Doing Business 2020 Ranking


Days needed to import


GDP per capita (USD)


Strategic location

Kenya is an East African country with the population of 53.5M, located on the coast of the Indian Ocean on the equator. Borders Somalia, Ethiopia and South Sudan on the north, Uganda on the west and Tanzania on the south. The Republic of Kenya, with the capital city of Nairobi, remains the 3rd biggest economy of Sub-Saharan Africa. Kenya, with its biggest port of Mombasa, remains an important trade centre that connects continental Africa, Arabian Peninsula and India. If you want to know more about the chances and challenges that await you in Kenya, click here

Currently Kenya is seen as a financial, communicative and logistic centre of Eastern Africa. The main trading partners of the country are China, India, Uganda, Tanzania and UAE.

Agricultural lands covers 15% of Kenyan territory, but the agriculture is a dominant branch of the economy. The country has no significant fossil resources. The basic mineral mined in Kenya is washing soda from the coast of Magadi Lake. The Kenyan yield is responsible for 4% of global production of this compound. Other minerals and metals are also mined, including limestone, gold, salt, niobium, fluorite and fossil fuels, but the total value of mining industry is estimated for 1% GDP.

Kenya is best known for its’ tea, coffee, tobacco and cut flowers cultivation, well developed thanks to the oceanic equatorial climate. The country also puts a great effort in the preservation of the wild environment by creating 27 large national parks and 34 reserves, with the best known Masai Mara and Nairobi National Park. The savanna, Great Rift Valley and Mt. Kenya, the second highest peak of the continent (5199 m AMSL) attract the tourists, amateurs of safari, hiking or off-road. Because of the natural richness and many monuments from the Arabic and British colonial period, the tourism is second (after agriculture) most valued branch of the country.

After proclaiming the independence from the Great Britain in 1963, Kenya became a presidential republic and accessed to the international organisations, like UN, WB, IMF, COMESA, WTO et al.


The population of Kenya is 53,527,936 people. It’s very young – 75% of the people are younger than 30. The rapid growth of the population is visible. In 1950 there was 6.1 M inhabitants, in 2000 – 31.4M and in 2017 – 48M. Kenyan society is not a monolith. There is around 40 local ethnic groups, plus several more originating from India or Europe. The official languages are English and Swahili, but in the rural areas the local dialects are commonly used. The linguists indicate there is 69 languages in active use to date. The English, however, remains the main language of business and tourism.

The majority (85%) of Kenyans are Christian, mainly Protestant. Roman Catholics include 20% of this group. Muslim people amount to 10.9% of the population and live mainly in the coastal region, 0.7% of the population believe in the ethnical religions and 1.6% have no religion at all.

Economy – International Trade

In 2018 Kenya exported a total of $6.63B, making it the number 103 exporter in the world. During the last five reported years the exports of Kenya have changed by -$138M from $6.77B in 2013 to $6.63B in 2018.

The most recent exports are led by tea ($1.46B), cut flowers ($616M), refined petroleum ($347M), coffee ($243M), and titanium Ore ($152M). The most common destination for the exports of Kenya are Uganda ($643M), Pakistan ($575M), United States ($527M), Netherlands ($511M), and United Kingdom ($433M).

In 2018 Kenya imported $19.7B, making it the number 79 trade destination in the world. During the last five years the imports of Kenya changed by $2.31B from $17.3B in 2013 to $19.7B in 2018.

The most recent imports of Kenya are led by refined petroleum ($3B), cars ($518M), packaged medicaments ($454M), palm oil ($441M), and hot-rolled iron ($410M). The most common import partners for Kenya are China ($4.72B), India ($2B), Saudi Arabia ($1.66B), United Arab Emirates ($1.61B), and Japan ($944M).

The currency in Kenya is Kenyan shilling (KES). In 2020 its worth averaged on 0.0092 USD. The currency’s value trends do decrease after a crisis in 2010.

Kenya’s economy


Due the fact that only 1/3 of the population has the permanent access to the electricity and thanks to the global trend of seeking alternative energy sources, there is a probability that the market of renewables will start to develop rapidly. The industry that can be seen as a promising sector in the region is also fin-tech and remote banking, often led via GSM network, providing the services despite the lack of well-developed infrastructure like LTE/4G. Technical and constructing companies, which could lower the cost of erecting new buildings and develop high energy efficiency of the facilities, especially on the rural areas, can also succeed on the market.



  • Growing market
  • Reexport hub
  • Relatively large insfrastructure


  • Bureaucracy and corruption
  • Possibility of terrorist attacks and social unrest
  • Social inequalities
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