After reviewing and studying dozens of countries and their Forex environments, we have found Kenya to be one of the most interesting ones. Sure, it is not a secret that Kenya isn’t one of the richest and most financially stable countries in the world. However, what many people don’t know is that Kenya actually has one of the highest potentials for Forex trading in Africa, mainly due to how much progress it has shown, and how much more progress it will likely achieve in the near future. If you are a Kenyan looking to start trading Forex, but are still on the fence, unsure whether or not it is worth it, or even safe thing to do, then this guide is for you!
As a beginner in Forex, it is really easy to get overwhelmed with so much conflicting information online, and so many different options available. In light of this, it becomes a bit hard to keep oneself safe and secure from all the possible scams and fraudulent schemes that one may be in danger of. As such, this guide will serve as a tool to inform and make aware all the Kenyan beginner Forex traders about everything that they will need to know on how to get started with Forex trading in Kenya in a safe, secure and sustainable way. You will learn what authorities are involved in providing safety to you the traders, and a general overview of what to expect as a Kenyan Forex trader.
Our list of top Forex brokers in Kenya
Before you go ahead with the guide, check our list of top Forex brokers in Kenya, which we have carefully chosen out of dozens of different options. The list was selected based on the most important factors, such as safety and security, availability of different options for trading, various extra benefits, and more. If you are looking for a broker with whom you can trade safely and get the best bang for your buck and for your time, make sure to check out all the brokers below, and you can be sure that you’ll find what you’re looking for!
FCA, CySEC, IFSC, ASIC, DFSA
MT4, MT5, WebTrader
Desktop, WebTrader, Mobile
FCA, ASIC, CySEC, FSCA, FMA, MAS
WebTrader, Windows 10 Trader
Forex regulation in Kenya
Let’s start this guide off with the most important details first and foremost, which is safety. The safety and security of Forex trading is especially important for countries like Kenya. Why? Because before reaching a decent level of Forex market that it has now, Kenya has actually had a lot of problems in this regard.
Not too long ago, Kenya didn’t actually have any registered brokers, because they simply didn’t have any official regulatory authorities of their own. Kenyans who were looking for brokers to trade with had to go with the websites that were based in other countries. Aside from the obvious fact that it was putting Kenya itself in a bad position financially, there was a big risk of safety and security. The international nature of this arrangement, where Kenyans would often be trading with brokers that were not supervised by any Kenyan authority, would be subjecting them to a lot of risks. There were tons of scams and fraudulent operations taking place, essentially creating a free-for-all environment for many potential scammers. Over time, the government started noticing the seriousness of the issue, and they determined it was time to take action.
Kenya’s very first regulatory body
Over time, as Forex kept getting more and more popular in Kenya, the need for a legitimate and effective regulation was getting more and more apparent. It was at this point in time when the CMA (Capital Markets Authority) of Kenya started taking action. Through several studies and surveys, they have found out, that over 50,000 Kenyans were trading with brokers that were based outside of Kenya. Needless to say, this was putting them under a huge risk and vulnerability of the scammers. Sure, there were tons of Kenyans that were trading with brokers that were based outside, and as long as the broker is safe and trustworthy, there’s absolutely no problem with trading with them, even if they’re outside your country. However, often, this was not the case with brokers that many Kenyans were trading with.
This showed the CMA what action needed to be taken, and they slowly but surely started creating a strong regulatory environment. CMA started making way for the legitimate international companies to officially register in Kenya, and start offering their services legally. Over time, thanks to CMA’s implementations, things started moving in a positive direction for Forex trading in Kenya. The level of fraud and the frequency of scams decreased, and traders were put in a much better position to win.
Capital Markets Authority has really made some great changes in the regulation, which were all a great contributing factor for allowing the Kenyan Forex market to grow. This took Kenya from a country with effectively no regulation and oversight, to becoming one of the countries with the fastest growth. What exactly is different for Kenya now, as compared to the past?
