GDP (Gross Domestic product): $70 billion USD
GDP (Purchasing power parity): $146 billion
Real GDP: 5.7% (2014)
GDP per capita: $ 1,588 USD
Unemployment: 40% (2008 est.).
Arable land: 5,500,000 hectares
Agriculture: tea, coffee, corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruit, vegetables; dairy products, beef, pork, poultry, eggs.
Labor force: 19.3679 million, agriculture 75%, industry and services 25% (2007 est.).
Industries: small-scale consumer goods (plastic, furniture, batteries, textiles, soap, cigarettes, flour), agricultural products, oil refining; aluminum, steel, lead; cement, commercial ship repair, tourism.
Natural resources: limestone, soda ash, salt, gemstones, fluorspar, zinc, diatomite, gypsum, wildlife, and hydropower, geothermal energy.
Exports: $6.58 billion (2013 est.): tea, horticultural products, coffee, petroleum products, fish, cement.
Imports: $15.86 billion (2013 est.): machinery and transportation equipment, petroleum products, motor vehicles, iron and steel, resins and plastics.
Major trading partners: Uganda, UK, U.S., Netherlands, Tanzania, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, India, China and Congo.
Kenya is East Africa’s industrial nerve-Centre. Most business is in private hands with foreign investment supporting the agricultural and mining sectors. Its economic freedom score is 55.6, making its economy the 122nd freest in the 2015 Index. The score was down by 1.5 points from last year with an improvement in freedom from corruption outweighed by declines in five of the 10 economic freedoms including trade freedom, business freedom and the control of government spending. Kenya is ranked 23rd out of 46 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region and its overall score is just above the regional average.
Olkaria II Geothermal Plant in Hell’s Gate National Park, Naivasha, Kenya
Kenya’s economy continued to recover in 2013 from the slowdown experienced in 2011. Real GDP growth in the year accelerated to 5.2%, 4.3% and 4.6% in the first three quarters of 2013 primarily driven by financial intermediation, tourism, construction and agriculture.
Real GDP growth is estimated at 4.9% and 5.7% in 2013 and 2014 respectively. With a boom in mobile telecommunications even among the poorest, Kenya is leading the way in innovative mobile services such as phone banking (with M-Pesa used by more than 13 million Kenyans).
Due to its long history of attracting visitors, Kenya’s service industries – such as banks, hotels, and restaurants – are well developed and outperform those of others in the region.
The economy’s short- to medium-term forecast is for sustained and rising growth based on: increased investor and business confidence in the wake of peaceful March 2013 elections; increased rainfall; a stable macroeconomic environment; lower, stable international oil prices; stability of the Kenya shilling; and reforms affecting security, governance and justice.
The following websites offer useful information about Kenya’s economy and investment opportunities: