Kenya, US Target Sustainable Growth at AmCham Business Summit

The fourth iteration of the regional American Chamber of Commerce Kenya [AmCham] Business Summit is scheduled for April 24–25, 2024, in Nairobi, Kenya. This summit serves as a pivotal forum for enhancing bilateral trade and investment between the United States, Kenya, and the broader East African region.

President William Ruto of Kenya will be in attendance as the Chief Guest, leading a governmental delegation aimed at expanding commercial opportunities and markets. The summit anticipates the participation of numerous high-ranking officials from the United States government, alongside nearly 1,000 delegates representing business and government entities from both the US and various East African nations.

Mr. Peter Ngahu, President of AmCham’s Board, emphasized the summit’s objective to explore avenues for fostering sustainable and inclusive growth while bolstering investment in Kenya and the wider East African sphere. He highlighted the event’s significance in harnessing opportunities for investment within the region.

Maxwell Okello, CEO, AmCham

Maxwell Okello, CEO of AmCham, urged delegates to confirm their attendance, noting the summit’s role in delving into abundant trade and investment prospects, thereby facilitating economic growth and prosperity across the region. He expressed enthusiasm for convening the business community to foster enhanced cooperation in pivotal areas such as trade, technology, sustainability, healthcare, and economic advancement, while fostering meaningful interconnections among businesses and nations.

The summit’s agenda will encompass a diverse array of topics crucial to the economic advancement of the region. These include discussions on shaping the trajectory of US-East Africa trade and investment, initiatives for climate action, strategies for digital transformation, and mechanisms for sustainable finance tailored to East African economies. Eminent figures from both the public and private sectors will moderate panel discussions, deliver keynotes, and engage in roundtable sessions.

Despite projections of robust economic growth in East Africa, with regional growth rates exceeding 5 percent according to the African Development Bank’s East Africa Economic Outlook, challenges persist. These hurdles include impediments to trade and investment such as illicit trade, counterfeit goods, currency fluctuations, and inflation, which continue to hinder the region’s business environment.

In 2022, the United States emerged as Kenya’s primary export destination, with approximately $890 million worth of goods exported to the US. Conversely, the US exported goods valued at around $600 million to Kenya, underscoring a relatively balanced trade relationship. This relationship is poised to strengthen further as negotiations progress on a pioneering bilateral trade agreement between the United States and Kenya, dubbed the Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership.

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