Kenya is East Africa’s largest economy and a leading financial centre in the region. The country went through a politically difficult year in 2017, but notable transformations immediately followed in 2018 after President Kenyatta’s announcement that affordable housing would be one of his “Big Four” pillars, in addition to manufacturing, food security and universal health coverage.
Kenya’s economy has shown strong growth in the past few years with a GDP growth rate above 5 percent per annum for the past five years. In 2016, real GDP growth was 5.8 percent, although this declined in 2017 largely due to uncertainty caused by the political situation, the drought, and a slow-down in credit growth following the imposition of interest rate caps. Inflation has hovered around 4 percent during 2018, down considerably from 8 percent in 2017. The currency has also been stable in 2018, offering a level of economic certainty.
The inclusion of affordable housing as one of the four pillars of growth in the President’s “Big Four” plan has stimulated a range of policy and regulatory interventions in the housing sector. In its 2018 Budget Review, National Treasury announced a series of legislative and administrative interventions to facilitate the achievement of these goals, including policy changes, initiatives to leverage public land for development; and the introduction of public private partnerships to expedite administrative approvals, enhance access to well-located land, and improve inter-governmental coordination.