East Africa’s Hub: The Experience of Doing Business in Kenya

Image: Flickr, Christian Riis Kistrup

Business in Africa Report, No 9, 2007

SAIIA: 2007
ISBN: 1-919969-16-0
Published by SAIIA and sponsored by the Royal Danish Embassy in Pretoria

Once a pariah state, South Africa now ‘seems poised to dominate the continent that once shunned its products and leaders’.

The situation is somewhat different in Kenya. In effect, that country has managed to keep the South African business heavyweights at arm’s length. The experiences of South African companies doing business in Kenya show us that we cannot separate the successes from the problems of doing business in Africa. Indeed, some Kenyans have perceived some of the efforts at economic penetration made by South African corporations as aggressive.

The three-year Business in Africa research project was funded by the Danish government. The project focused on the South African business experiences in a range of African countries, hoping to draw lessons to feed into the broader policy debates around Nepad and the role of business in the development of Africa.

It interacted extensively with South African and African business and hopes to provide a platform for better business access to governments across the continent and for enhanced networking opportunities among businesses in Africa. The main objective of the project was to develop policy recommendations on creating a sustainable business environment on the continent. Neuma Grobbelaar headed the project, and Hany Besada was the project’s researcher.