Kenya mulls policy to accelerate foreign investment

NAIROBI – Kenya is currently developing a policy in order to fast track Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) into the country, officials have said. Moses Ikiara, the managing director of Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest), told Xinhua in Nairobi that stakeholders are currently finalising the Kenya Investment Policy so that it presented to Cabinet for approval.

“Thereafter, it will be presented to Parliament so that it becomes endorsed as a policy that will guide the flow of investments into the country. We hope it will be in place by mid 2018,” Ikiara said during a Kenya-Belgium Business delegation forum.

Over 40 Belgium investors are in the country looking for investment opportunities in Kenya. The policy has been in development for the past two years. Ikiara said that the new policy is expected to provide the institutional architecture that will coordinate promotion and retention of investments.

He said that Kenya has never had a holistic national policy that looks at the investment issue in the broad sense.

“As a result, investment issues have been ignored as existing laws have gaps in addressing emerging issues,” he said. Ikiara noted that at present, the country’s investment framework is contained in a myriad of laws that have an impact on investments.

The managing director noted that once the investment policy is in place, it will require some of the existing laws to be amended. According to investment agency, FDI into Kenya has been hampered as lack of a clear investment policy has resulted in delays in making key decisions required by international investors.

One of the provisions of the investment policy is the formation of an investment council that will be empowered to make critical decisions in a timely manner.