KENYA – THE LAND OF CONTRASTS: HERITAGE OF SPLENDOUR AND INFINITE POSSIBILITIES
A magical country, Kenya is much more than just a world-renowned safari destination. It is a global heritage of splendour, the cradle of humankind, and the land of countless attractions and opportunities
By H.E. Mr. Lindsay Kiptiness Ambassador of Kenya to Thailand
What comes to your mind when you think of Kenya? I am pretty sure the word ‘Safari’ comes to your mind. Yes, ‘Safari’ is a world-famous Kenyan brand that defines what Kenya is to the Safari Lover. Kenya is, however, much more than just a safari country. It is a global heritage of splendour, the cradle of humankind, and the land of infinite attractions and opportunities.
As a Safari destination, Kenya is arguably the only country in the world where giraffes come to watch and enjoy international golf tournaments as recently seen at the Magical Kenya women’s international golf tournament at Vipingo Ridge golf course.
It is the only country in the world with a national park within the precincts of its capital city. Here visitors and conference attendees have the rare opportunity to go for an early safari in the park and share their breakfast with the giraffes. It is the land of world marathon champions, such as the famous Eliud Kipchoge of the INEOS ‘no human is limited’ fame.
Innumerable Reasons to Visit Kenya
Ever wondered why Kenya is referred to as a magical country? Recently, I attended a tourism concert titled ‘The Wonders of Tourism 2023′ in Bangkok and I met a travel agent who told me that he has been to Kenya more than 100 times.
When I asked him what made him visit Kenya so many times, he said, “Kenya is a magical, authentic, and exceptional safari country like no other and there is always this urge to go back.” Indeed, a safari trip for you to magical Kenya will be an unforgettable lifetime experience.
Popularly known as the Land of Contrasts, Kenya exhibits all the climatic seasons and natural physical conditions that are very ideal for safari throughout the year, snow-capped mountains, picturesque highlands, Great Rift Valley, hot springs ideal for therapeutic purposes, equatorial rainforest, desert landscape, savannah grasslands and home of the Great Wildebeest Migration and pristine sandy beaches.
One can also go bird watching in Malindi, which has over 1,100 recorded species of birds. In the famous Meru National Park, visitors can walk in the footsteps of Elsa the Lioness of the bestselling novel and award-winning movie ‘Born Free’. The movie recounts the lives of Joy Adamson, and Elsa, their lioness in the Meru National Park.
Away from the company of wildlife, visitors can go swimming, sky-diving, and do sport fishing, paragliding, snorkeling, scuba diving and other water sports on the clear blue ocean.
For mountain climbers, Mt. Kenya and Mt. Kilimanjaro, the two highest snow-covered mountains in Africa, will be beckoning and you can as well fly on hot air balloons on the plains of Amboseli.
Magical Kenya also offers a great opportunity for visitors to go on night camping in the stunning wilderness teeming with wildlife in the Samburu and Sarova Shaba Game Reserves in Northern Kenya. As an emerging Golfer’s paradise, Kenya’s 42 international magical golf courses offer the golfer a Royal Pedigree golf experience.
Cradle of Human Life and Rich Cultural HeritaGE
And for visitors who love history, the Northern desert around the shores of Lake Turkana provides the visitor with a unique opportunity to experience the pre-historic fossil heritage sites, where various fossils dating back to about 4.2 million years are found. The most noteworthy of discoveries include the Australopithecus anamensis, 4.2 million years old, Homo habilis, about 1.9 million years old, and the Home erectus, or famously called the ‘Turkana Boy,’ about 1.5 million years old. Welcome to the cradle of human life!
It does not, therefore, matter which part of the country you visit, this unique heritage of splendour makes Kenya the magical safari country of choice for visitors from all over the world, offering its guests a kaleidoscope of a wide range of thrilling, unique, and authentic magical experiences with memories that last a lifetime.
A Strong Economy
Africa is home to ten of the fastest growing economies in the world.
In its recent macroeconomic outlook report for Africa, the African Development Bank Group said that Africa is set to outperform the rest of the world in economic growth over the next two years, with real gross domestic product (GDP) averaging around 4% in 2023 and 2024, respectively. The growth is higher than the global average growth of 2.7% and 3.2%, respectively.
The report further states that all the continent’s five regions will remain resilient and experience a steady growth outlook for the medium-term, despite facing significant hurdles due to global socio-economic shocks, caused by various factors including climate change, disruption of global supply chains as a result of COVID-19 and the Ukraine-Russia conflict.
The coming into force of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) makes the continent the ideal destination for foreign investment, and Kenya, which is one of the top five economies in Sub-Saharan Africa with a GDP of $117,000 billion is one of the key gateways to the ‘heart’ of Africa.
Across the continent, the African tech start-ups scene is booming with innovative ventures and promising growth, in turn attracting investors from around the world.
Konza Technopolis Incubation Centre
The tech start-up ecosystem in Kenya experienced steady growth in 2022 and the country is now among the top markets leading the funding in Africa as the continent embraces the 4th IR and AI. The sectors include fintech, e-commerce, retail-tech, entertainment-tech, e-health, and agri-tech among others. With a growing pool of tech talent and the vibrant startup ecosystem, Kenya’s digital transformation continues to play a critical role in fostering digital economic opportunities and creating investment and employment opportunities.
