Going Global

International Investing: Kenya


Economic Overview: Kenya is the regional hub for trade and finance in East Africa. Agricultural output was reduced by a severe drought in 1999 and 2000, and recovery has been limited by widespread governmental corruption and by low prices for several primary exports. The International Monetary Fund has repeatedly suspended loans to Kenya (in 1997, 2001, and 2006) because of corruption, but GDP grew more than 5 percent in 2006.

The opposition political party is given a good chance of winning elections scheduled for December, a prospect that worries some investors.

What to Watch: East Africa's bustling metropolis Nairobi is home to 3 million people. And with 6.5 percent annual GDP growth, the Kenyan capital represents the potential — and the difficulties — of a rapidly-developing economy.

CNBC Global Report: Nairobi

In the shadow of the city — the country's famous wildlife roams free just kilometers from the city center. But the booming economy may threaten their future.

While the growth is seen as good thing, Kenya is focused on safeguarding the environment. Tourism is Kenya's No. 1 foreign exchange earner. Kenyans are rightly proud of their natural heritage, but that won't stop them pushing the economy forward. The challenge will be to do it without damaging the country’s greatest asset of all.