Draft Kenya Investment Policy: Investment growth for sustainable development

Through the leadership of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives (MITC), an inter-ministerial task force has developed a draft Kenya Investment Policy. The policy is aimed at enhancing the conduciveness of the environment for investment growth, though a harmonized approach to investment promotion, facilitation and retention. In addition, the policy provides for revision of legislations affecting the overall investment network.

 

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Pic Credit: Mutua Matheka

The development of the Kenya Investment Policy has involved a consultative process covering the national and county governments, including the private sector stakeholders.

Executive summary

To achieve the twin targets of Kenya’s Vision 2030 – 10% growth per annum and middle income industrializing country status – the Government of Kenya recognizes the critical role played by private investment and has put measures in place to attract and retain foreign investment while encouraging the expansion of domestic investment, with the aim of increasing private investment to 24 per cent of GDP by 2030.

Up to now, Kenya has not had a single and clearly defined policy solely focusing on investment generation and retention. The Government of Kenya has however formulated various strategies and policies that focus on investment growth and support, stipulated in various policy documents such as National Development Plans, Sessional Papers and Master Plans, including the new Constitution 2010. These programs and initiatives have had limited impact. They also led to the adoption of various fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, changes in investment related regulations and the creation of several government agencies tasked with responsibility for investment promotion and facilitation, some with overlapping mandates leading to duplication of efforts and unnecessary strain on limited government resources.

To address the limited impact of investment and a number of other challenges relating to the entry and treatment of investment, the Government developed the Kenya Investment Policy. The policy development process took a holistic approach to gain an understanding of Kenya’s context as well as international best practices to inform the policy’s proposals. The policy is guided by six core principles, which emphasise the need for openness and transparency, inclusivity, sustainable development, economic diversification, domestic empowerment, and global integration.

The KIP addresses private investments at the national and county levels. It is a comprehensive and harmonized policy to guide attraction, facilitation, retention, monitoring and evaluation of private investment. The KIP further recognizes the central role of Kenya’s Constitution (2010) which clearly delineates the complementary roles that national and county governments play in investment promotion. The KIP also creates an institutional framework that fosters coordination for efficient investment attraction, facilitation, and a favourable investment climate. The policy actions proposed in the KIP are designed to support and stimulate private sector development and improve the overall ease of doing business and competitiveness in the economy, with the ambition that Kenya becomes the premier destination for at least 50% of multinationals establishing their continental headquarters in Africa.

The KIP addresses some of the fundamental requirements for establishing a well-coordinated investment environment that will attract high-quality FDI into the country while upscaling local SME capacity. These include: a harmonized regulatory and institutional framework for investment; an effective investment promotion and facilitation government function; an active focus on attracting beneficial, high quality foreign investment; building a critical mass of domestic investors including strengthening their capacities; a targeted approach to offering incentives by aligning them to development priorities; significant resources devoted to investor aftercare and increasing national savings.

These objectives are to be achieved through the implementation of critical measures stated by this Policy, including the following:

Investment oversight. Operationalization of the National Investment Council, which will be responsible for formulating the country’s overall investment strategy and implementing the KIP to ensure that investment contributes to the country’s development goals, and approving Bilateral Investment Treaties and investment related chapters in treaties.

Investment promotion and facilitation. The primary responsibility of investment promotion and facilitation falls on the Investment Promotion Agency. Counties, through County Investment Units play a major role by developing bankable projects, outlining their competitive positions, and preparing marketing materials aligned to their areas of strategic focus. Officials at the county level also play an important role in investment facilitation, including securing community approval, providing land where needed, and participating in investment promotion activities for specific investment projects in collaboration with the IPA.

Investment entry and establishment. Various government agencies are involved at different levels along the investment entry and establishment process. The IPA plays a facilitation role among these entities through the One-Stop Centre to minimize the administrative burden on investors and government agencies.

Investment retention and aftercare. Counties play a major role in ensuring that investments located within their territory are given the highest level of attention. The Government is responsible for ensuring that the overall investment climate remains attractive to potential and existing investors. The IPA is responsible for taking the lead to provide effective aftercare services by working with counties and national government actors.

Investment assessment. Ensuring that investments are contributing to the country’s economic, social and environment sustainability objectives is important. Measuring investment impact with respect to community engagement, development objectives, and supplier linkages between investors and small and medium sized enterprises is a shared responsibility among the different actors. While the NIC will spearhead this process, it must work closely with other national and county institutions to ensure that the country continues to target and attract beneficial investment.

Establish a promotion and facilitation fund resourced by both the exchequer and grants from development partners, to be used for the purposes of targeted investment promotion and facilitation.

Establish land banks which could be used for large projects, including encouraging counties to establish a savings scheme where a percentage part of their budget allocation goes to purchasing land to be set aside for investment purposes.

» Download: Kenya Investment Policy, revised draft June 2017 (PDF, 1.08 MB)

 

Source: KEPSA

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