Kenyan business and industry leaders discuss strategies to deepen Kenyan – African trade

Nairobi: 13 September 2018  Building up to the Inaugural Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) the Export Promotion Council of Kenya (EPC) and the African Export – Import Bank (Afreximbank) hosted a business engagement session at the Intercontinental Hotel on 13th September 2018 where key business and industry leaders discussed strategies to deepen Kenya – Africa trade.

The highlight of the business networking session was a panel discussion featuring Mr. Kiprono Kittony, Chairman Kenya National Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Jaswinder Bedi, Chairman, Export Promotion Council of Kenya, Mr. Amr Kamel, Executive Vice President- Business Development and Corporate Banking, Afreximbank and Mr. Sebastian Mikosz, Group MD & CEO Kenya Airways.

The panel analysed and explored various challenges and opportunities that countries in Africa can take advantage of such as harnessing technology for manufacturing – key lessons for Kenya that will help ramp up trade output to the rest of Africa; African Research & Development analysis – can the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) provide a window of opportunity for greater collaboration and partnerships that will boost beneficiation in Africa to meet continental demand; and how Kenya can position itself through the IATF platform to be a key player in the single African market that AfCFTA is ushering in – is there a political will power for sustained advocacy for the trade pact within the country; among many other themes.

Analysis by Afreximbank shows that one of the main reasons why intra-African trade is low at around 15% compared to Europe (59%), Asia (51%), and North America (37%) is because of lack of access to trade and market information. To address this challenge, Afreximbank decided to, among other initiatives, convene the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) to provide trade and market information and connect buyers and sellers from across the continent.

IATF is the first of its kind in Africa, consisting of a 7-day trade show that will provide a platform for sharing trade, investment and market information and enable buyers and sellers, investors and countries to meet, discuss and conclude business deals. It will provide an opportunity for exhibitors to showcase their goods and services, engage in Business to Business (B2B) exchanges and close business deals. IATF will provide a platform for entry into a single market of over one billion people joined together under the African Continental Free Trade Area.

The key objectives of IATF is to bring together continental and global players to showcase and exhibit their goods and services, and to explore business and investment opportunities in Africa. It will serve as a marketplace where buyers and sellers of goods and services meet and explore business opportunities and provide a platform for B2B exchanges and development of business opportunities. The attendees will share trade, investment and market information with stakeholders including investors, SMEs, the informal sector, Africans in Diaspora, and to identify solutions to address the challenges affecting intra-African trade.

IATF 2018 will bring under one roof key players from the following sectors: Manufacturing, Logistics, Engineering, Construction, Tourism, Entertainment, ICT, Heavy Industries, Finance, Agriculture and Agro-processing.

Manufacturers will be able to showcase their offerings to potential distributers. Attendees and exhibitors will also have the opportunity to engage with experts on intra-African trade who will share their expertise on various aspects of trade and export/import finance, on interactive platforms available for the duration of the event. It is a networking opportunity which could lead to exponential business growth.

The inaugural IATF will take place in Cairo, Egypt, from 11 to 17 December 2018. The 7-day trade show will provide a platform for sharing trade, investment and market information and enabling buyers and sellers, investors and countries to meet, discuss and conclude business deals. For more information, visit: