Nairobi moves on privatisation for state companies
Publish date: 27 November 2023
Issue Number: 1055
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Kenya was ready to privatise 35 state companies ‘trapped in government bureaucracy’ in a bid to boost productivity following a change to laws, President William Ruto said. Last month, Ruto’s government signed a revised privatisation Bill into law that makes it easier to sell state enterprises to private companies, The East African reports. The revised law aims to push up the private sector's participation in the economy, the Presidency said at the time of the signing. ‘We have identified the first 35 companies that we are going to offer to the private sector,’ Ruto told a gathering of African stock market officials in Nairobi. He added that the government was also exploring options regarding some 100 state-owned firms, saying that many ‘would-be lucrative companies... are trapped in government bureaucracy, when the services they are offering can be better offered by the private sector.’ East Africa's economic powerhouse is facing a host of challenges, including depleted government coffers, skyrocketing inflation and a plunging currency that has led to soaring debt repayment costs. The IMF, which has agreed to a $938m loan for Kenya, has urged Ruto's Government to reform public sector firms, particularly the national electricity supplier, Kenya Power and Kenya Airways.