PM Mudavadi on Canada Africa Business Conference

 PM Mudavadi on Canada Africa Business Conference

Kenya today hosted the Canada Africa Business Conference in Nairobi to discuss on trade ties and business opportunities between Kenya and Canada. Below is what Musalia W Mudavadi and Maninder Sidhu had to say. 

Mudavadi on Canada Africa Business Conference 

As we gather to strengthen the ties between our nations (Canada and Kenya) and explore new avenues, strengthening our collaboration. Your presence here and underscores the value of deepening partnership between Kenya and Canada, and I am confident that our discussions would be mutually beneficial. Allow me to reflect briefly on our last engagement in October 2023, where we connected virtually amidst challenging times. Despite the barriers, it was evident that our commitment to fostering partnerships between Canada and Africa remains solid and unwavering. Ladies and gentlemen, Kenya presents a conducive business environment, having a strong democracy and business-friendly policies advantageous for potential investors. Our strategic location makes Kenya the natural Gateway to three strategic economic blocs, namely the East African Community, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), and the African Continental Free Trade Area. These trading blocks present unique opportunities for consolidating, diversifying, and expanding exports to the African market.

Additionally, Kenya's infrastructure, which includes the port of Mombasa, the Lamu port, the South Sudan/Ethiopia Transport corridor, and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, as well as its coastline along the Indian Ocean, guarantees effective and reliable logistics and transportation gateway to the rest of African countries. Notwithstanding, Kenya is the regional logistics and financial hub, a leading regional financial hub, a top destination for foreign direct investment, and venture capital, and also the presence of Konza Technopolis, commonly referred to as the Silicon Savannah of Africa.

Kenya has a young, vibrant, highly skilled, and educated workforce, giving companies access to qualified human resources. Kenya offers huge investment opportunities in various sectors such as agriculture, medical care, clean energy, fintech, infrastructure financing, tourism, banking, logistics, and manufacturing. I am pleased to note that these are sectors that will be centered in your discussions during the conference. Over and above that, Africa as a continent possesses vast mineral resources, immense renewable energy potential, and abundant arable land, making it the last frontier for sustainable transformative development. I also take this opportunity to welcome you to Kenya, a magnificent country endowed with abundant opportunities.

Maninder Sidhu on Canada-Africa Business Conference

Africa is a region where a young and tech-savvy population is driving a sustainable inclusive economic transformation. And Kenya, the Silicon Savannah, is at the heart of that transformation. Knowing this is why, as President Ruto himself said during the Africa accelerating conference in Toronto last October, and I quote, "Canada has been an early mover in engaging with Africa, aligning with the continent's emerging future and experiencing remarkable trade and investment growth, particularly in Kenya."

How are we aligning? You may ask. Here are some examples: shortly after the inaugural Canada-African Union Commission Trade Policy Dialogue held in Ottawa last May, the government of Canada launched public consultations to advance our economic cooperation with Africa, and that built on the groundwork laid at the first Canada-African Union Commission High-level Dialogue in 2022 when Canada hosted Commission Chairperson Faki. Combine those with Canada's support of the African Continental Free Trade Area, and it's clear that Canada is committed to strengthening economic cooperation with dynamic economies across the African continent, including with Kenya.

The truth is that Canada and Kenya already work together in many, many areas and in many ways to support our shared growth and prosperity. For example, Kenya Airways and Jambo jet rely on Canadian-made de Havilland Dash 8 aircraft. They connect people and move goods, which support local economies. In fact, Dash 8 makes up Jambo Jet's entire fleet, and the Havilland's first-ever Dash 8 100 simplified package freighter conversion was sold right here in Kenya.

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