In 1964, in the wake of independence, foreign investment in Kenya went down considerably. In a move to reverse this trend, the government issued a white paper in 1965 welcoming foreign investment and encouraging joint ventures. Foreign investments in 1965 totaled $30 million, rising to $52 million in 1971. The pace of investment accelerated during the 1970s, and by 1984 it was estimated that US investment alone had a value of $350 million. In 1987, tax treaties with the United Kingdom, Germany, Zambia, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden were in force, but private foreign investment stagnated.
In the early 1990s, the government moved to encourage investment by liberalizing trade policies and removing impediments to the development of a free market. It was estimated in 1994 that foreign direct investment totaled more than $1 billion. The majority of foreign direct investment comes from the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States. Regardless of the government's intentions to attract investment, as of 1999 power interruptions, poor roads, political turmoil, and rampant government corruption dissuaded most serious foreign investment.