Analysts said that foreign direct investments into the Kenyan economy may not experience a slump. File Photo: IOL
NAIROBI – Kenya is well placed to attract new investments in strategic sectors including manufacturing, energy and financial services despite shocks linked to a volatile geopolitical environment, terrorism and climate change, experts said on Wednesday. 

Patricia Rodrigues, an analyst at global risk consultancy firm, Control Risks, said that foreign direct investments into the Kenyan economy may not experience a slump thanks to the country's resilience in the face of external shocks. "Many investors will be eyeing the Kenyan market since the country is experiencing calm after a prolonged election year. 

There are lots of cross-sectoral opportunities in finance, commercial agriculture and energy sectors," said Rodrigues. She spoke in Nairobi during the launch of the RiskMap 2019 report that identified five major global risks that will have implication on economies in Kenya and across the greater eastern African region. 

The Control Risks' annual flagship report reveals that factors including data security, political gridlock in the US, extreme weather events and disruptions in the global trading regime may have a negative impact on African economies. 

Rodrigues said that Kenya should leverage on macro-economic stability, demographic dividend and emerging technologies to attract investments despite the mounting geopolitical risks. 

"The rising middle class with higher spending power, massive entrepreneur talent and advancement in the field of technology in Kenya and the East African region present opportunities for investors," said Rodrigues.

Kenya should adopt international best practices to enhance response to external shocks that could negatively impact on political stability and economic growth. Richard Fenning, chief executive officer of Control Risks Group, said that vigilance, awareness and innovations are attributes that Kenya should focus on to help cope with disruptions caused by terrorism and unpredictable world order.

"The ability to be adaptable and agile is crucial for any country or organization to withstand risks," said Fenning, adding that the risk of terrorism is not likely to change economic growth trajectory of functioning nation states like Kenya. 

Daniel Heal, a senior partner at Control Risks, said that action on graft and regulatory uncertainties is key to boosting investors' confidence across the eastern African region.