On 22nd September 2021, KEPSA CEO Ms. Carole Kariuki met with the French Ambassador to Kenya and Somalia Amb. Aline Kuster-Menager together with senior officials from the French Embassy including Mr. Jerome Baconin – Regional Economic Counsellor, East Africa and Indian Ocean; Dr. Vincent Abt – Agricultural and Food Counsellor for East Africa and the Indian Ocean and Ms. Marie-Fidela Ashimwe – Project Officer for Civil Society Support and Humanitarian Affairs. Ms. Kariuki was accompanied by the KEPSA Business Hub Manager Mr. Timothy Odongo.
The French Embassy and KEPSA enjoy cordial longstanding relations and this meeting provided an opportunity for the two to review progress with regards to the work carried out on the business side. KEPSA, through its French counterpart MEDEF, has made commendable progress with regards to spurring trade and investments. KEPSA has held several business fora with MEDEF both in Kenya and Paris with three key notable fora graced by H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta and one by the French Head of State, President Emmanuel Macron in 2020.
Ms. Kariuki briefed the French team on the project being implemented by KEPSA in the coastal region of Kenya and supported by the French Embassy dubbed – Creating Opportunities and Alleviating Poverty through Sustainable Trade (COAST). The project aims to support women and youth in Mombasa County.
The COAST project adopted the circular economy model in supporting entrepreneurs to establish businesses that aimed to present solutions in waste management and use waste as an input for production. KEPSA, through the Sustainable Inclusive Business, aims to empower both women and youth by harnessing their entrepreneurship skills and enhancing access to financing by linking entrepreneurs to financial institutions.
During the meeting, KEPSA and the French team agreed to collaborate towards an upcoming high level French Ministerial visit, which is expected to attract at least 50 French companies seeking investment opportunities in Kenya.
France was recently rated 5th in terms of Foreign direct investment (FDI) to Kenya.