Well, the biggest change is that now every broker that offers brokerage services in Kenya needs to have a license. Any broker that operates in Kenya without this license will be fined. This has proven to be one of the biggest contributing factors in improving the conditions on the market. Why? Because obtaining the license is only possible if these brokers satisfy some strict requirements that are all designed with the intention of increasing safety.
One of the main requirements for the license is that every Forex trading brokers in Kenya will need to have at least $500,000 in operating capital. This rule is very effective in multiple different ways. First and foremost, it makes sure that every broker needs to satisfy a certain standard. Why? Because this way, only the brokers that are really committed to providing high-quality service, and are in it for the long term, are allowed to get the license. With a big investment made, a broker is likely to take everything more seriously, thereby putting Kenyan traders in a safer position. In addition, the brokers are obligated to have this amount in cash or an asset that would be equal in liquidity. On top, the brokers are obligated to have five percent of however much its debts and other forms of obligations are towards the customers.
One of the other rules that CMA Introduced is the requirement for a very qualified leadership. As an example, licensed brokers will need to employ a CEO that has no less than 5 years of experience in the financial market, specifically trading Forex. This ensures, that the interests of the company, and therefore the interests of the traders, are in the most qualified hands possible. It should also be noted, that the brokers are required to have a physical office in Kenya as well.
In a nutshell, all of these changes were geared towards making Kenya a much more effective and safe environment for Forex traders. These changes, over time, have definitely been very effective and been huge contributors to the growth of the Kenyan Forex market. Thanks to these really smart changes introduced by the CMA, not only are the Kenyan traders in a much better, safer position, but the Forex brokers in Kenya themselves are in a better position as well, as there is now much more clearer picture of what the market needs, and what kind of guidelines are to be followed for ensuring that their services are all delivered while taking into account all the important laws and regulations.
To sum this up, although safety has definitely been one of the biggest concerns for Forex trading in Kenya for many years, the situation is vastly different today. Sure, it is still not on the level of how it is in the first world countries, but the difference is definitely night and day. If you are a Kenyan who was interested in starting trading but were hesitant because of all the horror stories you have heard in the past, worry not – there are a lot of opportunities for safe, enjoyable, and most importantly, profitable trading experience in Kenya today!
Which trading assets do the best Kenyan Forex brokers offer?
Kenya is still in active development as a country for Forex trading, but you will be surprised at how many viable options are there for trading. It all depends on what kind of trading experience you’re looking for. Many Kenyans like to trade on the national currency, the Kenyan Shilling. Indeed, the very large part of the total daily volume of all Forex trading in Kenya is USD/KES. If you want to go this route, make sure that you understand the level of volatility involved. For many people, the added volatility is seen as an opportunity to trade and win more money, but many people find much more success with something more stable.
If you are looking for something more stable, like Gold, then you will have an option for that too. If trading on Oil is more of your style, where a lot of action is always taking place and a lot of windows of opportunity are open, then you will have plenty of options. In general, most of the licensed brokers in Kenya will be able to provide trading opportunities on most of the popular commodities that you can find on most other Forex markets. Before you proceed to do so, make sure that you familiarize yourself with the broker that you go with, as well as what are the specifics and things to keep in mind when trading for a certain commodity.
What are the pros and cons of Kenya Forex trading?
As a quick summary, here’s what we believe the strong and weak sides of Kenyan Forex brokers are:
- Forex is very popular in Kenya
- Huge progress in safety
- The national currency is weak
Forex brokers in Kenya – the verdict
The situation on the financial market in Kenya is vastly different today, compared to how it was years ago. Though it started off with a rough patch, with many “casualties” to fraudulent activities and scams, the situation is now looking much better, and Kenyans have finally gotten a chance to enjoy a decent trading environment, and become a part of the global Forex family. If you are a Kenyan that was a bit hesitant to getting started due to all the negative experiences that people have had in the past, you should definitely find comfort in the fact that it’s very different today.
The main things that Forex brokers in Kenya have always lacked, namely safety and proper regulation, have now become Kenya’s key focus areas, and thus, have improved considerably. If there ever was a “perfect” time for Kenyans to start trading, it is definitely now. So, don’t waste any more of your time, and start your trading journey today!