Gold trading in Kenya: Current market trends and influential factors

Photo credit: Vecteezy | Exness

Kenya, renowned for its rich mineral resources, has a long history with gold trading. The allure of gold as a valuable asset has persisted through the years, attracting various stakeholders, from artisanal miners to large-scale investors. As of 2024, the landscape of gold trading in Kenya is shaped by a confluence of local and global factors, creating a dynamic and evolving market.

Current market trends

Increased local production

One of the most notable trends in Kenya’s gold market is the rise in local production. Recent geological surveys have identified new gold deposits in regions such as Kakamega, Vihiga, and Nandi, leading to a surge in mining activities.

The Kenyan government has been supportive of these ventures, providing licenses and encouraging investment in the mining sector. This boost in production has not only increased the supply of gold within the country, but also enhanced Kenya’s position in the global gold market.

Growth of artisanal and small-scale mining

Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) continues to play a significant role in Kenya's gold production. Despite the challenges associated with ASM, such as lack of formalisation and safety concerns, it remains a critical source of livelihood for many Kenyans. Efforts to formalise ASM operations and provide better access to technology and financing are ongoing.

These initiatives aim to increase productivity, improve safety, and ensure that miners receive fair value for their gold.

Technological advancements

Technological advancements are reshaping gold trading in Kenya. The adoption of blockchain technology for tracking and validating gold transactions is gaining traction. This technology enhances transparency and reduces the risk of fraud, making the market more attractive to investors.

Additionally, mobile banking and digital platforms have facilitated easier and more secure trading, broadening access to gold investment opportunities.

Factors influencing gold prices

Global economic conditions

Gold prices in Kenya, like elsewhere, are heavily influenced by global economic conditions. During times of economic uncertainty or geopolitical instability, gold is often seen as a safe-haven asset, leading to increased demand and higher prices.

Recent global events, such as the Covid-19 pandemic and geopolitical tensions, have contributed to fluctuations in gold prices. Investors seeking stability have turned to gold, driving up its value.

Currency fluctuations

The exchange rate of the Kenyan shilling against major currencies, particularly the US dollar, significantly impacts gold prices. Since gold is traded internationally in US dollars, a weaker shilling makes gold more expensive for Kenyan buyers. Conversely, a stronger shilling can make gold purchases more affordable. Monitoring currency trends is thus crucial for both traders and investors in the Kenyan gold market.

Inflation rates

Inflation is another critical factor influencing gold prices in Kenya. As inflation rates rise, the value of fiat currencies tends to decrease, prompting investors to seek assets that can preserve their wealth. Gold, with its historical reputation as a hedge against inflation, becomes an attractive option. Kenya's inflation rates, therefore, have a direct impact on local gold prices and trading activities.

Factors driving local interest in gold

Investment diversification

The increasing awareness of the importance of diversified investment portfolios is driving local interest in gold. Investors in Kenya are becoming more knowledgeable about the benefits of including gold in their portfolios to mitigate risks associated with other asset classes. Gold’s ability to retain value during economic downturns makes it a compelling option for diversification.

Cultural and social factors

Gold holds significant cultural and social value in Kenya. It is often used in traditional ceremonies, as gifts, and as a symbol of wealth and status. This cultural affinity for gold sustains a steady demand for the metal, regardless of market conditions. Moreover, gold’s enduring appeal ensures that it remains a preferred choice for long-term savings and investment among many Kenyans.

Government policies and regulations

The Kenyan government’s policies and regulations significantly influence local interest in gold trading. Efforts to streamline licensing processes, provide tax incentives, and combat illegal mining activities, have created a more conducive environment for gold trading. Additionally, initiatives to enhance the legal framework surrounding gold transactions have increased investor confidence in the market.

Educational initiatives

Educational initiatives aimed at increasing financial literacy and awareness about gold trading are also contributing to the growing interest in gold. Workshops, seminars, and informational campaigns by financial institutions and government agencies are helping potential investors understand the benefits and risks associated with gold investments. This increased knowledge base is encouraging more Kenyans to participate in the gold market.

Expert insight

Ken Van Damme, the Regional Manager for reputable online broker Exness in Sub-Saharan Africa, shares a positive outlook on the future of gold trading in Kenya and the broader region. "With the ongoing technological advancements and increased support from local governments, the gold trading sector in Kenya is poised for significant growth. We expect to see more investments, better regulatory frameworks, and enhanced market transparency, all of which will attract both local and international investors," he says. His insights underscore the potential for continued expansion and development in the sector.


Gold trading in Kenya is characterised by dynamic market trends and a variety of influencing factors. The increase in local production, growth of artisanal mining, and technological advancements, are shaping the current market landscape. Global economic conditions, currency fluctuations, and inflation rates continue to influence gold prices, while investment diversification, cultural factors, government policies, and educational initiatives drive local interest in the asset.

As the market evolves, stakeholders must stay informed and adaptable to navigate the complexities of gold trading in Kenya successfully.