Kenyan bankers say respect for Supreme Court to attract investors

Kenyan bankers say respect for Supreme Court to attract investorsThe decision by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, his challenger Raila Odinga and their supporters to respect the Supreme Court decision annulling Aug. 8 presidential vote is expected to motivate more investors to come into Kenya, business leaders told Xinhua on Thursday.

“Decision by the leaders to accept the court ruling is not only good for Kenya but for the whole of Africa,” said George Elombi, the Vice President of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).

“One of the impacts it will have is that it has helped to improve the image of Africa. This is bound to encourage more investors to come into countries like Kenya because of the high-level respect on legal decisions and the independence of the judiciary,” he told Xinhua in Nairobi.

He said Africa has for long suffered from the perception that the judiciary is not independent, but Kenya’s decision, which is likely to be emulated by other countries, will erase the negative perception.

Despite initial negative sentiments over the court ruling, the lack of violence or dispute after the court ruling is helping to keep alive optimism among investors.

Rating agency Fitch has this week retained Kenya’s sovereign ratings of “B+”, citing challenges of weak revenue performance and delayed fiscal consolidation.

But it warned in its latest update that this may be affected if there is any election-related violence.

Isaac Awuondo, CEO of the CBA Bank Group, said investors are taking a long-term view and that the shock that may have been experienced during the election time is short-term.

Investment group Cytonn Investments CEO Edwin Dande said the ruling by the Supreme Court is indicative of maturity of the judicial system and this is bound to encourage more investors to come into Kenya.

“It shows respect for the constitution and institutions and these are some of the factors investors consider in a market,” he said.