In Summary
  • All around you have signs of things being dire for the country.
  • But the country has had a number of positive reports from global banks.
  • Could it be that if every local business person says there is no money is circulation, and that the economy is bad, then it becomes bad?
  • Is it a lack of positive news?

Last Friday, the Business Daily had a unique advertisement on the back page. It was an-eighth-of-a-page ad by a person with 25 years of multinational experience, seeking a job as a director of finance or administration. It appeared again in the Friday edition of the Daily Nation, this time with the poster open to the additional position of general manager.

This is one more confusing signal about the state of the economy. All around you have signs of things being dire for the country. Economist David Ndii, in a TV interview last month, said that the country was in free fall till the next election, unable to change political course.

In October, we had two positive reports from global banks. The 2019 Absa Africa Financial Markets Index report, ranked Kenya as the third-most investor-friendly country in Africa. And Kenya was number 53 in the World Bank “Doing Business” report, an improvement from 63.

EXPANDED RAPIDLY

The American Chamber of Commerce just celebrated the arrival of five multinationals to Kenya - Cigna, and Abbot Laboratories who are both in health services, and Corteva an agricultural seed company. There was also the American Tower Corporation and Emerging Capital Partners who bought a majority stake in Artcaffe that has expanded rapidly across Nairobi this year.

And recently at a private briefing, a top manager at Kenya Airways spoke of being on a recent KQ flight to Amsterdam. As was his habit, he joined the crew in saying a greeting and farewell to the passengers as they disembarked at Schiphol. He was shocked that the full flight did not have a single black Kenyan passenger on board.

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