Foreign tech companies in Kenya required to have a 30% local shareholding to be considered Kenyan

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Kenya has gazetted a new notice requiring all new foreign tech companies to give Kenyans a 30% stake to be considered Kenyan.

According to CIO, International companies with an interest in the Kenyan market will have to give the 30% stake to be considered as Kenyan companies in a push for a local stake as a requirement to obtain licenses in the country. 

Companies have been given 3 years to comply with the local ownership regulations. The time frame is subject to a one-year extension by the ICT Cabinet Secretary upon request.

“It is the policy that only companies with at least 30% substantive Kenyan ownership, either corporate or individual, will be licensed to provide ICT services. For purposes of this rule, ICT companies without a majority Kenyan ownership will not be considered Kenyan, and may thus not be calculated as part of the 30% Kenyan ownership calculus,” reads the policy in a recent Gazette Notice.

The new law also requires that the government ICT procurement processes will give preference to local ICT companies in the award of tenders, including in sectors like security and defence. Further, where local businesses cannot fulfil tender requirements, foreign companies will have to transfer skills to local firms.

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