The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: South African Firms Look to Invest in Kenya

Expanding South African companies are exploring investment opportunities in Kenya as one of the most lucrative destinations in the continent.

Over 50 companies' representatives and businessmen are currently in the country to try and identify trade and investment possibilities.

They are on a trade mission that will start in Nairobi today and end in Mombasa later in the week, in a bid to enhance interactions with local business leaders.

The mission has been organised by the ANC Progressive Business Forum and hosted by the Ministry of Trade. "South Africa is an important trading partner for Kenya and was the 5th largest source of Kenyan imports, with total trade volume of Sh73.8 billion in 2011," said Ministry of Trade permanent secretary Abdulrazaq Ali in a statement.

There are about 35 South African companies, cutting across various sectors including banking, insurance, accountancy, pharmaceuticals, retail, tourism and engineering among others.

Notable South African players in this market include MTN Business, the communications solutions provider which bought out UUNET and Allied Technologies Ltd (Altech) which holds a majority stake in Kenya Data Networks.

In the manufacturing sector, South Africa Breweries (SAB) present in the market through its Castle brand as well as Stanbic bank in the banking sector. South African retail players Shoprite and Massmart are also expected to open shop locally soon.

"Kenya provides a platform for any investor keen to reap from the fastest growing economies of Eastern Africa at this juncture when Africa has been declared the next investment frontier," Ali said.

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