The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) is committed to an enhanced trade relation with Burundi, a move that will benefit the business community in the two Countries.

In a meeting with the Burundi Ambassador to Kenya MS. Evelyne Habonimana, the KNCCI 2nd Vice President MS. Fatma Elmaawy expressed that Kenya and Burundi can tap on the business opportunities in either Countries for improved development.

Ambassador Habonimana made a courtesy call to the Chamber offices on 20th August, 2021 and appreciated the efforts by the Kenya Chamber of Commerce to support Burundi in matters of Trade. The ambassador highlighted that Burundi has numerous opportunities in different sectors for Kenya including but not limited to; Energy, ICT, Manufacturing, Tourism and hotel and Maritime.

On her part, Ms. Fatma has indicated that Kenya has enormous business opportunities that investors from Burundi can tap into. These opportunities range from; a vibrant Financial Sector. advanced Innovation and technology, innovative skills and education among others.

The Chamber 2nd VCP has underscored the need to have a Joint Business Council (JBC) in place and committed to reach out to the Burundi Chamber of Commerce and Industry regarding the establishment of the Council. MS. Fatma is confident that with the JBC in place, it will be easy to conduct exchange of information regarding trade, economic cooperation and services and also to submit recommendations necessary for promoting close economic relations between the two countries.

According to Ms. Elmaawy, government-private partnership is important for Burundi if rapid trade advancement is to be realized. She therefore has embraced the move by the Burundian embassy to involve KNCCI which is a private membership business organization.

There have been ongoing discussions between the Burundi Chamber of Commerce and the East Africa Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (EACCIA) to have a Kenya- Burundi trade mission. As conveyed by the EACCI Chief Executive Officer Mr. Mr. Charles Kahuthu, the trade mission will expose the Burundi business opportunities to Kenyan investors and vice versa.

The EACCI CEO has also revealed that there are ongoing discussions to improve the Burundi hotel and tourism industry by having a selected number of hotel staff from Burundi undergo training at the Kenya Utalii College at no cost, to enrich their skills and expertise. This is a sign of good will aimed at transforming the Burudi hotel and tourism sector.

To cement, the relationship between Kenya and Burundi. KNCCI President Mr. Richard Ngatia and Mr. Audance Ndayizeye, the President of Burundi Federal Chamber of Commerce and Industry signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) during a High-Level Business Roundtable Forum held on in May 2021 in Kisumu. The MOU aims at facilitating exchange of information on international fairs and exhibitions, allow the two parties to accord each other technical support to encourage the participation of the respective enterprises and entities in events of their interest, allow sharing of market intelligence on important economic and trade issues and, channel for cooperation in investment programmes in Export Promotion Zones (EPZ) and Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and take advantage of the Africa Free Continental Trade Area (AFCTA).

The KNNCI CEO Mr. Samuel Matonda has welcomed the visit by the Burundi ambassador to Kenya Ms. Habonimana to the KNCCI team saying that this follow-up visit is vital in coming up with ideas to implement the MOU that was signed between Kenya and Burundi Chambers. Mr. Matonda has expressed that if the two Chambers collaborate and identify the business opportunities and leverage on them, trade between the two countries will be elevated.