About Kenya

Kenya is one of the top three BP0 destinations in Africa. Kenyan wages are comparable to those of India, one of the largest calls center destination in the world. In the BPO market, Kenya has a comparative advantage due to the low labour rates for quality services. High schools, the entry threshold for call centre workers, produce more than 700,000 graduates a year. Local universities, tertiary institutions and polytechnics produce about 40,000 graduates a year.

Kenya also has a major advantage in the relative ease with which its citizens speak English, which is critical in call centers and BPO establishments. Accent neutralization— the process of internationalising local accents so that international customers can understand the agent better— is much easier or even unnecessary in Kenya.

For Kenya to become a recognised destination for outsourced services, e-commerce and the support of institutions such as the Export Promotion Council and the Investment Promotion Council are paramount.

Why Invest In Kenya

Kenya has been dubbed both a ‘Digital Lion’ and Africa’s ‘Silicon Savannah’ because of recent serious investment in infrastructure supporting the digital economy. Kenya’s ICT sector had the largest foreign direct investment of any sector in the continent. With ITC increasingly penetrating all sectors of the economy, the IT & BPM industries are a viable means for inclusive economic growth through impact sourcing projects and initiatives.

Some additional reasons to invest in Kenya includes:

  • 100,000 English speaking graduates per year
  • High literacy rate
  • Large pool of foreign speaking individuals
  • Cultural similarities to UK, Australia and US
  • Robust infrastructure environment
  • Major cost savings to source destinations such as the UK, US and Australia of at least 50%

Kenya BPM Industry

Kenya has a rapidly growing population of connected individuals and providers of digital services. Kenya’s IT & BPM industry is a wide-open space to capture the substantial opportunities offered by this connected population. This is largely because of an African digital revolution that is transforming basic services in health, finance and education and innovating outsourcing services for business processes.

A Connected and Mobile Population

Internet connectivity is considered to be a game changer for Kenya. 3G network infrastructure is growing and receiving significant investments across the entire continent. There has been a significantly increased population of households and professionals with access to mobile broadband and fiber-optic connections. Kenyans are getting things done with online and mobile capabilities, made possible in part by the rapid spread of low cost smart devices like phones and tablets.

Connectivity is already transforming six sectors and is projected to drive Kenya’s iGDP (the Internet’s contribution to the overall GDP) up.

  • Banking and Finance - Increased access to financial and banking services with smart phones and mobile wallets
  • Education - Kenyans are accessing skills and knowledge from the world’s best educational content on smart devices for better training. Technology-related productivity gains in education are projected to reach almost $70 billion across Africa.
  • Health - Kenyans are enjoying greater use of remote diagnosis and treatment and technology-related benefits in health care
  • Retail - A growing middle class is enjoying new shopping experiences, from e-commerce to mobile shopping.
  • Agriculture - Kenyans can now access online agriculture expertise and information and improve access to markets for better prices for produce.
  • Government - The internet is being used as a tool to improve transparency, streamline service delivery and automate revenue collection.

Information Technology and Business Process Management

With Kenyan IT and ICT set to soar, one can expect innovations to spur new business models, service diversification, network sharing and strategic partnerships that will position Kenya as leader in delivering IT & BPM services.

Government Support for Investors

The Government of Kenya works closely with industry bodies and investors on creating an enabling business environment. An example would be the creation of the Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZ) which focuses on all export-oriented investments in the manufacturing and services industry, which includes BPO and IT-enabled services.

Under the EPZA, investors can enjoy the following benefits:

  • 10-year Corporate Tax Holiday and 25% tax for 10 years thereafter
  • 10-year Withholding Tax Holiday on payments to non-residents e.g. dividends
  • Perpetual duty and VAT Exemption on raw materials, machinery, office equipment and other inputs
  • Stamp Duty Exemption
  • 100% Investment Deduction on capital expenditure within 20 years

Please visit the Export Processing Zones Authority website for more information:

Investment Laws, Labor Laws, Policies & Directories

The Investment Promotion Act (2004) contains major regulations concerning foreign direct investment. The Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) is established under this Act to actively promote investments and assist investors in Kenya.

Kenya has taken steps to make it easier to do business in the country through several legislative enactments:

  • Special Economic Zones Act. This act aims to create an enabling investment environment for global and local investors. Enterprises licensed under the Act will be exempted from all taxes and duties that are payable under domestic tax laws.
  • Companies Act 2015. The Act introduces provisions that reflect the current business realities and technological advancements over the years by easing the process of incorporation, allowing single shareholder companies, simplifying the Memorandum of Association to allow companies to carry out activities not necessarily included in their memorandum, and allowing companies to make written electronic resolutions—eliminating the need for members to physically meet all the time.
  • Business Registration Service Act 2015. The act ensures effective administration of the laws relating to the incorporation, registration, operation and management of companies, partnerships and firms.