While Kenya remains one of the strongest economies in Africa, corruption continues to hold the country back. The East African nation reportedly loses a third of its annual state budget to corruption, impacting public funds and deterring foreign investment.
Other key challenges facing Kenya include rising debt, inequality end poverty, with 42% of its population living below the poverty line, according to UNICEF.
In late 2017 President Uhuru Kenyatta launched Vision 2030, his Big Four economic policy, centred on four key priorities: manufacturing, universal healthcare, food security and affordable housing.
Kenyatta’s vision to transform Kenya came several months after he was re-elected for his second and final term. He has pledged that by the end of his term in 2022 every Kenyan will have healthcare coverage and that 500,000 “affordable” homes will be built.
The retail outlook
Kenya has one of the most advanced retail sectors in Africa and has been dominated by family owned retailers such as supermarket chains Nakumatt, Tuskys and Naivas. However, at the end of 2017 Nakumatt fell into administration following cash-flow issues, while Tuskys is also reportedly struggling.
Not that this has thwarted foreign chains. Armed with more spending power, the country’s expanding middle class has caught the attention of international retailers. In 2016, French supermarket Carrefour launched a string of stores in Kenya, while South African supermarkets Game and Shoprite, as well Zimbabwean Choppies, have also swooped in on the lucrative market.