Transport, logistics and engineering firms are the companies doing brisk business with the United Nations, a report shows.
The UN says Kenya, which hosts thousands of refugees from neighbouring countries, is among the top 10 countries supplying goods and services to UN agencies in the region.
The 2015 Annual Statistical Report on UN procurement (ASR) indicates that Kenyan companies earned more than $445 million (Sh44.5 billion) last year from goods and services to various UN agencies.
In 2015, Kenya shared the 44.8 per cent of goods and services supplied to UN agencies by the top 10 countries.
Kenya supplied transport services worth $170.5 million (Sh17 billion), making it the fourth largest supplier behind Denmark, Russia and the US, but followed by Ethiopia in the region.
“In 2015, procurement of goods and services from Kenya represented 2.5 per cent of the total procurement volume. Procurement from Kenya consisted primarily of cargo transportation services, construction services and fuel,” says the publication.
“Goods and services from Kenya were primarily procured by the World Food Programme, UNDP, UNHCR and Unicef.”
Companies such as Acacia Consultants, Amiran Kenya, Biosystems Lab, Bluewaves Trading and Logistics, Davis & Shirtliff, Eagle Vet Kenya, East African Supplies and Logistics, Jambo Fish Western, Kenya Marine Contractors and Medina Chemicals secured contracts with various UN agencies last year.
The US is the largest supplier to the UN at $1.6 billion followed by India ($1.2 billion), UAE ($805 million), Switzerland ($743 million) and Belgium ($708 million).
The report was published even as President Uhuru Kenyatta, during 14th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) in Nairobi, lambasted the UN and its agencies in Africa for being detached from realities on the ground.
“The UN spends billions of dollars in missions in Africa, but what impact do you have? You should come and ask us — how do we find solutions?”
President Kenyatta told a gathering in Nairobi last week during the World Leaders Summit and Round Table of heads of agencies on paving the way to 2030, the year the world should have eradicated extreme poverty, during the Unctad conference.