How to start forex trading in Kenya

Why Forex Trading Is Popular in Kenya ?

Kenya, officially the Republic of Kenya is a country in Eastern Africa. Kenya is the world's 48th largest country by total area. With a population of more than 47.6 million people in the 2019 census,Kenya is the 29th most populous country. Kenya's capital and largest city is Nairobi, while its oldest city and first capital is the coastal city of Mombasa. Kisumu City is the third-largest city and also an inland port on Lake Victoria. Other important urban centers include Nakuru and Eldoret. As of 2020, Kenya is the third-largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa after Nigeria and South Africa.

Online forex trading is fast becoming popular in Kenya but so is the risk of falling victim to Ponzi schemes. Kenya being a fairly new trading market as compared to South Africa and Nigeria, requires regulated forex brokers to support new and seasoned traders.

Steps to start trading forex in Kenya for beginners:

  1. Learn the basics of Forex Trading
  2. Learn about the different Currency pairs
  3. Choose a broker & open your Forex Trading Account 
  4. Learn the different Forex Trading Strategies

Learn the basics of Forex Trading

What is Forex Market?

Forex refers to Foreign Exchange , or simply FX , sometimes even called Spot FX, where the global currencies are traded against each other.

You may have seen ticker symbols of currencies like USD/KES , EUR/KES etc. while visiting your bank. These are the rates of the currencies from the live Forex market.

Forex is the most liquid market in the world, operating 24 hours, nearly five and a half days in a week. The global daily average trading volume of this market is over $6.5 Trillion, making it the largest financial market in the world. The number is so big that a big Stock exchange like a New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has to operate for about a month just to catch-up to the Forex market’s daily average volume.

Forex Trading

Have you travelled abroad to another country?
If you been to a foreign country, then it is likely that you may have converted your local currency i.e.Kenyan shilling (KES) to another currency like Euro or a US Dollar. If you exchanged your currency before, then you have already traded in the forex market.
Let's assume that you exchange R15,000 for $1000 through your bank or local regulated exchanger, for traveling abroad to US. In this example, you would be physically selling your home currency ( Kenyan shilling ) for buying US Dollar. When you are exchanging your money for traveling abroad, you (through your bank) are making a forex transaction in the global forex market without even knowing

Learn about the different Currency pairs

What are Currency Pairs?

Currency Pair is the quote of one currency relative to the other currency. In the Forex market, all currency are traded against each other, therefore being called 'currency pairs'. So when you are trading in the forex market you are actually trading 2 currencies simultaneously.

Currency Pair Terms:

1) Base & Quote Currency: In every currency pair like EUR/USD, USD/KES , the first currency mentioned is the ‘Base Currency’ which is being compared to the second currency called ‘Quote Currency’.

2) Bid & Ask prices: 'Bid price' is the market price at which you can sell the base currency. And 'Ask price' is the price at which you can buy the base currency in the pair.

3) Spread: Spread is the difference between the ask and the bid price. This is the fees charged by the forex brokers for each trade trade, and it depends on the market liquidity, and the currency pair that you are trading. The lower the spread, the better it is for you.

4) Pips: Pip stands for Percentage in Point, and it is the most common term in forex trading. Simply put, 1 pip is the smallest measure at which the market moves. It is normally the change/fluctuation in points of the last decimal for a currency pair.

Choose a broker & open your Forex Trading Account 

1- Open Trading Account with a Regulated Forex Broker

The first step to start trading forex is to choose a reputed & regulated forex broker, and then open an account with it. Choosing a 'good' broker is an important step because the broker plays a pivotal role in your trade.

Top 5 Forex Brokers in Kenya

Here are the April 2021 best forex brokers in Kenya by forex trading category


FXPesa is the brand of EGM securities which is the Kenya’s first non-dealing online forex broker, based in Nairobi. They are authorized by CMA of Kenya (which is the local regulatory body), so we consider them as a safe broker for traders in Kenya.


Exness is a Cyprus based broker & they are one of the largest forex & CFDs brokers in the world in terms of trading volume. They are well regulated under multiple Top-Tier regulators including FCA, FSCA, CySEC, so we consider them a safe broker.

Exness offers features like excellent support, low spreads, education through tutorials, strategies and free analysis tools.


XM Trading is another broker that offers low cost forex & CFD trading. There are more than 1000 instruments to choose from including forex, CFDs on precious metals, energy and indices.

XM are regulated with 2 top-tier regulators including CySEC & ASIC. XM’s trading fees is quite competitive, and they offer straight standard spread only trading accounts without any extra commissions. Their fees is lowest with their Ultra Low account.


Hotforex is our recommend forex broker for Kenyan traders. Although Hotforex is not regulated by CMA, but they are regulated by other tier-1 regulators such as FSCA of South Africa, DFSA of UAE, FCA of UK & FSA of Seychelles.


The parent company of FXTM, Exinity Group (Exinity Capital East Africa) is regulated by CMA, so it is considered a safe forex broker to trade with for Kenyan traders.

FXTM is a Mauritius based both market maker & ECN account broker, which has features such as superfast order execution, regulated and licensed, quick client approval and education and tutorials.

2- Understanding Forex trade

We will first dive into some important terms that you would need to know while placing your trade.

1. Lot Sizes
2. Leverage
3. Margin
4. Stop Loss


3- How to place a trade in forex market?

1. Buy Order in Forex

2. Sell Order in Forex 


Kenya Forex Trading Strategies

1.News trading:
 If you like to keep up with economic and geopolitical news, then news trading might be for you. The strategy involves taking advantage of sharp movements in the exchange rate of major currency pairs after a key economic release or another important news announcement. 


This strategy involves taking advantage of very short term market moves. Scalpers enter and exit the market quickly to capture any profits a few pips at a time.

3.Day trading: 

Day trading strategies generally limit all transactions to a single trading session. Day traders buy and sell throughout the trading session, but they close out all positions by the end of the day to avoid the extra risk incurred when taking overnight positions.

4.Swing trading: This strategy is based on entering and exiting the market based on momentum technical indicators. Swing traders’ chief concern is to buy low and sell high if they go long or sell high and buy low if they go short. The strategy has no time constraints, so swing traders may take overnight positions. 




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