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Economy, Money, Banking & Taxes


Kenya uses the Kenyan Shilling (KES) as its currency, one of which can be divided down into 100 cents. KES 2 is worth about $0.02 or £0.01.

Coins are available in 5, 10, 25, 50 Cent variants as well as 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 Shilling variants.

Bank notes are available in 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 Shilling variants.


Kenya’s economy is mainly based in trading, making it a Market-Based Economy. This economy exports mainly to neighbours Uganda, Tanzania and the Congo as well as the Netherlands, the UK, the US and Egypt. Meanwhile it imports mainly from India, China, the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Today, the country sits on around $9.5 Billion public debt and sees a Gross Domestic Product of $41.84 Billion annually.

Kenya’s biggest exports are in natural resources such as Tea (21%), Cut Flowers (13%), Coffee (6%) and Legumes (4%) as well as a combination of other live plants, nuts and perfume plants. Additionally it has a roughly even split between processed natural resources such as Processed Fruits and Nuts (2%), Processed Vegetables (1%) and Tobacco (1%), industrial resources such as Refined Petroleum (4%), Cement (2%) and Feldspar (0.88%), and clothes, soap & cleaning products and other industries such as food, plastic and iron.


Kenya’s banking system is almost identical to most western countries’ and usually sees two main types of accounts including Current Accounts, where withdrawal is easy but interest rates are low, and Savings Accounts, where interest is higher but withdrawals may be restricted.

It should be mentioned however that although access to bank accounts via ATM machines is easy in large city-centres such as Nairobi, outside of the centres, especially in rural areas, withdrawing cash may be next to impossible.


In Kenya, tax is applied in several ways, mainly on a corporate level but VAT and income tax, as well as several others, is also applied.

Companies may see several taxes applied, including Income tax (30% flat), Tertiary education tax (2% flat), Petroleum profits tax (85% flat, applied only to petrol companies), Capital gains tax, Dividends, Interest, Royalties, Rents and Consultancy fees (all 10% flat).

Residents of the country have several taxes applied including Royalties and Consultancy fees (both at 10% flat), Directors’ fees, Rents, Interest, Dividends and Capital gains tax (all 10% flat) and Income tax which scales as follows:
  • KES below 16,000 ($180 or £110): 5%
  • KES 16,000-32,000 ($360 or £210): 10%
  • KES 32,000-60,000 ($680 or £400): 15%
  • KES 60,000-86,000 ($980 or £570): 20%
  • KES over 86,000: 25%
It’s important to note that although Residents may be taxed on all of their income, Non-Residents are only taxed on their Kenya-sourced income.