The Unleash African Economies Premier Expo and Conference, organized in collaboration between the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) Machakos chapter and Unleash African Economies, took place from August 23rd to 25th, 2023, at the Machakos University grounds in Machakos.
The event, spanning three days, aimed to promote entrepreneurship and innovation across Africa by emphasizing value addition, research and development, technology, market linkages, and finance. The expo brought together 42 exhibitors and 25 foreign business representatives from South Africa and Zambia. It encompassed a range of activities including business forums, seminars, and matchmaking sessions, which covered diverse sectors such as education, entrepreneurship, manufacturing, agribusiness, labor, technology, financial services, and e-commerce.
During the opening session, several important topics were discussed, including the importance of unity and collaboration among partners to display the best and create vibrant economies. The principles of free trade and transformation for entrepreneurs were highlighted, acknowledging that the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) relies on commitment and cooperation.
Collaboration across sectors offering significant opportunities for mutual benefits, such as labor, information and communication technology (ICT), textiles, and financial services, was emphasized. The need for a strong culture of value addition and adherence to quality standards.
Additionally, discussions revolved around exchanging information and best practices regarding digitization, innovation, and export promotion, as well as prioritizing digitization for global competitiveness and attracting partnerships. Transforming academic knowledge from employment-oriented to trade-oriented was also highlighted.
KNCCI, CEO Mr. Patrick Nyangweso, committed to several actions. These included identifying potential partners and customers interested in Kenyan products or services, establishing long-term relationships with them, conducting market research and analysis on exporting within African countries, and seeking support from relevant government agencies for accessing market information, trade facilitation, and financing options.
The event featured notable attendees such as the Chancellor of Machakos University, Dr. James Mworia, the Vice Chancellor CEC Trade Machakos, Sharon Mutua, the Chairman of the Micro and Small Enterprise Authority (MSEA), Mr.James Mureu, and the Chair of the United African Emirates (UAE), Dr. Zipporah Musyoka. Representatives from KNCCI, including Lower Eastern Regional Director Mutavi, Directors, and County Executive Officers from Machakos, Kitui, and Makueni.