Kenya is an attractive prospect for companies looking to set up a manufacturing base in the region. Among the East African Community (EAC), Kenya has the deepest financial markets and an efficient manufacturing sector, as well as being home to the strategically important port of Mombasa. However, we caution there are weaknesses in the business environment, most notably a high level of corruption, which can make it difficult for both local and foreign firms to conduct transparent operations.
Headline Expenditure Projections
- Pharmaceuticals: KES47.37.bn (US$560mn) in 2012 to KES55.36bn (US$620mn) in 2013; 16.9% growth in local currency terms and 11.8% in US dollar terms.
- Healthcare: KES149.71bn (US$ 1.77bn) in 2012 to KES168.06bn (US$1.88bn) in 2013; 12.3% growth in local currency terms and 6.0% in US dollar terms.
Risk/Reward Rating: In BMI's Q313 Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Risk/Reward Ratings (RRRs), Kenya is 20th in the Middle East and Africa (MEA), above Uganda, Nigeria and Zambia. A large counterfeiting industry, poor healthcare funding, corruption, regulatory deficiencies and a number of other issues will conspire to keep Kenya in a low position in the MEA matrix. Nevertheless, in comparison with many other African markets, most of which are not surveyed by BMI, Kenya offers more commercial promise and a more stable overall business environment.
Key Trends And Developments
Kenya's newly elected President Uhuru Kenyatta has pledged to provide universal health care, stating that all health care and dispensaries should be accessible for free and no woman should be charged for having to have her delivery in a public institution.
In April 2013, it was revealed that the government plans to open public health laboratories across the country, which will be implemented by the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation. The laboratories will be built as part of a KES2bn (US$22.90mn) World Bank-funded East Africa public health laboratory networking project and will help in tracking communicable diseases throughout the nation. The national public health laboratory in Nairobi will also be revamped under the project, which itself is part of a larger KES5.6bn (US$64.13bn) World Bank project aimed at developing a network of diagnostic laboratories across East Africa for the surveillance of tuberculosis and other communicable diseases.
According to a report published in the Leading Economic Indicators (December) in Kenya, the value of imports from India increased to KES174.6bn (US$1.96bn) in the 11 months ended December 2012, more than China's KES154.7bn (US$1.74bn) and the UAE's KES138.2bn (US$1.55bn) imports in the same period. The reports said that India has emerged as Kenya's key source market for imports following the prevailing foreign policy between the two countries since Kenya gained independence, relatively cheaper goods, quality, and proximity of its ports to Kenya. Kenya imports medical equipment and drugs and pharmaceutical products among others from India
BMI Economic View: We maintain our view that Kenyan economic growth will accelerate over the course of 2013 as improving macroeconomic conditions and the passage of elections bolster investor and consumer confidence. The major risks to this outlook stem from the elections and from a recurrence of inclement weather which has negatively impacted regional economies in the recent past.
BMI Political View: Whilst the peaceful election outcome bodes well for investor confidence on a twoyear view, new resentments planted by the institutional oversight of the 2013 presidential poll could germinate into a significant risk factor in the second half of Kenyatta's five-year term..