Kenya is the most developed economy in Eastern Africa. As of 2015 estimates, Kenya had a GDP of $69.977 billion making it the 72nd largest economy in the world. Per capita GDP was estimated at $1,587. The country is also the economic, commercial, and logistical hub of the entire region. Kenya’s population is estimated at 41 million with a large number of well educated English speaking and multi-lingual professionals, and a strong entrepreneurial tradition. It is also a very ‘young’ country with almost 70% of the population under the age of 35. Kenya's strengths include its human resources, natural assets, and strategic location.
The agricultural sector is the largest employer in Kenya, contributing 23.4% of GDP. The country’s major exports are tea, coffee, cut flowers, and vegetables. Kenya is the world’s leading exporter of black tea and tea is one of Kenya’s top foreign exchange earners.
Kenya enjoys an extensive transportation infrastructure. Nairobi is the undisputed transportation hub of Eastern and Central Africa and the largest city between Cairo and Johannesburg. The Port of Mombasa is the most important deep-water port in the region, supplying the shipping needs of more than a dozen countries.
Kenya's financial and manufacturing industries are the most sophisticated in Eastern Africa. Kenya’s tourism industry is one of the most successful in the world and the second largest source of foreign revenue. Kenya also is a potentially important source of high-value mineral commodities such as titanium, and oil. In March 2012, oil was discovered in Turkana by the British oil company Tullow and drilling as well as preparations for commercial exploitation are at an advanced stage.
Private sector-led economic growth has since the early 2000s, been Kenya’s Priority. The Government's business-friendly stance has rolled over into Vision 2030, which sets development benchmarks for a number of priority sectors. This has been complemented by the integration of the EAC and the establishment in 2005 of a customs union and a common market (2010).
Kenya is a member of COMESA with 19 countries, and 14 of which are in a Free Trade Area (FTA). Three regional economic blocks i.e. EAC, COMESA and SADC with a combined population of over 600 million people are currently developing a joint framework and roadmap towards a Free Trade Area by 2015.
Kenya has seen an upward trend in economic development with prospects looking up due to extensive economic reforms, a new constitution, and fundamental reforms in the three arms of government (executive, legislature and the judiciary).
The main sectors contributing to economic growth are building and construction, infrastructure development, manufacturing, transport and services, and tourism particularly from emerging markets; agriculture, and wholesale and retail.