Kenya has announced the repeal of a rule that required foreign tech multinationals to transfer a minimum of 30 percent of their shareholding to local Kenyans. The decision was made following the removal of the requirement from the country’s national ICT policy guidelines. The rule had mandated companies such as Airtel, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon to comply with the local equity ownership provision by March 2023. However, the government has now reversed its stance on the controversial requirement for tech giants.
The Ministry of ICT invited public comments on the issue, emphasizing Kenya’s ambition to become a competitive knowledge-based economy by 2030. In its notice, the ministry stated that deleting the equity participation subsection from the national ICT policy guidelines would contribute to the country’s goal of attracting investment and creating employment opportunities.
Under President William Ruto’s administration, Kenya has been actively promoting the growth of its ICT sector to enhance productivity and competitiveness. In the recent budget allocation for the 2023/2024 financial year, the government earmarked $109.6 million (KES 15.1 billion) to support initiatives in the ICT sector.
Kenya aims to position itself as a leading ICT innovation hub in East Africa, unlocking the vast potential of the digital economy. By repealing the equity ownership rule, the country seeks to create a favorable environment for global tech companies to invest and contribute to its vision of becoming a globally competitive knowledge-based economy by 2030.