Konza Technopolis, the new digital city, dubbed the ‘Silicon Savanna of Africa’ is one of Kenya’s flagship projects under Kenya Vision 2030, and is set to become a global technology hub and a key enabler of Kenya’s growing digital economy. It will have a vibrant mix of businesses, workers, residents, and urban amenities. It will be a Smart City with an integrated urban Information and Communication Technology network that supports delivery of connected urban services and allows for efficient management of services on a large scale. Konza Technopolis is ready and waiting for you to invest in and you will not go wrong.
An attractive Investment destination
The Government of Kenya has taken bold policy actions to help the economy mitigate compounding challenges. As a strong advocate of the bottom-up economic model, the government advocates robust measures that include a mix of monetary, fiscal and structural policies. These include building up a strong MSMES sector as the foundation of industrial take-off, investing in affordable housing, universal health coverage, and controlling inflation.
Other policy measures include boosting intra-Africa trade, especially in manufacturing products to cushion economies from volatile commodity prices, accelerating structural reforms to build capacity in tax administration and heavy investments in digitalization and e-governance. This will enhance transparency, reduce corruption and illicit financial flows, and scale up domestic resource mobilization.
The government has also improved institutional governance and enacted policies that will leverage the private sector financing especially in climate-resilient and pandemic-resilient green economy. In an effort to achieve its green economy goals, the government has embarked on a campaign to plant 15 billion trees by 2032 and ensure that Kenya is renewable-energy secure by 2030. The government has further taken action to reduce structural budget deficits and the accumulation of public debt.
As a foreign investor, you need not worry about the security of your money and investment. All investors, whether foreign or domestic, enjoy Constitutional protection against expropriation, and both capital and profits are guaranteed and repatriated easily.
The country has also signed various agreements with other governments for the promotion and protection of investments. The ‘one stop’ shop facility established enables processing of all business licenses quickly and efficiently. The government organises Periodic Presidential roundtables with the private sector and Cabinet committee and has digitized government services and has completed construction of industrial zone programs under the EPZs and SEZs models, which have guaranteed investment incentives.
Kenya is now ranked number 56 out of 190 countries in the ease of doing business. Kenya has a highly developed pool of human capital that is youthful, creative, productive and highly skilled with a literacy level of over 80% and a median age of 20 years.
Other investment environment benefits include: wide market access & good trade relations with the EAC, COMESA, AfCFTA and EPAs with the EU and the UK. As an emerging intra-regional hub for trade in East Africa and Central Africa, Kenya has embarked on an ambitious programme to improve and expand multi-modal infrastructure networks connecting the Eastern Seaboard of Africa to the hinterland. This will create significant trade and investment opportunities and a direct positive impact in the entire region.
Vast rail and road transport networks connecting Kenya and the East and Central Africa regions
Priority Areas for investment
Key areas of investment opportunities in the country include manufacturing and value addition; private hospitals, pharmaceuticals, agri-processing; tourism and hotel industry, Business process off-shoring and IT enabled services; financial services, blue economy and clean energy. Kenya is ranked the third most attractive financial market in Africa with a wide range of available products; market transparency; predictive tax and good regulatory environment, and enforceability of standard financial markets master agreements.
Kenya is the commercial and financial hub of the region and home to the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), the fourth-largest exchange in terms of trading volume, capable of making 10 million trades a day and fifth largest in terms of Market Capitalization as a percentage of GDP in Africa.
Kenya is the headquarters to the only United Nations Office in the Global South, and home to many international and multinational corporations, including General Electric, Young and Rubicam, Google, Coca Cola, IBM Services, Toyota, LG, Volkswagen, Peugeot, Citibank, Huawei, Diageo, and CISCO Systems, among others.
The country prides itself with the best high-quality organic products, including coffee, tea, macadamia and cashew nuts, flowers, fresh produce such as avocados, mint, basil, coriander, parsley, chives, rosemary, purple tea, Thyme, sage, dill, oregano, marjoram and tarragon as well as fresh spices. All these are exported to Europe, the US, Japan, and China. The Kenya Embassy is currently looking for market opportunities in ASEAN.
Nairobi Railway City Urban Integrated Development Project
The Kenya government invites foreign investors to enter into joint ventures with Kenyan investors to develop the recently launched Nairobi Railway City Urban Integrated Development project on a long-term lease.
The project is a multi-modal development sitting on 425 acres of land earmarked for completion in 20 years. The project consists of an ultra-modern railway station, commercial buildings, an industrial park, light manufacturing, shopping arcades, resorts and five-star hotels, malls, and restaurants, affordable houses, Green TOD, Techno research hub, Bus Rapid Transport, and rail links to the international airport. Nairobi city prides itself as home of fintech phenomenon and home to the first ever developed mobile money transfer technology (MPESA).
Your safari of a lifetime starts here and the best time to go for the peak season is between December-March and July-October due to the dry, warm, and cool conditions which make wildlife viewing easier and temperatures generally comfortable. Here below are some of the links of magical Kenya for you.