Kenya's economy: Dynamic growth and diverse business opportunities

Market information for companies

The East African Republic of Kenya is characterized by promising economic development and stable growth. The country is considered an attractive investment location for foreign companies and offers interesting business opportunities in various sectors.

Statistics on the Kenyan economy

With a gross domestic product of over 95 billion US dollars, Kenya is the largest economy in East Africa. In recent years, the country has recorded an average economic growth of over 5 percent. The Kenyan economy is highly diversified, covering a variety of sectors such as agriculture, tourism, telecommunications and financial services. The most important export products are tea, coffee, flowers and vegetables. The service sector accounts for around 61 percent of economic output. Trade, tourism and telecommunications are the fastest growing service industries.

A country in transition

Despite its official status as a developing country, Kenya already has many characteristics of an emerging country:

  • Political stability since 2002
  • Strong economic growth (over 5 percent in recent years)
  • Expanding middle class
  • Growing purchasing power

Thanks to this significant development boost in recent years, Kenya can now be viewed as a transition country between development and threshold status.

Driving sectors of the Kenyan economy

Agriculture is a mainstay of the economy: around 75 percent of the population is employed directly or indirectly in the agricultural sector and it contributes around a third to the gross domestic product. Important agricultural products include tea, coffee, corn, wheat, flowers and vegetables.

The tourism sector is also very important. Kenya is a popular safari destination, attracting travelers from all over the world, particularly to the coast and the Masai Mara. In 2019 alone, over 2 million people visited the country.

The services sector is also strong: Kenya has established itself as a leading innovator in Africa, particularly in the area of mobile technology. The country is home to M-Pesa, a globally recognized mobile money transfer system. The expansion of the technology sector, particularly in Nairobi, has spawned a vibrant startup culture that continues to grow through local and international investment.

Mombasa also acts as the most important seaport in East Africa. The financial sector is also well developed and has given Kenya a reputation as a leading financial center in the region.

Opportunities for German investments in Kenya

The Kenyan market offers interesting opportunities in various sectors for German companies

  • Infrastructure Projects: The Kenyan government has made significant investments in infrastructure development, including the expansion of roads, railways and power supplies. This offers German companies extensive opportunities to participate in large-scale projects, particularly in the areas of renewable energy, water and waste management, and construction.
  • Renewable energy: Kenya has set itself the goal of having 100% of its energy by 2030 Obtaining energy from renewable sources. This opens up extensive investment opportunities in solar, wind and geothermal energy projects. German companies that are leaders in these areas could benefit significantly from this ambitious initiative.
  • Agriculture: modern farming methods, food safety - cooperation with German companies is welcome
  • Tourism: hotels, safari trips , leisure activities - increasing demand for high-quality tourism
  • Health care: hospitals, medical technology, pharmaceutical products - need for investments and know-how
  • Telecommunications: mobile networks, digitization - German technologies are in demand
  • Automotive industry: assembly, vehicle parts, financial services - growing sales market
  • Mining: development of natural resources and minerals - great potential

The demand for high quality products and services is continually increasing as the middle class in Kenya grows. German companies can benefit from this trend.

Why is the economy growing in Kenya?

The sustained economic growth is due to several factors:

  • Political stability and reliable democratic structures since 2002
  • Improved infrastructure and investments in roads, railways, ports
  • Reforms to strengthen entrepreneurial activities
  • Growing domestic demand due to an expanding middle class
  • Large and well-educated workforce
  • Increasing investments from abroad (over 1.6 billion US dollars in 2019)
  • Promotion foreign investment and trade
  • Growing services sector

Investment climate in Kenya

The Kenyan government is trying to provide incentives for foreign investors. There are special economic zones with tax breaks and simplified approval procedures for companies. However, there are still bureaucratic hurdles. Corruption is a challenge, as is poor infrastructure in rural areas. Political risks should be weighed before entering the market. Overall, however, the trend points towards further improvements in investment conditions.

Conclusion: Kenya remains a promising growth market

With its over 50 million inhabitants (most of whom are under 35 years old), the growing middle class and increasing purchasing power, the Kenyan market offers interesting prospects for German companies. Despite existing challenges, the overall development is clearly pointing upwards. Taking into account the specific local conditions, profitable business can be created in Kenya in the medium and long term.

Market information for companies

You would like to take your company to Kenya, but you don't have the necessary information? You can find it in the publication “New Markets - New Opportunities: Kenya” Information on the economic environment and funding and advice options for your path into the Kenyan market.

Business opportunities in Kenya on

The matchmaking platform is one of the many measures of German development cooperation. At, the focus is on attracting companies from the private sector to participate in development cooperation projects, all of which Cooperation partners have something: the companies by opening up new and lucrative markets for their products and services and making a contribution to sustainable development of supply chains, and the developing or emerging countries that benefit from the know-how and/or investments benefit. The offer covers many countries and regions - from Africa to Asia to Ukraine.

Discover the profitable and sustainable business opportunities of German development cooperation in Kenya here.

Toast content has launched a special call supporting companies in Ukraine and Moldova, as well as civil society organisations in Germany. Find out more on the special pages.