The Coca-Cola system in Kenya joined other corporates in the two-day 2023 American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) Business Summit and charted new paths for enhanced U.S. commercial engagement with Kenya and the East Africa region.
The Summit provided a strategic platform for enhancing two-way trade and investment between the United States and the East Africa region.
“As a company with a presence of over seven decades in East Africa, we understand the critical role of inclusive growth in achieving long-term economic stability and progress. We believe that building strong partnerships between governments, the private sector, civil society, and development partners is crucial in addressing the region’s challenges and creating opportunities for sustainable economic recovery, resilience, and transformation across Africa’s economies,’’ said Debra Mallowah, Vice President, East, and Central Africa Franchise.
She added, “Private sector collaborations with the government strengthen economic resilience especially after the COVID-19 pandemic and the urge and need to work with all stakeholders on an economically dynamic growth agenda across the region especially when working with SME’s. As a company, we work with over 500,000 Micro Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and they make up at least 40% of the Coca-Cola trade across the region. These partnerships are vital for the survival of not only our business but every other business across the region.”
The Summit was the first high-level event on the continent following the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit and comes when the United States and Kenya have just concluded a productive first round of talks on the U.S. – Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership (STIP). The Summit is expected to drive new ideas on re-energizing the region’s economy through two-way trade and investment with the United States.
His Excellency President William Ruto was the Chief Guest, with over 500 delegates from both public and private sector, senior U.S., Kenyan and regional government officials attending the event.
A wide range of topics critical to the East Africa region’s economic development, including the role of small businesses in powering international trade, accelerating the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as a force for driving economic transformation, digital economy, and climate adaptation for economic transformation was held in a series of discussions, keynotes and roundtables moderated by experts from public and private sectors.