The Investment Promotion and Facilitation Bill, 2023

Feb 28, 2024 | Case Brief, Investments, Law, Our Highlights, Top Law Firm

The Investment Promotion and Facilitation Bill, 2023 (“Bill”), whose purpose is to make it easier for businesses to invest in the country by simplifying administrative procedures, improving transparency, and reducing bureaucratic procedures.

To begin with, the Bill has established the Kenya Investment Corporation (KIC) (“Corporation”), which will replace the Kenya Investment Authority, which was established in the Investment Promotion Act 2004. The Corporation is tasked with promoting, coordinating, and facilitating investment opportunities for both local and foreign investors. The headquarters of the Corporation shall be in the Capital City of Kenya, but the Corporation is free to establish offices in other places in Kenya.

The Bill proposes a mandatory registration of foreign investors who are making direct investments in Kenya; they will be required to register with the Corporation before starting any investment activities. The Bill has also mandated that both local and foreign investors who intend to invest in Kenya ought to apply to the Corporation for an investment certificate. This application is accompanied by a non-refundable application fee. An applicant shall be entitled to an investment certificate if, for foreign investors, the amount to be invested is at least USD 500,000/= or the equivalent in any currency. For local investors, the amount to be invested is required to be at least KES. 5,000,000/= or the equivalent of another currency.

This investment certificate shall set out licenses that are necessary to the proposed investment and to which the holder of the investment certificate may be legally entitled. Furthermore, the holder of an investment certificate is entitled to entry permits under the Kenyan Citizenship Immigration Act, 2011: three class D permits for management or technical staff; and three class G permits for owners, shareholders, or partners.

To promote and facilitate investment in Kenya, the Bill proposes the establishment of a centralized facility by the Corporation for purposes of providing government services and regulatory requirements for investors. The centralized facility may host government regulatory and service provision agencies such as: registration of business, tax and customs administration requirements, registration and payment of taxes, and immigration, amongst other services. In conclusion, the Bill proposes to establish an Investment, Trade, and Industry Tribunal, which is an avenue for applying for a review of a decision by the Corporation. This extends to individuals who have applied for an investment certificate or are holders of it. Essentially, this Bill seeks to tailor Kenya’s legislation to emerging changes, catering to investors’ interests while balancing the benefits to both the public and the state.