowne Plaza in Nairobi.
A powerful council led by the President is set to manage new investments in the country as the government steps up efforts at improving the business environment.

This is part of new measures outlined in the Kenya Investment Policy, a blueprint for investors wanting to set up shop in the country.

The policy document launched in Nairobi yesterday seeks to address investor concerns such as work permits, minimum capital requirements, and incentives.

It targets to increase the level of public investments to at least 32 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product and private investments to 24 per cent by 2030.

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The new plan also hopes to raise Kenya’s position in the ease of doing business index.

It will see the setting up of the National Investment Council (NIC) chaired by the President who will appoint its 10 members.

Kenya Investment Authority, being the national investment promotion agency, will serve as the secretariat of the council and run its day-to-day activities.

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NIC will champion a "sound investment climate", including addressing “high-impact and unique investor requests.”

It will also formulate a negative list of activities where foreign investments will be restricted so as to protect local investors in “sensitive areas”, with the list to be published every three years.

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NIC will also monitor Kenya’s economic development and identify non-beneficial areas and help in resolving investment-related disputes at the highest level.

"To ensure investment proposals are consistent with Kenya’s national interest, the government may review major foreign and domestic investment proposals on a case-by-case basis through the National Investment Council," says the policy.

However, Parliament may grant exemptions from this policy for investors wanting to make significant investments in “priority sectors”.

Trade Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya welcomed the policy document, saying it was long overdue.

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InvestmentsKenya Investment PolicyNational Investment Council