, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 30 – Kenya’s 2014 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows hit 97.8 billion, a 95 percent increase from Sh49.9 billion in 2013, according to new data from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) World Investment Report 2015.
The same data shows Kenya’s FDI inflows continued to outpace other East African countries that have previously attracted more inflows mainly directed towards the resources extractive sector.
In 2014, total FDI inflows into East Africa stood at Sh672 billion up 11 percent from the previous year.
According to the report as at close of 2014, Kenya represented 14.6 percent of total FDI inflows into East Africa up from a three year historical average of 6.7 percent.
Kenya Investments Authority Managing Director Moses Ikiara says data confirms optimism of foreign investors despite insecurity challenges that rocked the country last year.
“We expect performance in 2015 and 2016 to be much stronger, considering that we are overcoming our insecurity challenges,” he said.
He highlighted the upcoming high level events in the country that he says will accelerate the interest of investors that include United States President Barrack Obama’s visit in the coming weeks, the World Trade Organization conference in December as well as the visit by Pope Francis in November 2015.
On ease of doing business, Ikiara says the long awaited one-stop shop will be fully operational in September where the government is set to put up a state-of-the-art office along Valley Road in Nairobi.
He says energy and real estate remains leading sectors attracting FDIs, other sectors include agriculture and manufacturing.
Investments into private firms and expansion by companies in Kenya has continued with Wrigley (a US-based chewing gum maker) breaking ground on a new Sh5.8 billion factory in Mavoko on a 20 acre piece of land and it aims to double its production capacity as it relocates from the Industrial Area.
Fanisi Capital has also injected $2.1 million (Sh111.6 million) into European Foods Africa Limited, a local firm processing and distributing pizza, berries and juices. Fanisi’s equity and debt stake in the company will be used to expand the distribution channels.
Fanisi’s stake in European Foods in addition to its existing investments in a Kenyan meat processor and a Rwandan grain handler indicates that Fanisi is bullish on the agro-business and food-processing sector.
Cytonn Investments also closed its Private Placement Offer that valued the company north of Sh1 billion with very good appetite from global high net worth investors.
FDI inflows to Africa as a whole remained stable at Sh5.3 trillion in 2014, with decreases in North Africa being offset by rises in Sub-Saharan Africa.