H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta

H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta

“Entrepreneurship is at the heart of Kenya’s vibrant economy, propelling investment, job creation and growth"

H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya

Last year I visited London Stock Exchange to open the market. I would like to follow that up with a word or two about London Stock Exchange Group, and the opportunities for partnership with Kenyan business that have opened up.

When my administration took office in 2013, it was clear that to tackle unemployment, we needed to create rewarding jobs for youth, women and people with disabilities, to create a new wave of organised business that would secure Kenya’s prosperity.

There has been substantial progress. Today, high-growth companies and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) employ more than 75% of Kenya’s working population, and contribute the lion’s share of our GDP. We cannot underestimate the importance of this sector to our social and economic wellbeing. We therefore must renew our commitment to SMEs and entrust to them the nurturing of Kenya’s talent and enterprise.

It gives me great pleasure to support London Stock Exchange Group’s Companies to Inspire Africa initiative, now in its second iteration, that tells Africa’s remarkable story of entrepreneurial leadership to a global audience.

Entrepreneurship is at the heart of Kenya’s vibrant economy, propelling investment, job creation and growth. Companies to Inspire Africa showcases Kenya’s mercantile spirit, vision and capacity to produce world-class innovation.

Over 60 Kenyan companies – in sectors ranging from agriculture to FinTech – are featured in this report. Together, they showcase the reach, the ambition and prospects of Kenya. But there’s more to be done, both at home and abroad.

To help SMEs compete in the manufacturing sector, we have raised our SME Development Fund by $500m, and added a number of supporting guarantee schemes. We have also combined six major government funds to create the Biashara Bank, which will provide SMEs with low interest loans to increase their existing production capacity. And, finally, to support Kenya’s increasing global competitiveness, we have set a target for 2022 to support 10,000 Kenyan SMEs to meet global export standards. We believe that Kenya’s growth companies will transform it into a newly industrialising, middle-income country, in line with our Vision 2030 plan.

Equally, the Nairobi Securities Exchange is working with key partners like London Stock Exchange Group to create international links to drive investment into Kenyan companies. This will support job creation and a vibrant economy in Kenya that is a powerhouse for East Africa and the African continent.

I congratulate all the Kenyan companies featured in this report for their outstanding performance, innovation and ambition, and I look forward to new partnerships with Kenya’s friends.