US to Boost Trade and Investment in East Africa via Digitalization

The 3rd US-East Africa Trade and Investment Forum, also known as the #AmCham Business Summit, took place in Kenya from 29 to 30 March, 2023 and then moved to Tanzania from 31 March to 1 April, 2023. The event is organized by the US Chamber of Commerce and the theme for the 3rd edition is “Economic Dynamism: Transformation for a Resilient Future.”

The aim of the business forum is to boost two-way trade and investment between USA and East Africa. In attendance were CEOs from top #Fortune500 companies such as Abbott, Citi Bank, Coca Cola, Mastercard, Microsoft, Oracle and Pfizer. Kenya President William Ruto graced the event with his presence while the American side was represented by US Ambassador to Kenya, Meg Whitman.

Kenyan William Ruto Delivers Keynote at US-East Africa Trade and Investment Forum

Several panels and themed sessions around topics of common interest were on the agenda as follows:

Some 500 delegates from 9 countries attended the event in Kenya. Currently, Kenya is a leading exporter of apparel to the US under the #AGOA regime. The textile sector employs nearly 200,000 persons who are mostly women and the export volume reached nearly USD 500 million in 2022.

One of the highlights of the event was the signature of an MoU among the five AmCham in East Africa, notably of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Ethiopia. The AmCham agreed to cooperate to support trade and investment activities in East Africa, advocate for a conducive #BusinessClimate, jointly carry out #CapacityBuilding programs and share #MarketIntelligence.

“We recognize the invaluable role Kenya plays in the East African region, and the country’s business-friendly environment and digital capability. We’re proud to see other global firms we work with, such as Amazon and Uber, choosing to settle in Kenya.

Flutterwave Government Relations Officer,Oluwabankole Falade

During the event, Flutterwave announced that it will make Kanya its regional headquarters which will act as a gateway to East Africa. Flutterwave is a leading #FinTech company specializing in electronic payments technologies. One of their solutions specifically targets SME with simple, efficient and affordable solutions to conduct business regionally by facilitating cross-border transactions.

It is worth noting that the SME sector employs 80% of the workforce in Kenya and is responsible for 30% of new job creation each year. By setting up in Kenya, Flutterwave is eyeing the nearly 500 million customer base in the region.