The Acting High Commissioner of South Africa in Kenya, Mr Sarel van Zyl says South African businesses have a crucial role to play in growing the Kenyan economy following from the commitments made during the State Visit by President Jacob Zuma in October last year.

Van Zyl was addressing businesspeople from South Africa and Kenya during a business seminar that was organised by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) in partnership with the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) in Nairobi, Kenya. The seminar was part of the Outward Selling Mission to Kenya which was held under the theme, “Exploring Trade and Investment Opportunities between Kenya and South Africa”.

The Director of Internal Trade at the Kenyan Department for Trade, Ms Joyce Ongundo emphasised the need for Kenyan and South African companies to devise market-oriented solutions in a bid to address the growing trade imbalance with a view to creating win-win solutions between the two countries. She further echoed the Kenyan governments commitment towards intensifying trade and investment relations with South Africa.

The Director of Export Promotion at the dti, Ms Seema Sardha said that both Kenyan and South African business communities needed to work together towards promoting economic growth of both countries. She identified opportunities that are available to be explored in agri-business, services, automotives, capital equipment, infrastructure development and energy.

the dti’s new approach to continental development embraces an investment-led strategy anchored on the pillars of market integration, industrial development and infrastructure expansion,” said Sardha.

She explained that Trade and Invest Africa (TIA), an entity within the dti has been established with the express purpose of advancing the strategy.

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The National Chairman of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Kiprono Kittony, reiterated Ms Sardha’s sentiments and encouraged South African investors to venture into a number of sectors in Kenya, including energy, transport, finance, manufacturing and mining infrastructure development. He further impressed the need to advance intra-Africa trade which currently stood at 12%.