Shaping the Future Report

In an effort to understand the bedrock of Kenya’s development landscape, the Pretoria office of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), in collaboration with the Kenya Business Guide (KBG), has compiled an analysis and forecast of Kenya’s likely development trajectory to 2040, along with two alternative scenarios.

KBG and ISS invited different partners and key stakeholders for the publication of the forecast report: “Shaping the Future – Strategies for Sustainable Development in Kenya”.

After welcoming remarks from Marius Rauh (Representative of the German Development Cooperation), Jamshed Ali (Chief Economist, State Department of Planning) and Siddharth Chatterjee (Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Nairobi) KBG and ISS presented the report: “Shaping the Future – Strategies for Sustainable Development in Kenya”.  The floor was then opened up to the audience to contribute to the discussion on the key findings and recommendations.

During the event, there were different discussions about the future of Kenya and the different scenarios. Tuko Kazi scenario is a future where Kenya implements successful, five-year interventions (i.e. from 2019 to 2023) in specific areas. The Tuko Kazi scenario is a future where the government focuses on promoting efficiency in the agricultural sector, alleviating the bottlenecks in its education system, improving family planning, increasing housing subsidies and reducing corruption. Aggressively pursuing some goals (e.g. electrification) at the expense of other priorities such as water and sanitation is a trade-off that the government of Kenya should manage carefully going forward. It is about balancing competing priorities. We highly recommend having a look at the report for further recommendations and insights.

Recommendations from the report:

  • Maintain gains in health and education: Health and education outcomes in Kenya are favourable relative to those of other lower-middle-income African countries, but education outcomes have been stagnating in recent years and the government must keep these sectors on track.
  • Address corruption: The issue of corruption is well known and the country must reduce rent-seeking and address the more fundamental issue of poor implementation. The government must also manage oil revenues effectively and transparently going forward.
  • Expand access to basic infrastructure: Recent efforts at electrification have been impressive but service delivery must also expand in other areas – such as clean water, affordable housing and improved sanitation facilities.
  • Improve efficiency in the agricultural sector: Agriculture will remain critical to the livelihoods of most Kenyans. The government should promote efficiency by improving yields, reducing losses and pursuing climate change adaptation strategies.
  • Balance competing priorities: Aggressively pursuing some goals (e.g. electrification) at the expense of other priorities such as water and sanitation is a trade-off that the government of Kenya should manage carefully going forward.



On the 28th of May, the Kenya Business Guide launched its second Sector Brief on Oil at the Kenya Extractives Policy Dialogue hosted by the Strathmore University Extractives Industry Centre and Extractives Baraza in partnership with National Oil, Oxfam, DFID and ESAL.

The need for a structured dialogue on local content in Kenya has been incentivized by the discovery of oil and other commercially viable minerals, a key focus being to promote in-country value addition through four main pillars: local employment opportunities, in-country spending and procurement of local goods and services, technology and skills transfer, and local participation through equity and management.

The event brought together key stakeholders around the oil & gas sector to discuss these pivotal issues as the country moves closer towards the point of oil exportation. Sahil Shah, Project Lead of the Kenya Business Guide, opened up the seminar with a presentation of the oil sector in Kenya drawing on the Sector Brief developed and published alongside the Strathmore University Extractives Industry Centre.

The brief provides an outline of the oil sector and an analysis of its significance to economic growth and development in Kenya, debunking some of the assumptions and misplaced expectations of what value the sector actually holds for the country.

The Sector Brief on Oil can be found here.




On the 3rd of May 2018, Kenya Business Guide (KBG) in partnership with Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) and the Strathmore Business School (SBS) hosted a policy breakfast on Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Development.

After the welcome breakfast, remarks, and a Keynote Address from Angela Ndambuki (CEO, Kenya National Chamber of Commerce), Sahil Shah (Project Lead, Kenya Business Guide) opened the event with an informative presentation on MSMEs and presented a five-point policy framework for MSME Development in the country. Presently, MSMEs represent an untapped source for economic growth, social transformation, and employment generation in Kenya. Therefore, there needs to be concerted effort and collaboration among key actors, players, and stakeholders to share information and insights for the sustained development of this sector. An integrated approach is needed, which is connecting the five-point policy framework: information and awareness, legal and regulatory environment, access to finance, capacity building, and supporting infrastructure. Each of this five-point policy framework was represented in the panel discussion by an expert. The panel discussion podium was joined by Alex Owino (Metropole Corporation), Ken (Wachira – Rodl& Partner), Mungai Munene (Capital Operating Partners), Prof. Robert Mudida (Strathmore Institute of Public Policy and Governance), Sahil Shah (Kenya Business Guide), and Patrick Wameyo (Entrepreneurship Center East Africa).

