The last decade has witnessed a raft of political and legal reforms in Kenya and the efforts have paid dividends. Kenya is experiencing an unprecedented surge in foreign direct investments in varied infrastructure projects. In most cases the projects are situate in rural areas creating a buzz of excitement and igniting opportunities for poverty reduction initiatives directly or indirectly. Indeed, transformative projects in a developing country should elicit positive stories of growth and poverty reduction with vistas of lit up villages and local initiatives catalysed by the infrastructure and ancillary opportunities. For a growing number of projects however, what has hogged the limelight are firstly, challenges of setting up and dealing with restrictions imposed on foreign ownership of land in Kenya which often have a negative impact on the structure and funding of investments. Secondly, and certainly more vociferous are challenges of implementation which have witnessed disputes pitting proponents of projects and by extension the private equity funders and financiers against the community or small scale land holders where the projects are situate asserting contrary rights. Land is at the centre of these challenges. This paper highlights these challenges faced by foreign investors and offers solutions to the problems.
Authors and Publishers
PETER MUHIU MWANGI
The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. We are not a bank in the ordinary sense but a unique partnership to reduce poverty and support development.