Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Business Environment in Kenya

As most of you might be a ware, Kenya is coming from a scary last two months: lives have been lost and property has been destroyed. But as I requested in the previous post, prayers, I believe have saved Kenya from a catastrophe (or is it near a catastrophe?).

Now, as we wait to see how the power sharing is being implemented, the question on most people's lips is: is Kenya any better to start doing business again now? What is the probability that the deal will be implemented to the letter and that all will agree that all is Ok? I wish that there's somebody out there who can provide candid answers to such pertinent questions: I know that these are some of the questions that are going on in the minds of investors both locally and internationally.

The jittery among the investors is being reflected on the declining prices at the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE). Local as well as international investors are quite wary of the way words have started flying around concerning the National Accord And Reconciliation Bill which is about to be debated in parliament soon. Every political divide is interpreting the Accord in a way that suits them and not in the interests of Kenyans and this puts to doubt the probability of them agreeing ultimately. However, all of us are waiting with bated breath till when the bill is enacted into law. We hope that the politicians will rise above their partisan interests and put the welfare of other Kenyans in front and enact this bill, which is what is holding Kenya together.

Some might argue that the declining prices at the bourse are due the much awaited Safaricom IPO but I tend to differ with my little experience at the NSE: some previous IPOs other than Kengen - which romped many investors to the bourse - have had no much effect on the prices at the NSE before.

My prayer still remains that Kenyans - both politicians and Wanjikus - will put aside their personal interests so that this all-important bill is enacted into law so that investors can have once again the confidence Kenya deserves.
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