The 4th Kenya International Industrial Expo (KIIE) is scheduled to take place from the 17th to 19th November, 2021 at the Sarit Expo Centre Nairobi. The three days event has been organized Afripeak Expo Kenya Limited in partnership with Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KNCCI) and Kenya Investment Authority under the theme, “Building a strong manufacturing sector amidst covid-19”, that will support the recovery of the economy.

According to the 2020 business environment report released by World Bank, Kenya ranks 4th among African countries and is one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa. Mr. Gao Wei, Managing Director Afripeak Expo Kenya Limited said that the Government of Kenya is currently on a mission of transforming its economy under the Big 4 Agenda, manufacturing being one of the pillars is crucial in job creation for the youths.

Evolving from the previous three editions, this year’s edition of the Kenya International Industrial Expo is of a wide scope and expected to attract many participants. 117 companies will be exhibiting at the expo out of which 92 will be foreign exhibitors mainly from China.

The 4th edition of the expo focuses on industrialization in the categories of General Machinery, Construction Machinery, hardware & Tools, Solar & New Energy products, Auto Parts, Chemical Products and Medical Equipment, etc.

According to records of previous expo, the exhibition has received more than 4,800 professionals and merchants from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and other countries, with a turnover of around $ 20 million in the last three years.

Dr Erick Rutto, First Vice Chamber President of Kenya National Chambers of Commerce & Industry, pointed out that the expo is key in helping the country achieve the industrialization dream under Vision 2030.

“This expo provides a platform for technology transfer, boosting inter-trade and enhancing the opening of the gateway between Kenya and China. We acknowledge the great contribution to marketing our countries business community and showcasing the numerous investment opportunities that lie in our beautiful country. It is indeed a boost to attracting foreign direct investments to our country as we endeavor to spur further growth of trade in our country, “says Dr. Rutto.

He added that in 2020, COVID-19 pandemic was a major hindrance to the exhibition, with minimal physical meetings making a majority of  KNCCI members unable to participate physically at the expo but virtually.

“With the ease in the COVID -19 restrictions and all protocols observed in line with the regulations in place, this year’s exhibition presents an opportunity for over 80 Chinese manufacturers to showcase their China export commodity amongst other categories that will be presented.

The exhibition is expected to contribute to the Kenya government’s Big 4 Agenda by providing trade and technological exchange opportunities between Kenya and the world.” Voices Dr. Rutto.

Considering the current exceptional situation owning to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be a follow-up experience adapted last year to continue using a combination of virtual and physical Expo model (Online + Offline Hybrid Expo).

Mr. Gao opines that “The foreign exhibitors will have their local representatives present at their respective exhibition stands at Sarit Expo Centre. These arrangements will enable the visitors to see the exhibits physically and interact with foreign companies’ representatives as well as connect via virtual links for business deals negotiations.”

This year, Afripeak has maintained a focus on accurate matchmaking between suppliers and buyers. From as early as the beginning of the year, the organizer has set up a Display Centre at the Sameer Business Park, Nairobi, to allow Kenyan business people to check the samples of settled enterprises and negotiate with the owners at any time.  All these will facilitate the ample demand for deal negotiations after the expo.

“In fact, the online business matching exercises is already taking place in their Display Center and is expected to create more value for the exhibition.” Says Mr. Gao.

The Kenya Investment Authority report reveals that the expo comes at a time when the country is scaling up its manufacturing sector.

“Both the Vision 2030 and Big Four Agenda are the government’s economic pillars that seek to transform Kenya into upper middle-income economy. Manufacturing, which is one of the anchored pillars seeking to industrialize Kenya and it’s in this background that the Kenya International Industrial Expo plans to link local enterprises to Chinese counterparts. This will facilitate industrial knowledge exchange beneficial to both countries,” KenInvest statement reads.

The report further indicates that local enterprises need to forge a partnership with their Chinese counterpart and tap into their technological growth. “Industrialization is at the center of Big Four Agenda and that’s why we must embrace and adopt to new technology to realize this dream. One of the ways of ensuring local enterprises to grow they must forge partnership with the likes of China. We are urging the Chinese companies to set up industries here in Kenya by tapping into government’s industrial parks. We have set up 75 Export Processing Zones across the country which comes with a lot of incentives for investors.”

The Kenya International Industrial Expo -KIIE is co-organized with Shandong Export Commodities (Kenya) Exhibition. Through the Department of Commerce of Shandong Province of The P. R. China, 50 internationally recognized outstanding manufacturers from Shandong are bringing machinery & equipment, electrical & new energy products as well as automobiles and spare parts to the expo.

Over the last decade, Kenya has been a leading Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) destination in Africa, coming third in deal volumes and value, after South Africa and Egypt. In recent years as a regional business hub, Kenya has experienced GDP growth of between 5% and 7%, and its economic development is growing rapidly.