In early May, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz traveled to Kenya and was impressed. A short time later, the country appeared prominently in his highly noted speech on Europe in Strasbourg: Kenya was one of the countries with which Europe should conclude new trade agreements, the chancellor said.

And indeed, the East African country is a stable democracy with a surging entrepreneurial and start-up scene. At the same time, however, there are major challenges, for example in the poor north of the country. A look at the key figures reveals a stable upward trend:

Economy. Kenyas gross domestic product per capita rose from the equivalent of 408 to 2081 dollars over the last 20 years. Economic growth recently stood at 7.5 percent and is expected to remain stable above the 5-percent mark in the coming years. Inflation is comparatively moderate at around seven percent.

Population. Kenya has around 53 million inhabitants and ranks sixth among the continent’s most populated countries (behind South Africa). Annual population growth has declined from 3.0 to 1.9 percent over the last 20 years. Over the same period, the birth rate has fallen from 5.0 to 3.3, meaning that a demographic dividend is slowly coming within reach. Life expectancy reached 61 years recently. It was, however, already 63 percent in 2019. 71 percent of Kenyans have access to electricity (twenty years ago, it was 15 percent).

Governance. On Transparency International’s latest Corruption Perceptions Index, Kenya ranks 123th out of 180. With a score of 32 points the country has, according to TI, made significant progress in the last years (for comparison: in 2015 Kenya scored 25 points). The score puts Togo on the same level as Boloiva, Niger and Laos and ahead of countries like Mexico or Egypt.

Sources and further information:

World Bank:

Germany Trade & Invest:

Transparency International:

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