Kenya is gradually losing its economic hegemony in the region.
Kenya has served as the regional economic hub since independence. Most international investors and institutions have chosen to establish operations here due to the relative peace and stability. Additionally, we have succeeded in cultivating an image of a country that is investor-friendly. Kenya’s most well-known export is her foreign policy.
Kenya has maintained a reconciliatory attitude in the face of provocation. Kenyans demonstrated their magnanimity when they welcomed and housed more than half a million refugees fleeing violence in Somalia and South Sudan. Generally, as a country, we have maintained a free market economy that encourages trade with neighbors.
Uganda remains our largest trading partner and is heavily reliant on our Mombasa port. Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo rely on Kenya for access to commodities such as petroleum. However, things are beginning to change. Our traditional trading partners are increasingly interested in Tanzania, which appears to offer more favourable terms.
A friend in the logistics and petroleum business intimated to me recently that his business is doing poorly because his clients in Congo and Rwanda are now getting their products via Tanzania. He has a fleet of trucks, many of them procured through bank loans.
He has a fleet of trucks, many of them procured through bank loans.
Now, the trucks may be auctioned. Transporting petroleum products from Mombasa to Kigali is more expensive than transporting them from Dar-es-Salaam.