The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KNCCI) in collaboration with Overseas Development Institute (ODI) have this morning hosted a roundtable breakfast meeting at Nairobi Serena Hotel.

The purpose of the roundtable meeting was to discuss issues and opportunities for Kenyan companies in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) investment protocol.

The Chamber 1st Vice President Dr. Erick Rutto being the moderator, officiated the session by welcoming all the partners, agencies and members.

He gave all the attendees a chance to introduce themselves and their businesses in order to make the session interactive and also for them to understand each other based on the business specialties and sectors.

Director of the International Economic Development at ODI Mr. Dirk Willem te Velde gave a presentation on ODI’s Supporting Investment & Trade in Africa (SITA) programme. SITA’s support for AfCFTA negotiations and implementation, AfCFTA is seen as a key instrument to achieve African transformation, necessary for sustained job creation. In his presentation he stated that AfCFTA would bring a large economic transformation if well implemented.

AfCFTA Investment protocol negotiations are expected to be completed by Sept 2022.The Impact of the AfCFTA Investment Protocol on investment in Kenya will depend on what is negotiated, how it relates to existing investment provisions in Kenya and the region and whether this leads to better policies for a more attractive investment climate.

The audience representing different agencies and government were given a chance to give their input on the AfCFTA ,CEO Shippers Council of Eastern Africa Mr. Gilbert Langat stated that the Global environment has affected business in Africa , therefore the AfCFTA provides market linkages for Africa to trade with each other.

Ag. Director, Research, and Innovation, Kenya Export Promotion & Branding Agency (KEPROBA) Mr. Peter Ochieng highlighted the importance of policymakers and the business community to prioritize, develop, and implement smarter local strategies to seize the rising opportunities in manufacturing and industrialization across a variety of sectors and increase the global competitiveness of the continent.

Assistant Director of Trade at State Department for Trade Ms. Rose Masita gave the Ministry’s assurance to support the private sector in the implementation and putting in place complementary policies at the national level and enhancing public – private dialogue.

The session was followed by an interactive Question & Answer forum that enabled the members give their and feedback regards to the Implementation of the AfCFTA. Most respondents highlighted the need to improve and involve the private sector in the AfCFTA discussions, provide support on logistics and market linkages, and develop infrastructure in Africa. A few also expressed a need to include discussions on supporting local actors/content and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises

Dr. Rutto concluded the session by appreciating all the participants for taking part in the session, He gave them assurance that KNCCI is always ready to listen and advocate for their businesses. He also urged all the attendees to take advantage of the  ICC- Centre of Entrepreneurship (CoE) that will facilitate Intra- Africa Trade.

KNCCI company members present for the session were; Kent Africa Limited, Mount Kenya Speciality Tea and Coffee Co, Haco Industries Ltd, Fintech, Mida Energy, Facts Kenya, Agility Logistics , Credit Bank Ltd, Mobius Motors Ltd, Flora  Bazaar, Top Link Exporters, Go Shipping Cargo, Kenya Association of Travel Agents,,Riley Insurance Consultants , EY LLP, Apptivate Africa , Malkar Agency, Organix Limited, AVLC group, Africa Infrastructure Digest, Eye-spurs solutions, The Farm Place Limited and Afrex Bridge Connections.