The Kenya Business Guide is looking forward to hosting further events in partnership with the KNCCI and SBS. Follow this link for more information on the five-point policy framework.

Rodl & Partner ‘Start-up-to-Scale Up’ SME Convention


On the 12th of April 2018, Rodl & Partner – a trustee of the Kenya Business Guide, hosted a convention entitled ‘Start-Up to Scale-Up’ aimed at bringing together leading voices in SME Development and business scale-up to have a conversation around improving prospects for Kenyan start-ups. Read more

MSME Development Working Policy Framework Launch


On 29 March 2017, the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KNCCI) launched the Working Policy Framework towards Micro, Small & Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) Development in Oil & Gas Counties and officially handed it over to the PS Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperative Betty Maina and the Council of Governors for implementation. Gracing the event was Kenya Business Guide, which works directly with KNCCI technical team and executive committee in the development of research and policy documents.

This framework will assist the country come up with mechanisms that will assist micro, small and medium-sized enterprises transform the short-term benefits of oil and gas sectors into long term development, industry stakeholders said during the launch. The Kenya Business Guide directly contributed to the document’s contents through the co-development of the five-point policy framework for MSME Development that the KNCCI co-opted into this particular framework for the Oil & Gas Sector.

A Policy Brief providing a general overview of the MSME sector in Kenya and highlighting the working five-point policy framework for MSME Development will be released by the Kenya Business Guide, Strathmore Business School and the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry in April 2018.



SBS, KBG Partnership to Advance Intersectoral Dialogues for Business Growth


Leveraging on data across various sectors is pertinent in identifying and creating intersectoral collaboration opportunities. In view of this, Strathmore Business School, A premier institution which seeks to build capacity and enhance Africa’s economic growth through the provision of quality Leadership and Management executive education, in collaboration with Kenya Business Guide, a private sector thinktank that seeks to support the improvement and strengthening of the business environment in Kenya, collaborated in the development of multi-sectoral policy briefs.

These policy briefs are targeted towards transmitting knowledge to prospective local and foreign businesses and established entrepreneurs as well as key actors within the policy space including Business Member Organisations and relevant Government agencies.

The partnership seeks to spearhead intersectoral dialogues as defined by trends arising from the growth and development of the various sectors. The partnership endeavors to periodically release sectoral briefs which will guide and give insights into emergent patterns influencing the business environment.

Dr. George Njenga, Dean, Strathmore Business School acknowledged the critical role played by research and authentic data in informing business patterns and decision making. Welcoming the partnership and the opportunities to collaborate, he emphasised on the need of translating information from the industry into wisdom which can be furthered by research and used by multiple stakeholders. “We are developing a Data Center which will not only store data but also offer analysis. We are glad to be working with Kenya Business Guide in translating data into knowledge,”

Kenya Business Guide’s Project Lead, Sahil Shah shared his sentiments which resonated with the need of establishing authentic research which can transform all sectors. “Partnering with Strathmore Business School is indeed a great milestone in transforming the business environment in Kenya. Through this partnership and our collaborative works with all the 47 chapters of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, we are confident that we shall be able to gather data and translate it into palatable knowledge that can be used to identify and tap into a variety of growth opportunities.”

Strathmore Business School in collaboration with Kenya Business Guide held its inaugural sectoral brief public lecture on 7th December 2017, giving an overview of the current trends in the agricultural sector – an analysis of its projected growth trajectory.

Kenya Sustainable Development Forecast Workshop



Participants keenly following the workshop’s proceeding


In the month of March, 2018, Kenya Business Guide (KBG) in partnership with the Institute of Security Studies (South Africa) held a week-long workshop titled “Kenya Sustainable Development Forecast” in Nairobi, Kenya.  This year KBG, ISS and GIZ will launch a report titled “Kenya Development Forecast: Key Trends to 2030 and Beyond”. The joint project will assess the projected scenarios and progress towards the adoption of the National Development targets, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Policy Priorities. Through the workshop, KBG, ISS and GIZ would be able to validate the information, collect additional information and establish buy in.

