Economy & Currency
Kenya’s economy is largely driven by agriculture although this has recently been surpassed by tourism. The country serves as the Eastern and Central Africa’s hub for financial, communication and transportation services. The economic prospects are positive with well over 5% GDP growth expected, largely because of expansions in tourism, telecommunications, transport, construction and a recovery in agriculture. These improvements are supported by a large pool of English speaking professional workers. There is a high level of computer literacy, especially among the youth. The government, generally perceived as investment friendly, has enacted several regulatory reforms to simplify both foreign and local investments. An increasingly significant portion of Kenya’s foreign cash inflows is from remittances by non-resident Kenyans working in the USA, Middle East, Europe and Asia. Compared to many African countries, Kenya has a well developed social and physical infrastructure coupled by a relatively educated population. It is increasingly becoming the main alternative location to South Africa for international corporations seeking investments in the African continent.
In terms of tourist numbers, Kenya still lags behind South Africa but this is more about advertising as well as damage caused by uncalled for trip advisories made by some countries against travelling to Kenya. Regardless, those tourists who really want to visit Kenya know that Kenya is a very safe place for a tourist and are therefore not deterred. Of late, we are yet to hear of a tourist directly targetted for harm in Kenya. Major improvements have been, and continue to be, realised.
The currency of Kenya is the Kenya Shilling (KSh), marked as /= and which appears in form of notes and coins. The notes that are in use include 1000/=, 500/=, 200/=, 100/= and 50/= while the main coins are 40/=, 20/=, 10/=, 5/= and 1/=. Majority of the travelers carry cash in form of US dollars but British Sterling (GBP) and Euro are also common. Many of the world currencies are interchangeable at Forex bureaus, banks and hotels/lodges/camps. Currently, one US dollar is equivalent to about KShs 99.