Why Kenya remains attractive to investors

Kenya has in recent years topped the list of African countries that are most attractive to foreign investment.

But with elections coming later this year and an increasingly unstable global economic outlook, the country’s risk profile has increased.

The Business Daily spoke to Citibank’s head of investment banking for Africa, Miguel Azevedo, on the country’s investment outlook and the state of investment markets. Here are the excerpts:

What does the deal pipeline look like given the instability in global markets?

The global events may have an impact, but I don’t expect it to be significant because at the end of the day the interest in Africa, East Africa and Kenya is primarily coming from private money. I see a lot of interest in Africa.

There are challenges, mainly in West Africa where economies are more commodity-driven and are still coming out of the abrupt fall in commodity prices.

In East Africa things are not so extreme, and the region is a net beneficiary of lower commodity prices.

Many of the factors that brought the investors in the first place such as demographics, growing urbanisation, bigger consumer class, and massive gap in infrastructure, remain in place. To have a deal you need supply and demand.

Investors around the world have a lot of capital which needs a place to go. On average growth is here in Kenya and East Africa in general, therefore investors will keep coming.

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