Africa Review, by Neville Otuki (June 24, 2013) — Kenya is set to enjoy close trade relationships with Morocco after the signing of a trade agreement that seeks to boost business between the two.
The memorandum of understanding, which will be signed on Monday, will open up trade between the two countries in ICT, energy, health, agriculture and construction.
The pact will be the second after an earlier agreement on tourism. A Moroccan delegation comprising over 106 company representatives is expected into the country on Sunday.
Kenya becomes the first East African country to sign a trade deal with Morocco. This comes even as a number of multinationals make in-roads into the country, positioning Kenya as a critical gateway to countries in the hinterland.
The government, through the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, will host the visitors and provide information on the status of the Kenyan market.
Speaking on Wednesday in Nairobi, KNCCI chairman Kiprono Kittony said the agreement will strengthen trade links between the two countries in line with the African Union’s advocacy for intra-African trade.
“This will add impetus to the trade between these countries,” he said.
The mission, dubbed Morocco Centre for Export Promotion, will meet technocrats from targeted sectors followed by site visits. Moroccan ambassador Abdelilah Benryane said that Kenya was the first Anglophone speaking country approached for trade.
“Our focus has been on French speaking countries,” Mr Benryane said. He lauded the country’s ICT sector saying it had become a regional hub.
The one-day forum will be chaired by the ICT board, representatives from Konza technopolis, and the technology ministry.
The energy sector will be steered by KenGen, Kenya Electricity Transmission Company, and Kenya Power while construction will be led by the National Housing Corporation and Kenya National Highways Authority.
The chamber of commerce said it will also send a team of Kenyans to Morocco in November to explore the existing business opportunities.
The Jubilee manifesto outlines the need for Kenya to adopt intra-African trade to drive its Vision 2030 economic agenda.