UNDP and World Bank join forces with Kenya for FDI boost

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank, and the Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) have announced a new partnership to develop and implement an Investment Facilitation Framework and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Attraction Strategy. The framework aims to create a transparent, predictable, efficient, and trusted mechanism for effective investment facilitation.

Speaking during the launch of the partnership in Nairobi, Rebecca Miano, the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Investments, Trade, and Industry (MITI), praised the partnership, stating that it will make it easier for investors to invest, conduct their business, and expand their operations in Kenya.

She further added that through the partnership, Kenya will streamline procedures related to domestic and foreign investor attraction and improve coordination and cooperation among actors in the investment cycle.

Investment in Kenya

The Minister applauded the role played by the National Investment Council (NIC), a body mandated with providing an overarching coordination mechanism to support the growth of investment in Kenya, and for working tirelessly with the Secretariat to conceptualize the Investment Facilitation Framework.

“We have set a target as a country to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the tune of USD 10 billion. To unlock Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and position Kenya as a competitive investment destination, the National Investment Council through its Secretariat, Kenya Investment Authority, has developed an Investment Facilitation Framework with a view to creating a Transparent, Predictable, Efficient, and Trusted Mechanism,” said Miano.

Through the partnership, the government will leverage the UNDP’s global network to implement the framework and work with them as a project manager to support key priority areas, including legislative and regulatory reforms to remove barriers to investment attraction, the Investment Facilitation Framework, including the design and operationalization of an Investor Facilitation Platform, and institutional capacity development, including organization review and development of a strategy to strengthen the Kenya Investment Authority.

Speaking during the meeting, Mr. Anthony Ngororano, UNDP Resident Representative, said, “as a key partner in Kenya’s development journey, we are gearing up for collaboration with KenInvest. Together, we aim to remove barriers to investment and strengthen the investment facilitation journey.”

“We shall support the government through the Kenya Investment Authority to provide practical measures aimed at improving transparency and predictability in the investment climate in Kenya,” said Ms. Elizabeth Kibaki-Obiero, Senior Private Sector Development Specialist, the World Bank.

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Legal framework

The CS further added that the Ministry is looking to review the legal framework to anchor the organization. “We are keen to review some of the laws and policies that have been overtaken by the changing times to make it easier for investors, both foreign and domestic, to tap into the various business opportunities that we have across Kenya for both the benefit of our economy and the interests of the investors,” Miano said.

Some of the legislations on investment promotion were enacted in 2004 and need to be aligned with the Constitution of 2010 that established the devolved system of governance and did away with local authorities.

“We have kicked off the review of the Investment Promotion Act 2004 to align it with the Constitution and to make it responsive to the dynamic nature of the globe as well as the domestic investment environment that continues to present new challenges,” Miano added.

On her part, June Chepkemei, CEO, Kenya Investment Authority, indicated that the partnership will be supported by a robust strategic plan under development.

Sustainable development

“We have made progress with regard to our strategy development covering our next growth cycle of 2023/24–2027/28. This strategic plan, prepared under the theme of “Spearheading Equitable Investment-Led Economic Transformation,” ties in closely with our current focus areas as a government and has been developed under four main pillars, namely, Targeted Investment Promotion, Harmonization of Investment Facilitation, Research & Policy Advocacy, and Building of an Exemplary Investment Promotion Agency,” said June Chepkemei, CEO, KenInvest.

The Investment Facilitation Framework will be a great enabler for sustainable development by facilitating the attraction and retention of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), enhancing the quality of FDI in the light of national strategies, growing Domestic Direct Investments (DDI), and enhancing international cooperation.

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