During the EAC MSMEs trade fair, every partner state is allocated a day where they showcase best of their innovations and culture. Kenya Day celebrations were slated for 8 th December 2021 where Kenyan innovations and culture.
The day kicked off by a symposium presentation on operational recovery strategies for MSEs in the new normal by Director Strategy and Planning Mr Richard Ipero. He highlighted the opportunities brought about by the pandemic in local manufacturing which has resulted in product substitution to fulfil the demand for manufactured goods,
services and agricultural produce which were previously being imported. He urged MSEs to take advantage of these opportunities to boost their productivity and enhance their products and services to fit international standards.
Chief Guest for the day Hon David Osiany arrived shortly after to a warm reception by Board Chairman James Mureu, CEO Henry Rithaa, Richard Muteti, Chairman of Kenya National Federation of Juakali Associations and Kenyan MSEs.
The official ceremony followed up where various MSEs displayed raw talent through song, dance and fashion show reaffirming Kenya’s position as a home of rich cultural heritage.
Kenya was represented by 300 exhibitors from diverse sectors who showcased best innovations and products.
Addressing the MSEs, MSEA CEO Henry Rithaa noted that EAC MSMEs have come of age and their growth has been realized because of innovation and technology. ‘’We need to entrench and build up the relationship in the partner states to further boost production in the MSE sector,” he reaffirmed. On his part, Board Chairman Mr James Mureu said, ‘’Africa Regional Integration Index published by the African Union, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the African Development Bank in 2019,the EAC was ranked the best integrated among the eight Regional Economic Communities in Africa.”
At the same occasion, Mr Kenneth Apollo Director General of Customs and Trade in the EAC recognized Kenya’s pertinent role in the integration of EAC through trade and commercial activities and asked Country to work in partnership with other states to realize regional economic growth.
Addressing the audience, Chief Guest Hon David Osiany asserted that the strength of the East African Community relies on the strength of all partner states. He said that all Governments must all work together to build on these strengths to complement each other’s weaknesses. ‘’Kenya, being one of the fastest growing economies in Africa and the point of entry to the larger, 300 million East African market has developed interventions such as one- stop border posts to enhance cross-border trade.” He further emphasized the need for the Government and the private sector to work together to provide technical and capacity building support to MSEs which will scale them up the value chains and align their products with International standards.
After a day filled with pomp a color during the Kenyan day celebrations, the Kenyan delegation, dignitaries from partner states and the MSEs were invited to a gala dinner organized by the Micro and Small Enterprises Authority. This provided a unique opportunity for the MSEs to unwind, network and share their experiences with the
various leaders in the sector.