The Summit, now in its second year is held in partnership with the Kenya and U.S. governments as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and serves as an engagement platform for the U.S. and the greater East Africa region to focus on strengthening two-way, enterprise driven, trade and investment, forging long-term economic ties and mutual prosperity.
“The Summit is an opportunity to present and discuss realistic, feasible, collaborative measures and ways in which American and local businesses can leverage the numerous opportunities available in the various sectors of the economies of the region and the U.S. for mutual benefit.” AmCham Kenya Board President Phillipine Mtikitiki said.
The focus on East Africa in this year’s Summit is based on growing interest in the region as a single market and will see the participation of not only the host country, Kenya, but will also include representation from Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and Ethiopia.
The program will feature doing business in-country forums, in addition to in depth sector forums on manufacturing, agribusiness, infrastructure, energy, health and the digital economy. Match making sessions within the program will also offer businesses opportunity to engage, transact, initiate and close deals.
Speaking on this and the importance of the U.S. – East Africa commercial engagement in driving growth and prosperity, the AmCham Kenya Chief Executive Officer, Maxwell Okello, noted, “The Summit provides a platform for direct business to business engagement. This enables partnerships to develop and transactions to take place, expanding markets and catalysing business growth which is the key to job creation and economic prosperity”.
Kenya continues to attract American enterprises looking to access the region with the latest entrants being: Cigna, a leading American health services organization that has set up its regional offices in Nairobi; Abbott Laboratories, also an American health giant that has set up regional offices in Nairobi; Corteva, a major American agricultural chemical and seed company now with regional offices in Nairobi and the American Tower Corporation poised to become the biggest private tower operator in Kenya apart from Safaricom.
In 2018, over 500 delegates representing a mix of 140 U.S. and Kenyan companies participated in the AmCham Summit. In attendance were also 70 U.S. government representatives and business leaders including members of the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA) who were visiting Kenya on a fact-finding mission.
Six commercial deals between Kenya and the U.S. worth Kshs 10.3 billion (US$100million) were signed during the Summit witnessed by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta and the former Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, U.S. Department of Commerce, Gilbert Kaplan.