News Column

EAC Should Pitch for Investments As a Bloc - Kittony

August 18, 2014

Mercy Gakii

The East African Community needs to pitch for business as a bloc to attract American investments, which are keen on large markets with scale.

Kiprono Kittony, chairman of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the US views markets in terms of blocs, making a harmonised pitch more successful than individual countries.

Kittony said this was among key lessons learnt from the recent US-Africa Summit in Washington DC.

"Corporate America is more interested in scale, and would even prefer to trade with the whole Africa as one. But this is not possible for Africa to execute because we are so many nation states. Kenya can make use of the East Africa Community to get a better marketing platform as part of a regional bloc," he said.

He said US companies are also keen on governance issues both in public and private sector and must thus be dealt with head-on to improve the business climate through transparency.

"There is interest in Africa, which is the only continent posting growth. It is time we moved from primary production to improving the quality of our products, such as through packaging. However, we must deal with the elephant in the room, and that is corruption."

America's interest in Africa, Kittony said, is mainly driven by the growing population, increasing markets and economic growth that many African nations are posting year-on-year.

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Source: AllAfrica

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