Nairobi grabs top slot in FDI destinations in Africa

Foreign Direct Investment flows into Kenya increased 37 per cent in 2015 compared to 2014.

Tuesday February 2 2016

A view of a section of Nairobi City skyline on July 2, 2014. Kariokor Market, Baba Dogo, Donholm, Hazina Estate and parts of Gachie are among the areas with the most polluted air in Nairobi. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

A view of a section of Nairobi City skyline on July 2, 2014. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JAMES KARIUKI
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Nairobi edged out Johannesburg to become the top destination of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in Africa in 2015 reflecting improving investor confidence in Kenya.

A report by an investment monitoring platform, FDI Markets also shows that FDI flows into Kenya rose 37 per cent in 2015 compared to 2014 adding that Kenya also attracted 12.6 per cent of FDI inflows into Africa, second only to South Africa’s 17.1 per cent.

"This is further compounded by Nairobi attracting the most FDI on the continent at city level in 2015, beating Johannesburg, which has held this accolade since 2010," notes the report.

The report attributes the sharp upward trend to favourable conditions for doing business in Kenya where an investor enjoys a 10 year tax holiday upon setting shop and are allowed to repatriate all profits.

READ: Nairobi lands position nine in Africa cities growth potential

Also read: Kenya eyes Sh200bn in foreign investment

Kenya has attracted notable private equity and grants that are being used to fund public infrastructure projects such as the Standard Gauge Railway, Lamu Berth-cum railway line to Ethiopia and private projects in real estate, hospitality as well as industrial development.

Social impact energy projects

The reports shows that foreigners invested in at least 78 projects in Kenya last year due to growing confidence in the country’s investment climate.

Among the projects attracting foreign investors to Kenya include planned social impact energy projects where private investors are putting up wind farms in Kajiado County’s Ngong area, Nyandarua’s Kinangop plateau and the largest wind farm in Africa which will be located in Turkana.

Several geothermal development projects are going on at Mount Longonot, Ol Karia and Menengai, all located in Nakuru County.

Three motor vehicle assembly plants are also set for opening soon in Kiambu, Machakos and Mombasa counties while an array of industries are now under construction in various counties.

Nairobi’s skyline continues to experience gross changes following multi-billion shilling investments in real estate and office development as well as retail malls that have attracted global attention from leading mall operators.

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