Africa: Kenya Eyes High Table Seat At Inaugural Intra-Africa Trade Talks

Kenya is keen to play a lead role in steering intra-Africa trade as the continent meet for the Inaugural Intra-Africa Trade Fair (IATF) in Cairo, Egypt, next month.

The Export Promotion Council (EPC) is spearheading Kenya's participation at the Inaugural IATF in collaboration with the Africa Export Import Bank (AFREXIM BANK), aimed at increasing intra-Africa trade from the current 15 per cent to above 50 per cent.

EPC is Kenya's premier institution in the development and promotion of export trade.

African states are meeting at the Egypt International Exhibition Center in Cairo between December 11 and 17 December, to forge ways of growing trade in the continent.

The IATF provides a platform for trade, investment and market access which is organized by Afrexim Bank, in collaboration with the African Union.

All African Countries will be showcasing their best export products during the fair, EPC said in a communiqué to the country's business community, urging them to capitalize on the event to position the country as market source for the continent, while building partnerships for growth of intra-Africa trade.

The promotion council is closely working with the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) to ensure the country is well positioned to benefit from the IATF and future continental trade deals, which includes securing markets for Kenyan products.

"Kenya's objective is to drive to spur manufacturing share of our national wealth. The African continent, with a world market share of 17 per cent, remains the biggest opportunity for Kenyan exports," EPC and Kepsa noted.

The theme for the Inaugural IATF is "Transforming Africa".

Targeted sectors include services, construction materials, industrial crops, agricultural products, pharmaceutical products, cereal, fish and fish products, confectionaries and industrial hardware.

Others are edible oils, commercial crafts, animal and leather products, agricultural inputs and textiles

The EPC has secured 14 booths at a discount for each of the Kenyan companies that will exhibit under the Kenya pavilion.

Market access opportunities

Kenya has signed and ratified the Africa Continental Free Trade Area agreement, which will be effective upon ratification by 22 Africa Union member states.

The African continent is a key market for Kenyan exports as part of the drive to spur manufacturing share of the national wealth.

The conference will address topical issues relating to trade finance, payments, trade facilitation, trade-enabling infrastructure, harmonization of trade standards and regional value chains, considering the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

It will bring together high-level policy makers and leaders in both the public and private sectors to explore trade and investment opportunities in Africa.

Kenya has further planned a trade and investment seminar in Cairo where participating exhibitors will be given exclusive access to the Kenya-focused trade and investment round table discussions.

The talks (panel sessions) will include industry leaders, policy makers, importers and investors from across the continent and around the world.

It will offer networking opportunities and exclusive media coverage.

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