{{ text }}

11 January, 2019
CEO Speeches

Cytonn CEO Edwin Dande speaking during the discussion at the Strathmore Business School.

Today I had the privilege of speaking to MBA Students from IESE Business School attending a two-week immersion program at Strathmore Business School. The topic was about “Challenges and Opportunities of Doing Business Across the African Continent.”

My focus was really on East Africa; my key message is that the opportunities are as myriad as the challenges. By any key message, East Africa is at a better place as an investment destination than it has ever been:

  1. Macroeconomic indicators such as interest rates, currencies and exchange rates are more stable now than they used to be decades ago,
  2. The demographic trends are very supportive – the population growth rate of 2.6% p.a. is higher than the global average of 1.2% p.a.; and rapid urbanization at 4.3% p.a. is way higher than global average of 2.1% p.a.,
  3. Ease of Doing Business indices are pointing in the right direction – for example, Kenya ranks #61 in Ease of Doing Business, compared to rank #129 five-years ago,
  4. Governance indices point the right direction as indicated by an improvement in Kenya’s corruption perception index score to 28 from the previous score of 26, with a higher score in the index reflecting less corruption and better measures to prevent corruption,
  5. Specifically, for Kenya, we have a lot more going for us:
    1. We are the gateway to the East African Region through the Mombasa Port and through Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), making us the regional business and transit hub,
    2. We are the global leader in mobile money payments through M-Pesa,
    3. We have a vibrant entrepreneurial culture,
    4. Our wildlife tourism is second to none in the world,
    5. Our marathoners are second to none in the world, and,
    6. The Obama heritage gave, and continues to give, us global brand recognition.