The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KNCCI), in partnership with the Italo-Kenya Trade Association and supported by Bergs & More,hosted a Kenya-Italy Roadshow. This event aimed at enhancing the growth of African enterprises in the sectors of agribusiness, livestock, leather, and fisheries, leveraging the opportunities provided by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The roadshow featured a distinguished gathering of representatives from the Embassy of Italy in Kenya, Kenya Leather Development Council, Kenya Meat and Livestock Exporters Council, Global Tilapia Husbandry Kenya Limited, State Department of Livestock alongside members of the business community and their Italian counterparts.
H.E Ambassador Roberto Natali of Italy in Kenya highlighted the 60-year diplomatic relations between Kenya and Italy, emphasizing shared values such as peace, democracy, and developmental initiatives He commended the KNCCI for facilitating trade between Kenya and Italy, particularly noting the significance of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Italo-Kenya Trade Association as a positive step for business continuity and growth. Ambassador Natali also mentioned the collaboration between the embassy and the Italian Trade Agency to bolster Kenyan-Italian business relations.
The Chamber President Dr. Erick Rutto expressed gratitude towards the organizers for a well-executed event beneficial to the targeted sectors. He pointed out the current trade imbalance favoring Italy but expressed optimism that increasing exports could narrow this gap. He highlighted the potential economic boom in Africa within the next three years, thanks to the AfCFTA, and KNCCI’s commitment to preparing Kenyan businesses for these emerging opportunities through guidance, workshops, and trade facilitation services.
Louisa Romano discussed the importance of adhering to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles for accessing the sustainable global value chain, stressing that ESG compliance is essential for modern business operations.
Margaret Rugut Kibogy, Managing Director of the Kenya Dairy Board, provided insights into Kenya’s dairy sector, noting its readiness to export cheese and explore further partnerships in the dairy value chain. Dr. Issack Noor, CEO of the Kenya Leather Development Council, mentioned Italy’s extensive experience in the leather industry and the potential for Kenyan benefits from investment opportunities in high-value leather processing and technology transfer Nick Ngahu, CEO of the Kenya Meat and Livestock Exporters Industry Council, highlighted the opportunities for partnership with Italy in meat processing and the broader livestock sector.
Prof. Abdi Guliye, the Head of State advisor on Livestock and Rangemanagent, emphasized the government’s focus on agriculture and its role in achieving food security and boosting exports. He commended the KNCCI for its collaboration with the government in promoting exports.
The MOU signing between KNCCI and the Italo-Kenya Trade Association marks a significant step towards fostering trade and investment between Kenya and Italy. KNCCI appreciates the support from Bergs and More for the engaging session and plans to host another event on March 12, 2025, to assess business linkages and improvements in export volume into the EU.