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Economic Division

Option für Wirtschaftsbeziehungen

Option für Wirtschaftsbeziehungen, © Colourbox

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Kenya has proven to be one of Germany’s most important economic partners in East Africa. Opportunities for German investment can be found in various sectors such as in infrastructure, telecommunication, transport, renewable and fossil energy, mechanical engineering as well in agriculture.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Germany’s interest in the Kenyan economy has grown in recent years, demonstrated by the increased presence of German companies in Kenya.  Currently, about 120 German companies employ approximately 4500-5000 people in Kenya. German foreign direct investment accumulated to 100 Mio. Euro as of 2017.

In 2018 Germany exported goods worth 370 Mio. Euro to Kenya and imported goods worth 134 Mio. Euro. The most significant German exports include machinery, food products, chemical goods, electronics as well as motor vehicles and the relevant spare parts. German imports from Kenya include agricultural products such as flowers, tea, coffee and vegetables.

Hessian Minister of Economics Tarek Al-Wazir and Kenyan Minister of Economics Peter Muya
Hessian Minister of Economics Tarek Al-Wazir and Kenyan Minister of Economics Peter Muya at the inauguration of a German investment © GBA

German-Kenyan conventions include a Double Taxation Agreement that commenced in 1980 and an International Investment Treaty that  was enforced in the year 2000.



Promotion of foreign trade

Foreign Trade promotion is jointly implemented by the German government and the private sector. To offer the best support to German companies conducting business in Kenya, the Embassy inter alia works closely with the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce (AHK) and the Germany Trade and Invest GmbH (GTAI).

The Embassy coordinates the joint efforts between the AHK and the GTAI, and sustains contact to the government and other relevant institutions in Kenya. Moreover, it commits to improving market access for German companies and direct support where needed. This especially applies to small and medium sized companies.

Energy

In its economic blueprint, “Vision 2030”, the Government of Kenya has set out to ensure its citizens cleaner and improved standards of living. Renewable energies play a key role in this plan. Kenya’s commitment to renewable energies and to the Paris Climate Accord of 2015 prove its devotion to tackling global climate Change.

The Kenyan government has set itself the ambitious goal of providing all citizens with access to energy, as well as improving economic productivity in the near future. The target for 2020 was initially to provide 65% of households with access to energy. However, while in 2011 only 25% of Kenyan citizens had access to energy, in 2017 the rate of electrification had already reached 70%. The new target for 2020, thus, is “universal” access to electricity. Yet, many obstacles still lie ahead before universal connection can be achieved. These include foremost a rapid population growth rate and poor rural infrastructure, which currently is hindering an effective proliferation of power supply.

Solar-hybrid mini-grid in Talek, Narok County
German Development Cooperation is contributing to an environmentally-friendly and secure energy future in Kenya. © GIZ/Alex Kamweru

Renewable energy contributes 85% of Kenya’s energy mix and almost 100% of the energy used for electricity generation. The main sources of electricity generation include geothermal power stations and hydropower plants. Geothermal power has proven to be quiet the success.  With the capacity of producing more than 627 Megawatt, Kenya ranks nineth in the generation of geothermal power. Geothermal power is however not the only source of renewable energy that Kenya is currently investing in. The decrease in prices of photovoltaic facilities on the global market has led to enhanced demands in the solar energy market in Kenya. Alternative sources of energy production in Kenya also include wind power.  One of Africa’s biggest wind parks is due to open in the near future in Northern Kenya.

German Embassy Green Economy Cycle (GEGEC)

The “German Embassy Green Economy Cycle” (GEGEC), initiated by the Embassy and carried out in close cooperation with the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Kenya, reached more than 1,000 representatives of companies, international organizations, embassies, public sector and government in Kenya and connected them with German business representatives in events in the form of workshops, conferences and technical trainings in the years 2016, 2017 and 2018. There were various events within the 2016 and 2017 GEGEC in the areas of sustainable construction, sustainable agriculture, waste management, technical vocational training programs, green entrepreneurship and its funding opportunities. These events provided a platform for exchange between the participants on solutions for achieving economic growth while considering climate and environmental protection through climate-friendly technologies that contribute to a low-carbon economy.

After a break in 2019, the GEGEC will continue in 2020, following up on the successes of recent years.

The Lake Turkana Wind Power project in Marsabit County
The Lake Turkana Wind Power project in Marsabit County comprises of 365 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 850kW © Lake Turkana Windpower
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