The workshop consisted of five sessions with in-depth and extensive discussions held on current and future trends of Kenya’s economy in the following key sectors: Demographics, Agriculture, Environment, Economy, Energy, Infrastructure, Governance, Health and Education. Round table discussions were held during each session and participants comprised of experts and key stakeholders from the various sectors. Discussions touched upon the content of the report with a focus on how the report will contribute to the achievement of sustainable growth and development, importance of local contextual issues/ considerations, and the need for continued inclusion of key stakeholders, actors and champions.

Information and feedback collected from the workshop will be integrated in the second draft of the report with a hope of increasing its utility among a diverse group of stakeholders and actors. Keep visiting the website for more updates and details on the launch of the report, and how you can be a part of it.

KBG Launches First Sector Brief on Agriculture

The Kenya Business Guide has published and launched its first Sector Brief entitled ‘Agriculture Established and Emerging Trends’. The brief contains an overview of current trends in the agriculture sector and an analysis of its projected trajectory.

Despite a 25% reduction in the output of Kenya’s main food crop, maize, in 2017 due to adverse weather conditions and a shrink in the overall percentage contribution of the agriculture sector to GDP, the Kenya Business Guide points to concerted efforts outlined in the upcoming Medium Term Plan 3 as a clear indication for improving prospects in the sector as a whole.

Dr. George Njenga, Dean Strathmore Business School spoke at the launch of the impact of good agricultural policies in improving the sector and impacting the livelihoods of Kenyans, “Linkage between policy and practice in the agricultural space remains a key concern for the sector, as most of these policies are not translated into a language that the ordinary Kenyan citizen can understand and relate to. Policy in the sector must translate to impact to Kenyans.”

Food crops like maize dominate the agriculture sector and have widespread effects on the economy. Drops in Maize production have a marked impact on food prices, inflation, household income as well as the currency.

“We must leverage the synergies between the agriculture and manufacturing sector to drive productivity, value addition and employment creation in both sectors. Agro-processing will be a key sub-sector for both business opportunities and economic growth.” said KBG Project Lead Sahil Shah.

The Kenya Business Guide will periodically release sector and policy briefs, researched and developed in collaboration with Strathmore Business School to improve decision making in both the private and public sectors.


SBS Trained Policy Economist Appointed KBG Project Lead

Sahil Shah, Master of Public Policy and Management student at Strathmore Business School, was recently appointed as the Project Lead, Kenya Business Guide, an initiative that seeks to support the improvement and strengthening of the business environment in Kenya.

His appointment comes shortly after the Kenya Business Guide (KBG) launched its new project structure and strategy containing two new components, specifically focused on private sector development and economic policy on 24th November 2017. “Our new strategy is expected to bolster ongoing efforts in strengthening the country’s business environment that has received a significant boost after Kenya moved up 12 ranks in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index.’’ said policy economist Sahil Shah.

Sahil will foresee the implementation of the new strategy which introduces a focus on improving access to value-added information on both the private and public sector prerequisites in the effective functioning of business.

Strathmore Business School’s Master of Public Policy and Management Programme is designed to address the complex issues facing modern governments and other policy-making organizations. The core curriculum of the programme features Public Policy and Management, Public Finance, Strategy and Entrepreneurship among others, exposing students and graduates of the programme to thriving careers in the policy and advocacy space.

The Kenya Business Guide will periodically release sector and policy briefs, researched and developed in collaboration with Strathmore Business School, with the first one expected to be unveiled in December, 2017.

KBG is an initiative of the Hanns Seidel Foundation Kenya, the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Kenya and Rodl & Partner. KBG receives further support and works alongside the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCI) and Strathmore University.


Launch of IMF Regional Economic Outlook for SSA

KBG’s Project Lead attended the launch and working seminar on the IMF’s Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa earlier this week at the Strathmore Business School. The Outlook report gives projections and expected economic trends for the region in the coming year and succinctly analyses the current situation facing most African economies within the Global context.

Growth is expected to reach 2.6 percent in 2017, but the pickup reflects one-off factors, notably a recovery in oil production in Nigeria and the easing of drought conditions in eastern and southern Africa. While a third of the countries in the region continue to grow at 5 percent or more, 12 countries home to 40 percent of the region’s population are expected to see per capita income decline. The external environment has improved somewhat, facilitating sovereign bond issuances by the region’s frontier economies. Foreign exchange market pressures appear to have abated, but international reserves remain low in many countries. Public debt has been rising rapidly across the region, including in the fast-growing economies. In this context, implementing the planned fiscal consolidations and reforms to tackle constraints on growth are the key policy priorities.