U.S. and Kenya businesses signed deals totaling $100 million at the American Chamber of Commerce, Economic Summit, held June 28 in Nairobi, Kenya. Trade between Kenya and the U.S. was Sh104 billion last year, making U.S the seventh largest trading partner for Kenya. The Summit galvanized trade deals and partnerships and facilitated discussion around an enabling environment for business.
The Hub participated in a panel discussion on food security and round table discussions on financing the manufacturing sector in Kenya. The Hub also contributed to a breakout session on workforce development. You can read more about the Hub’s contribution to workforce development here.
Kenya’s President, H.E Uhuru Kenyatta, and the U.S Under Secretary for Commerce, Gilbert Kaplan, headlined the event alongside a delegation of U.S businesses led by U.S President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa.
President Kenyatta, who witnessed the signing of the deals, pledged to create a transparent and accountable business operating environment for investors.
The President said Kenya was working to improve trade ties with her peers in the East African Community to ensure that investors in the Big Four sectors have access to neighboring countries such Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda.
"Given our long and well-established relationship, we can do more together. I invite the U.S companies to walk with us on the Big Four journey,” he said.
The head of the U.S delegation said the U.S investors were keen on East Africa’s roads, energy and financial services sectors, with Nairobi as the hub.
“Kenya is first on the list of our priority countries in Africa,” said Mr. Kaplan.
Some of deals signed include:
Ministry of Health signed a $20 million (Sh2 billion) agreement with Medtronic that will see a US private firm set up medical dialysis centers in Kenya, while the Ministry of Energy reached an agreement with USAID Power Africa to support the supply of electricity to every Kenyan by 2022 through undisclosed grants.
The USAID grants will be channeled through the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco), Kenya Power and the Energy Regulatory Commission.
Victoria Commercial Bank also reached an agreement for a $10 million (Sh1 billion) credit line, guaranteed by U.S government-owned OPIC, for on-lending to the SMEs.
Also signed was a $1.3 million (Sh130 million) deal between U.S energy company Tesla and Mettle Of Gen for 1,260 kilowatt kWh battery system to be installed at the Serena Safari Lodge in Amboseli National Park, the largest off-grid solar and battery system in East Africa.
Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA), which manages farms for small-scale tea farmers, also signed $772,615 grant with US Trade & Development Agency (USTDA) for a feasibility study on a solar and battery storage project.
President Kenyatta also emphasized his government’s commitment to see full implementation of The Kenya National AGOA Strategy And Action Plan 2018 – 2023 that aims to increase Kenya‘s duty free exports to the U.S buy 20 percent.
“We look forward to the implementation of the new Kenya AGOA Strategy 2018-2023, We appreciate the support of the USAID Trade Hub in this endeavor,” said President Kenyatta