KEPSA CEO Ms. Carole Kariuki and KEPSA Chair Ms. Flora Mutahi participated in the Kenya-South Africa Business Forum on 23rd November 2021 in Pretoria, South Africa themed “Enhancing trade and investment potential between Kenya and South Africa by leveraging on mutual cooperation”. The business forum was held alongside H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta’s state visit to the Republic of South Africa.
Ms. Mutahi moderated a roundtable discussion on “Breaking the barriers and optimising opportunities for trade in Agro-processing” that focused on converting market access into concrete business opportunities by the elimination of Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs). The Kenyan discussants were Mr. Joseph Kaguru – Deputy Commissioner – Customs & Border Control, KRA; Dr. Henry Rotich – Director, Metrology and Testing; Mr. Eric Githua Kiarie – Head of Policy and Regulatory Affairs, KWAL and Dr. Isaac Macharia – General Manager, KEPHIS. The South African discussants included Ms. Fhumulani Ratshitanga – FRUITSA; Ms. Phindile Dingile – Department of Agriculture Land Reform and Rural Development; Mr. Matome Mbatha – Wines of South Africa (WOSA) and Ms. Pravashini Govender – Distell Group Head of Policy and Regulatory Affairs.
On the sidelines of the business forum, Ms. Kariuki held a meeting with Mr. Kganki Matabane the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the Black Business Council, an umbrella body of black business in South Africa. The leaders agreed to pursue a partnership between the two organizations to enhance mutual collaboration through the signing of a memorandum of understanding.
The KEPSA CEO shared with Kenyan High Commissioner to South Africa H.E Catherine Muigai Mwangi and Principal Secretary, State Department for Trade and Enterprise Development Amb. Johnson Weru, the progress report from the 2016 Kenya – South Africa business forum in Nairobi during the state visit by former President Jacob Zuma and emerging issues from KEPSA members. The KEPSA CEO also held a meeting with the Equity Bank team led by the CEO Mr. James Mwangi and agreed on a partnership to be launched soon to scale up 1,000 SMEs in the KEPSA database of 10,0000 SMEs as part of Young Africa Works program by Mastercard Foundation that both Equity Bank and KEPSA are part of.
During the forum, various agreements were signed between Kenyan and South African firms including Equity Bank and WESGRO facilitation of the deals signed between Robinson & Sinclair with Kenya’s First Drinks and Slate & Whittaker. Kenya Airways (KQ) signed a Strategic Partnership Framework with South African Airways (SAA). The Strategic Partnership Framework was signed by KQ Chairman Mr. Michael Joseph and SAA Chairman Mr. John Lamola and witnessed by their respective CEOs Mr. Allan Kilavuka and Mr. Thomas Kgokolo. The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) and the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) also signed a memorandum of understanding to facilitate the sharing of trade information, services and opportunities to reduce the balance of trade between the two countries.
Other business leaders present included Mr. Richard Ngatia – KNCCI President; Mr. Nik Nesbitt – Chair, Capital Market Authority who is also a KEPSA Director & immediate former Chair; Ms. Fiona Asonga – CEO, TESPOK; Mr. Kiprono Kittony – Chair, Nairobi Securities Exchange; Mr. Anders Lindgren – CEO, Safal Group among other SMEs who were showcasing their wares. Mr. Nesbitt led a panel discussion on promoting services during the business forum.
Both Ms. Kariuki and Ms. Mutahi later in the evening attended a state banquet hosted by H.E Cyril Ramaphosa – President of South Africa in honour of President Kenyatta.