The number of wealthy Kenyans buying foreign residency and citizenship has increased, according to Henley & Partners.
The London-based global citizenship and residence advisory company says high net worth individuals from Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, and Ghana have increased their appetite for foreign residency and citizenship.
Before the global outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, rich Kenyans acquired more passports to attain foreign residency and citizenship, Marios Rafail, the Head of Geneva office for Henley & Partners said.
The rich’s intention of getting more passports is to ease business travel, access elite education, and healthcare, and have an alternative home should things go south in their birthplace.
Billionaires acquire more passports through various investment migration programs, where they are required to make substantial investments in government bonds, real estate, or infrastructure development.
For instance, one must invest at least Sh10 million to get an Antigua citizenship, Sh45.2 million for Montenegro, Sh142 million for Malta, and Sh388 million for Cyprus. These are some of the top investment migration countries in Europe.
85 percent of the 100 Africans who sought Henley & Partners' assistance to acquire foreign citizenship in 2019 were Nigerians.
A 2019 report by Knight Frank ranked Kenya sixth in the number of super-rich individuals in Africa. The report indicated there are 42 people worth more than Sh3 billion in Kenya.
South Africa had the highest number with 1,033 persons followed by Egypt (764), and Nigeria (724).