Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, will host the fourth edition of the regional American Chamber of Commerce Kenya (AmCham) Business Summit on April 24–25, 2024.

The event, a key platform for bolstering bilateral trade and investment ties among the United States, Kenya, and East Africa, is expected to draw close to 1,000 delegates, comprising business and government representatives from the US and across the East African region.

Kenya’s President William Ruto will lead a government delegation aiming to broaden commercial opportunities and markets. The event also anticipates the presence of several high-ranking US government officials.

The summit will precede a state visit by President Ruto to Washington DC in May where he will discuss ways to bolster cooperation in areas including trade and investment with his host Joe Biden.

Highlighting the significance of the summit, AmCham’s Board President, Peter Ngahu, stressed its role in exploring avenues for sustainable and inclusive growth, along with enhancing investment in Kenya and the broader East African region.

“As we commemorate years of mutual value and interests, the AmCham Business Summit emerges as a beacon of opportunity. We eagerly anticipate delving into strategies to leverage these opportunities while maintaining our commitment to fostering investments in East Africa,” said Ngahu.

Encouraging delegates to confirm their attendance, AmCham’s CEO, Maxwell Okello, underlined the platform’s potential to unearth extensive trade and investment prospects, fostering economic advancement and prosperity across the region.

“The summit offers an invaluable forum to explore the expansive trade and investment horizons that lie ahead, thereby driving economic growth and prosperity throughout our region. We are excited to assemble the business community to map out a trajectory toward enhanced cooperation in pivotal areas such as trade, investment, technology, sustainability, healthcare, and economic growth, all the while cultivating meaningful partnerships between businesses and nations,” he said.

The summit agenda will encompass a diverse array of topics crucial to the region’s economic progress, including discussions on shaping the future of US-East Africa trade and investment, climate action, digital transformation, and sustainable finance for East African economies.

According to the East Africa Economic Outlook by the African Development Bank, East African economies are poised to exhibit the highest regional economic performance on the continent, with growth projections exceeding five percent.

However, despite this anticipated growth, East African economies confront persistent challenges to trade and investment, including issues such as illicit trade, counterfeiting, currency fluctuations, and inflation, which hinder the region’s business environment.

In 2022, the United States emerged as Kenya’s primary export market, with approximately $890 million worth of goods exported to the US Similarly, America exported goods valued at around $600 million to Kenya, reflecting a relatively balanced trade relationship.

gandae@businessdayafrica.org