The election of Sahle-Work Zewde as Ethiopia’s first female president has been enthusiastically greeted in Ethiopia and beyond, raising hopes among advocates for gender equality in the conservative country.
This has given rise to world attention towards Ethiopia due to Zewde being a woman and president at the same time and furthermore the experience that she has had over the 3 decades she served as UN’s top official at the AU.
This has threatened Kenya in losing its lead position in foreign direct investment (FDI) to Ethiopia. This has happened as new investors turn their focus on the latter following wide-ranging socio-economic reforms.
A report by consulting firm Ernst & Young (EY) on FDI readiness ranks Kenya third on the continent after South Africa and Morocco in attracting investors with 67 FDI projects.
According to EY, Kenya marked a 68 per cent increase in the number of investment projects last year, compared with the previous year, despite the General Election jitters. “British investors were particularly active with 10 project commitments, followed by Dutch firms,” said the report.
Investment to the telecommunications and technology sector was up 44 per cent attributed to Kenya’s relatively developed labor pool in the sector and high adoption of smart phones.
In contrast, Ethiopia was ranked fifth with 62 projects, marking a 288 per cent increase in the number of projects funded last year compared to a similar period in 2016. This has seen Ethiopia rise seven spots in the index. It ties with Kenya and Nigeria at nine per cent in terms of the share of FDI to sub-Saharan Africa.
Political reforms that saw the election Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the first female president Sahle-Work Zewde will further boost Ethiopia’s standing among foreign investors. Kenya is, however, grappling with huge public debt.
I believe as a country Kenya, even though we are grappling with public debt we are still at a high chance of increasing our GDP and economic hub now that the country is aware of the challenges and trying to resolve the issues at hand . The government will do the best possible to improve the country’s economic development. Or what do you think?