Expo 2020 Dubai: Financial Services, Fintech and Wider Digital in Kenya


Expo 2020 Dubai is showcasing innovations across its themes of opportunity, mobility and sustainability. Countries from across the world are taking part and highlighting their wider economic development. The following will shine a spotlight on the East African nation of Kenya.

Located in the Expo’s Opportunity District, the Kenya Pavilion does well to convey the true economic potential of the East African country. Under the theme ‘Feel the Energy’, the Pavillion allows visitors to explore every element of the country, from the latest innovations taking place in its industries, to the hospitality and creativity of the Kenyan people.

Kenya Pavilion. Image: Expo 2020 DubaiKenya Pavilion. Image: Expo 2020 Dubai
Kenya Pavilion. Image: Expo 2020 Dubai

Against the backdrop of Kenya’s Vision 2030, an initiative designed to project the country into Africa’s leading industrialised trade hub, and in turn provide a higher quality of life for all of its citizens, Kenya has seized the opportunity of the Expo to network with its neighbours in the Gulf, providing as much insight as possible as to the benefits of investment arriving there.

Sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with the Pavilion of the UAE, the Kenya Pavilion showcases investment and trade opportunities that are aligned with the ‘Big Four‘ development agenda, which includes food security, affordable housing, universal healthcare and manufacturing; delivering on the overarching theme of the Expo – ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’.

Moreso however, Kenya has utilised every inch of its 400 square-metre Pavilion space to pass over the country’s energy to all that pass through its doors; hence the Pavilion’s striking theme. Visitors are taken on a tour of the country’s native tribes, its fintech, argitech and edutech developments, its cultural diversity and the growing potential of its most thriving sectors; including agriculture, technology and tourism.

Kenya Week

The Kenya Week activities, which ran from 14 February to 18 February, formed the climax of Kenya’s participation at the Expo. Events included heartfelt Valentine’s Day celebrations poised under the theme of ‘From Kenya with Love‘, where Kenya distributed close to 1 million flowers, mostly roses, to Expo participants; Kenya’s Counties and Economic Regional Blocs Day, which focussed on the country’s investment opportunities; Kenya National Day of Honour, Kenya GCC High-Level Trade, Investment and Tourism Forum and Kenya Cultural Day.

Attended by the President of Kenya, HE Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya’s National Day, 16 February, saw celebrations begin with a flag-raising ceremony at Al Wasl Plaza. This was accompanied by the playing of the national anthem and a vibrant dance performance by the Bomas Harambee Dancers, which took onlookers on a visual and auditory journey across the country and represented the beauty and diversity of Kenyan traditional music and dances.

President of Kenya, HE Uhuru KenyattaPresident of Kenya, HE Uhuru Kenyatta
HE Uhuru Kenyatta

Speaking at the ceremony, Kenyatta said: “Kenya is very keen to build and strengthen existing relations with the Gulf Cooperation Council states and with all participants during this Expo 2020 Dubai. We seek to harness all the opportunities offered by this Expo to build new business relations, to attract new investment, as well as to bring tourists to enjoy Kenya and its renowned attractions.

“Today, I want to continue to extend the love and appreciation [Kenya has for the UAE], and to commit our continued partnership and cooperation with this country and the Gulf region, which is aimed at ensuring our two regions continue to grow and prosper in the days to come. It is my pleasure to welcome all of you to join us in celebrating Kenya’s richness and our diversity. We will be showcasing our cultural diversity through song, dance, cuisine and our fashion throughout the week.”

Later today, Al Wasl will host another spectacular and colourful live performance of Kenya’s traditional music and dance of Kenya, performed by the country’s celebrated national dance company Ngoma za Kenya.

The country will also host a business forum at Expo 2020 Dubai’s Business Connect Centre, highlighting the abundant opportunities across Kenya and encouraging thought-provoking discussions on key issues and investment opportunities.

National and Honour Days at Expo 2020 Dubai are moments to celebrate each of Expo 2020 Dubai’s 200-plus International Participants, shining a light on their culture and achievements and showcasing their pavilions and programming.

Running until 31 March 2022, Expo 2020 Dubai invites visitors from across the planet to join the making of a new world in a six-month celebration of human creativity, innovation, progress and culture.

Fintech in Kenya Round-Up

  • Remittance inflows to Kenya have increased tenfold in recent years, with total remittances in 2021 reaching a record $3.718million. This surpassed the previous record of $3.094million set in 2020; according to the Diaspora Remittances Survey published by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).
  • According to a report by Caribou Digital, Qhala and Mastercard Foundation, younger Kenyans continue to explore the possibilities of digital platforms, including:

    • in e-commerce devising creative ways to overcome long-standing difficulties such as the ‘last mile’ problem.
    • In agriculture: to engage and educate other young people about the sector.
    • In logistics: to combat the poor reputation of the sector. – In visual arts and music: to create communities and showcase the processes behind artistic creation.
  • As the rate of women entrepreneurs across Sub-Saharan Africa continues to rise, Visa is expanding its global ‘She’s Next’ initiative to empower women entrepreneurs on the continent, bringing practical insights and valuable tools needed to grow and advance their businesses.
  • Tyler is a Fintech Junior Journalist with specific interests in Online Banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

  • Executive Economic Development Advisor (Emerging Markets) | Contributor