President Uhuru Kenyatta today at State House, Nairobi, held talks with leaders from the African Chamber of Commerce and Industry led by their global Chief Executive Peter Mihok.
The trade leaders who included Secretary General of the Pan African Chamber Kebour Ghenna, chamber president from Uganda Mrs Olive Kigongo and other African chamber presidents are seeking to expedite realisation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and promoting intra-Africa trade.
The president encouraged the chamber leaders to collaborate with their respective governments to ratify the historic African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement that advocates for a stronger intra-African trade regime.
“It is only through strong intra-African trade that we can develop huge African Multi-national corporations to compete at the global stage,” said President Kenyatta.
He added that, “Developing intra-Africa trade will not only help create the much needed opportunities for our young people but prosper our nations as well.”
Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) chairman Kiprono Kittony observed that a corruption free environment allows genuine businesses to thrive.
Besides supporting the anti-graft war and endorsement of the Big 4 agenda, KNCCI is also encouraged by the focus and keen attention the President is giving to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country, Kiprono added.
The chief executive officer for the World Chambers Federation (WCF), Peter Mihok noted that, “In face of the global challenges, chambers should continue to remain strong entities by communicating, learning from each other and aiming for a common mission in order to become truly sustainable.”
WCF is the world’s largest business organization working to promote international trade, responsible business conduct and a global approach to regulation to accelerate inclusive and sustainable growth to the benefit of all.
The chamber president for Uganda, Mrs Olive Kigongo concurred with the WCF CEO, Peter Mihok and added that, “chambers world over are not only focal business institutions but also a good tool for networking ‘given the support’ they deserve as they also compliment their governments and not political tools.”
African countries represented at the meeting were drawn from Uganda, Zambia, Sychelles, Djibouti, Mozambique, Nigeria, Ghana, Sudan, Ethiopia, South Africa, Sierra Leone and Kenya as host.
Objectives of the AfFTA include creating a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business, persons and investments.
AfFTA also seeks to resolve the challenges of multiple and overlapping memberships, expedite regional and continental integration processes as well as enhance competitiveness at industry and enterprise levels by exploiting opportunities to scale up production, continental market access and better reallocation of resources.