How Nairobi leads in luring world’s largest companies

A view of Nairobi.
Aerial view of a section of Nairobi. PHOTO/FILE
Nairobi is one of the most favoured cities as the regional headquarters for some of the world’s most profitable 500 companies.

The Kenyan capital has found its way into the Fortune 500 list that includes Dubai, Cairo, Johannesburg, Lagos and Casablanca as one of the cities with the highest appeal to global corporate giants.

A new study by Infomineo, a global business research firm focusing on Africa and the Middle East, Nairobi is a magnet for Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies, thanks to the city’s rising middle-class population.

“While Dubai and Johannesburg are the most popular hubs overall, Casablanca and Nairobi are rapidly gaining traction and international awareness,” the report said.

Nairobi, which is a top choice for companies seeking to expand into the Eastern Africa market, has seen a 12 per cent gain in its attractiveness since 2015.

The city has managed to lure world’s biggest companies due to its rising population of residents with high disposable income and a taste of luxury, as well as the political stability that has prevailed in Kenya over the years.

According to the Infomineo report, companies looking to expand abroad consider key factors such as the local market potential, maturity of the industry, existing competitors, political stability and the quality of the labour market.

“Determining the attractiveness of a location along these clear lines assures the Fortune 500 companies of a stable and profitable investment and significantly mitigates risk,” said the report.

Nairobi has over the past few years branded itself is a regional financial hub, and the latest ranking has boosted the city’s appeal to global investors seeking to expand in the Eastern Africa region.