Country Profile

Kenya Country Profile

With approximately 44.2m inhabitants and an annual growth rate of 2.6%, Kenya is the seventh-most populated country in Africa. Demographically, it is also very young, with the average age around 18 years and more than 50% of the population under 25. The country’s politics have changed markedly since the introduction of a new constitution in 2010, devolving a significant amount of power to counties, strengthening political accountability and improving the delivery of public services at the local level. There are challenges, however, and while Kenya’s fast-growing population is seen as a boon by many, the economy has struggled to create enough well-paying jobs to keep up with this growth. Poverty and inequality remain persistent, and recent security concerns have lowered tourism numbers, putting a considerable dent in foreign currency reserves. Yet while these issues are serious, the country has managed to avoid much of the turmoil that has hit other major African economies over the past two years, such as recessions, rising debt and slowdowns in growth. While uncertainty over the outcome of the general elections scheduled for August 2017 may temporarily dampen business confidence, the country has made significant progress and the outlook appears relatively positive.

This chapter contains interviews with President Uhuru Kenyatta; Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan; and Brigitte Zypries, Federal Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy of Germany.