Author: Martin Mwita

Martin Mwita is a business reporter based in Kenya. He covers equities, capital markets, trade and the East African Cooperation markets.

Africa 2024 Outlook

Business conditions in Kenya remained in a steep decline halfway through the final quarter of the year, according to the latest Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) by S&P Global.

This comes amid sizeable falls in output, new orders, and employment in November, as indicated by the PMI, which closely monitors market-moving economic indicators, covering more than 30 advanced and emerging economies worldwide.…

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loans central bank of Kenya lending rates
  • The Central Bank of Kenya benchmark rate has gone up to 12.5 per cent from 10.5 per cent.
  • Developing economies including Kenya are paying dearly for geopolitical tensions.
  • The current US policy rate at 5.25 per cent -5.5 per cent is the highest in 22 years, exerting pressure on economies.

Borrowers in Kenya are facing the prospect of more expensive loans following the country’s central bank’s decision to raise its base lending rate to a near 11-year high of 12.50 per cent. This marks an increase from the 10.50 per cent rate that has been in place since June this year, when it rose from 9.50 per cent due to a rise in non-performing loans in the banking sector.

The hike in rates occurs as Kenya, along with other economies in the region, continues to grapple with the impact of global factors, including elevated interest rates in the United States. …

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tourism market EAC
  • Annual tourist arrivals to the EAC are anticipated to increase to about 14.05 million by 2025, from the 7.2 million recorded in 2019. 
  • Kenya targets 5.5 million international tourist arrivals and a $6.3 billion annual contribution by 2028.
  • Fast-tracking of the EAC Single Tourism Visa remains critical to sell the region as a single tourism investment hub.

Diversification of products beyond traditional attractions and joint promotion of the region is a catalyst to revamping the East African Community as a single tourism market. This call on a single tourism market was underscored by regional Ministers responsible for EAC Affairs and Tourism and Wildlife Management who converged for the opening of the 3rd EAC Regional Tourism Expo (EARTE’23) and the Magical Kenya Travel Expo in Nairobi, Kenya.

The three-day Expo that kicked off on Monday provides an opportunity for EAC Partner States to create awareness of tourism investment opportunities and …

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The World Bank IMF
  • World Bank foresees $12 billion in support for Kenya between 2023 and 2026.
  • This financing is subject to approval as East Africa’s economic powerhouse continues to depend on borrowing to bridge budget gaps in the wake of high recurrent expenditures and revenue shortfalls.
  • The World Bank said it is fully committed to support Kenya in its journey to become an upper-middle-income country by 2030.

Kenya stands to benefit from up to $12 billion in financing from the World Bank over the next three years, as indicated by the global lender, ensuring continued support for the debt-saddled country.

This is subject to approval, the World Bank noted on Monday, as East Africa’s economic powerhouse continues to depend on borrowing to bridge budget gaps in the wake of high recurrent expenditures and revenue shortfalls. The World Bank stated that it is fully committed to supporting Kenya in its journey to become an…

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family businesses
  • Most East African family businesses believe that it is essential to be trusted by customers, employees and family members. 
  • Among those who consider trust among each group important: 56% are fully trusted by customers, 47% are fully trusted by employees and 77% are fully trusted by family members.
  • East Africa’s level of trust is slightly higher than global survey on family businesses.

Family businesses in East Africa demonstrated robust performance over the past financial year, with 64 percent experiencing growth, compared to 46 percent in 2021, as indicated by a survey conducted by the advisory firm PwC. The PwC’s East Africa Family Business Survey 2023 affirms the resilience of family businesses, consistently overcoming geopolitical challenges.

Despite their success, experts emphasize that these businesses must adopt new priorities to ensure the longevity of their legacies. The landscape of building trust in business is undergoing a fundamental and rapid transformation. Environmental, Social,

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tourist arrivals
  • The Kenya Tourism Board has developed a five-year (2023-2028) strategic plan to propel the growth of tourist arrivals.
  • It aims to increase the tourism sector's contribution to Kenya’s economy to $6.6 billion annually by June 2028.
  • Public-private sector collaboration in destination marketing is one of the strategies being employed, incorporating ideas that will shape the industry's performance within the review period.

Kenya aims to increase annual international tourist arrivals to 5.5 million in the next five years, a goal that would more than triple the current numbers. The ambitious plan is spearheaded by the country’s primary marketing unit, the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), which is seeking collaboration with private sector players to effectively market the country.

According to KTB Chairperson Francis Gichaba, the sector is experiencing a full recovery, and he anticipates that arrivals by the end of the current financial year will surpass the slightly over 1.9 million visitors…

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Kenya's mining sector

The Kenyan government has revoked 1,546 licenses in the mining sector as it gradually resumes licensing, marking the end of nearly four years of a standing moratorium. Principal Secretary Elijah Mwangi, from the State Department for Mining, confirmed that the ministry has undertaken a thorough audit of all mineral rights holders to identify non-compliant rights.…

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Climate finance by Multilateral Development Banks

Climate finance by Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) for low-income and middle-income economies hit a new record of $60.7 billion in 2022. The amount was 46 per cent higher than the 2019 levels, a new joint report by the lenders shows.

In terms of usage, $38.0 billion, or 63 per cent, went into projects helping mitigate the rising threat of climate change. Another $22.7 billion, or 37 per cent, went into supporting climate change adaptation initiatives. Overall, the portfolio of private finance mobilised in the period stood at $16.9 billion, the report said.…

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President Ruto scouts for public-private partnership deals on China tour
  • President William Ruto who is attending the third Belt and Road Forum in Beijing is urging Chinese investors to target energy, water and housing sectors in Kenya.
  • He said Kenya will support investors who will add value to the country’s abundant raw materials.
  • The President witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum and Energy China.

Kenya is seeking more investments from China amid a slow return to borrowing for development, which could see the East Asian country continue with its dominance in Kenya’s infrastructure space.

President William Ruto, who is attending the third Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, has urged Chinese investors to exploit opportunities in the fields of energy, water and housing in Kenya. He said Kenya will support investors who will add value to the country’s abundant raw materials.

“Kenya presents real opportunities for investment especially in transformative areas …

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Sub-Saharan Africa’s economic outlook remains bleak amid an elusive growth recovery, World Bank now says.

The latest Africa’s Pulse report by the World Bank presents a somber economic outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa. Escalating instability, lackluster growth within the region’s major economies, and persistent global economic uncertainties collectively overshadow the region’s economic resurgence prospects.

In its comprehensive analysis, the World Bank anticipates a slowdown in economic growth across Sub-Saharan Africa, with a projected rate of 2.5 per cent for 2023, compared to the 3.6 per cent recorded in 2022. This assessment underscores the multifaceted challenges currently facing the region’s economic landscape.…

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