Kenya, U.S. sign deals worth Ksh.10B in trade summit

Kenya, U.S. sign deals worth Ksh.10B in trade summit

Kenya Government officials, led by President Uhuru Kenyatta, have negotiated deals worth Ksh.10 billion at a trade conference in Nairobi.

A 60-member American delegation led by US Under-Secretary for Commerce Gilbert Kaplan is in the country to interrogate President Kenyatta’s Big Four development agenda for investment opportunities.

Speaking during the official opening of the conference on Thursday morning, President Kenyatta challenged the private sector to invest in Kenya.

“Given our long and well-established relationship, we can do more together. I invite the US companies to walk with us,” he said.

The Head of State further outlined areas in manufacturing, food and nutrition, affordable housing as well health care that can benefit from such input.

According to him, the American private sector has a competitive advantage that his administration is looking to tap into.

“In addition to the resources, we anticipate that American investors will add to our knowledge on these issues,” President Kenyatta added.

On his part, Under-Secretary Kaplan reiterated that the U.S. is committed to supporting Kenya through business investments.

The multi-billion shilling deals signed on Thursday will cover both public and private sector investments.

They include a Ksh.2billion deal between the Kenyan Government and American firm Medtronic for a medical dialysis centre.

A partnership agreement between Rendeavour and Unity Homes will also cover the construction of 1,200 affordable homes worth Ksh.4billion in Tatu City, Kiambu County.

The deals also include a Ksh.1 billion credit line from World Business Capital.

USAID Power Africa and the Kenyan Government are also expected to boost universal electrification by 2022.

The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) in partnership with the Kenya Tea and Development Agency (KTDA) will undertake a feasibility study for a solar and battery storage project.

A leading US energy company has also been commissioned to supply East Africa’s largest off-grid solar and battery system. The 1260 kWh battery system will be installed at the Serena Safari Lodge in the Amboseli National Park.

The United States ranks as Kenya’s seventh largest trading partner with overall trade standing at Ksh.104billion for the year 2017. It is also Kenya’s third leading export destination at Ksh.47.27 billion.

During the conference held at the expansive UN Complex in Gigiri, the US delegation and their Kenyan hosts were expected to deliberate and establish mechanisms for improving trade relations.

Kenya is also keen to increase awareness the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).