Treasury, October 27, 2015: By Joseph Kipkoech
The African Economic Outlook report by the African Development Bank released early this year indicated East Africa will record the fastest growth on the continent in 2015 and 2016.
The positive growth trajectory predicted over the medium term is an indicator that the East African Community has a good chance of reaching a developmental tipping point and making it the most attractive investment destination on the African continent.

Kenya’s status of a middle-income country, its ranking as the ninth largest economy in Africa and sub-saharan Africa’s fourth largest, is making Kenya an ideal investment environment. Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania are deepening their development agenda, putting the region on track of major economic expansion.
To sustain the momentum, significant investments are still needed in sectors such as agriculture, energy, education, and manufacturing. Improving the ease of doing business and raising the competitiveness of the Kenya exports require deliberate and critical policy actions to make the country one of the best investment destination in Africa.
We also need a financial services industry that has the capacity to support the growth ambitions of the Kenyan and East African economies. Increasingly, Kenya financial institutions are receiving global recognition to the benefit of the regional economy as a whole. The need for the economy to have strong and stable lenders is what forms the basis for the ratings by Global Credit Ratings agencies.
When it comes to future global investment strategies, the region is high on the agenda for investors and entrepreneurs. This means that East Africa business leaders and entrepreneurs need to engineer multinational SME’s, drive investment, competitiveness, foster inclusive growth and build resilience in a volatile global environment. Accelerating economic diversification, boosting strategic infrastructure and unlocking talent are critical success factors in this new global economy context.
The above assertion was reinforced by the recent Global Entrepreneurship Summit that exposed the dynamism and enthusiasm of young entrepreneurs in driving entrepreneurship across the region. The conference provided an opportunity for emerging entrepreneurs to connect with leaders from business, international organisations, and governments looking to support them.
It also demonstrated Kenya’s strength as a country, the innovative spirit for our people across the region and our ability to take part in transformation. Entrepreneurship, innovation and SME’s are the major keys to sustainable economic and private sector development in East Africa.
As growth accelerates on the continent, it generates with it new opportunities and challenges. It is important that we address the needs of small and medium enterprises that don’t have access to funding, as well as invest in development of African capital markets as a more viable alternative through which private investors can mobilise investment capital.