The main sectors contributing to economic growth are building and construction, infrastructure development, manufacturing, transport and services, and tourism particularly from emerging markets; agriculture, and wholesale and retail.
Agriculture Sector is the mainstay of the economy. As of 2013, the sector contributes 25% to GDP directly, forms 65% of Kenya's total exports and provides 18% of formal employment.
Agricultural sector is not only the driver of Kenya's economy but also the means of livelihood for the majority of Kenyan people. The sector comprises of crop production (industrial & food crops), horticulture, livestock, fisheries and forestry. Production of crops and horticulture contributes 76.5% of Agriculture GDP followed by livestock production at 4.9%.
Fishing and forestry contribute 05& and 0.7% of the total agriculture GDP respectively. Overall, the Agriculture output grew by 2.9% in 2013 as a result of depressed rainfall reducing production of maize, beans and sugarcane. Kenya's Agricultural exports are classified into traditional (tea and coffee) and non-traditional exports (horticulture – which increased to 213.8 thousand tonnes in 2013 from 205.7 thousand tonnes in 2012).
For more information : Agriculture - Kenya Investment Authority
Tourism is one of Kenya's leading foreign exchange earner and third largest contributor to the GDP after agriculture and manufacturing. The sector has been growing fast as a result of various factors such as liberalization, persification of tourist markets and continued Government support and commitment to providing an enabling environment, coupled with successful tourism promotion and political stability.
For more information on Kenya tourism : Magical Kenya - Kenya Tourism Board
This sector is mainly agro based at the moment and plays an important role in adding value to agricultural output by providing forward and backward linkages with agricultural sector. However, there is a shift to export oriented manufacturing as the main thrust of Kenya's industrial policy since the country aims to raise the share of products in the regional market from 7% to 15 % and develop niche products for existing and new markets.
Kenya is promoting development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs), Industrial Parks, Industrial Clusters, promotion of small and medium scale manufacturing firms, development of niche products, commercialization of research and development results.
For more information :Manufacturing - Kenya Investment Authority
Transport and Infrastructure
Transport and communications are worth approximately 11 percent of GDP. Kenya envisages a massive upgrading and extension of the country's infrastructure. In this regard, the country has highlighted a number of infrastructure projects that present significant opportunities for investors in the coming years.
It is important to note that while the Government has put forward plans on how it would like to develop infrastructure, it is equally open to ideas and proposals from potential investors.
- Redevelopment of the Northern Corridor
- Development of a commuter railways system around Nairobi
- Building of a standard gauge line to replace the current Kenya-Uganda railway
- Design and Construction of a new terminal at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
- Development of a new corridor from Lamu to South Sudan and Ethiopia (LAPSET)
Investments into these projects can either be through direct investments or through public private partnerships.
Information & Communications Technology
The size of the local ICT market is estimated at US$ 500 million and it is of note that companies such as Spanco, followed Airtel into Kenya to continue servicing them. These companies are expected to expand into the region , given Kenya's its relative sophistication compared to neighbouring markets, and in order to service clients' expansion plans into the EAC and beyond.
For more information : Information Communication Technology - Kenya Investment Authority
Building & Construction
Kenya has a well-developed building and construction industry with quality engineering, building and architectural design services being readily available. This industry is currently on an upward trend following re-habilitation and reconstruction of roads and bridges under the Kenya Urban Transport Infrastructure Program.
For more information : Real Estate and Construction - Kenya Investment Authority