Last year, reports of a planned proposal to offer fast track Kenyan citizenship to foreign investors emerged. The initiative aims to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country by allowing wealthy foreign investors to acquire Kenyan citizenship via a citizenship by investment (CBI) programme.
The Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2011 currently requires a foreigner to continuously live in the country for at least seven years to qualify for citizenship by registration.
Now, the country’s Investment Authority, KenInvest, plans to proceed quickly to help draft a bill that will make it easier to acquire Kenyan citizenship through the country’s very own citizenship by investment programme.
“Listening to key policymakers, there’s really no opposition to it. What is required now is that there has to be a proper paper that will go to the Ministry of Interior so that it can now sponsor it, together with the Treasury, to go to the Cabinet,” said KenInvest Managing Director Moses Ikiara.
“We are now pushing ahead [with draft legal changes] because we are agreeing with some of the key agencies.”
Investor citizenship programmes have become increasingly popular globally amid thinning financial resources and have helped improve FDI for many countries.
Kenya Citizenship by Investment Programme
While no specifics around the programme’s qualifying investments have been released thus far, it is assumed that the Kenyan government will be looking to encourage business investments that will boost the country’s export earnings and aid in job creation.
A Kenyan passport, although not the strongest in the world, has visa-free and visa-on-arrival access to over 70 countries. These countries include Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and all five citizenship by investment Caribbean countries.
Why Invest in Kenya?
Kenya is the largest and most advanced economy in East and Central Africa. Its GDP accounts for more than 50 per cent of the region’s total. Kenya’s strong growth prospects are supported by an emerging middle class and an increasing appetite for high-value goods and services. This feature will be sure to attract many foreign investors to Kenyan citizenship and the upcoming Kenya Citizenship by Investment Programme.
Additional perks of Kenyan citizenship:
Access to a highly educated and skilled workforce: Kenya prides itself on its large pool of highly educated, skilled, and sought-after African workforce, trained within the country and in institutions worldwide.
Strategic location: Kenya’s strategic location and its well-developed business infrastructure make it a natural choice for investors. Many international firms have made it their regional hub, granting investors access to the larger East African Community and regional markets with over 385 million consumers. Nairobi is also a central transport hub in East Africa with connections from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to major destinations around the world.
Highly developed social and physical infrastructure: Kenya affords a pleasant and quality standard of living with its spectacular and diverse natural resources ranging from wildlife to unique sceneries, including the world-famous Maasai Mara. The country also boasts high-quality social amenities such as restaurants, hospitals, and entertainment spots, a good reason why Kenya has the highest number of expatriates from across Africa and the world living and working there.
Market access: Kenya is a signatory to several multilateral and bilateral trade agreements as part of its trade policy. Kenya is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). In addition, Kenya is a member of several trade arrangements and is a beneficiary of trade-enhancing schemes that include the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the ACP-EU Trade Agreement, and the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
CS Global Partners
Choosing the right citizenship by investment programme is vital and requires careful consideration by the individual regarding what they want from their investment. We recommended booking a free consultation with an expert at CS Global Partners before starting your journey to a second citizenship.