NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
African governments should give priority to policy and
legislative reforms in order to boost cross-border trade that is
key to realizing inclusive growth, Kenyan investors said on
The members of the Kenya Private Sector
Alliance, who spoke in Nairobi during the announcement of the
7th edition of Africa CEO forum slated for March 25-26 in
Rwanda, said that a friendly policy environment is key to
promoting intra-Africa trade that currently stands at 12
"We can leverage on ongoing market reforms to accelerate
intra-Africa trade that is key to re-ignite economic growth in
the continent," said Rachael Muthoga, KEPSA’s deputy CEO.
"Diversification from traditional sectors like agriculture to
financial services and ICT should be our main focus as African
continental free trade area (ACFTA) takes shape," she added.
Kenyan business leaders, policy makers and budding
entrepreneurs will join more than 1,400 participants at the
premier gathering of African chief executives to brainstorm on
emerging opportunities in the continent.
Muthoga said the theme of the two-day summit, titled "Open
Africa: from continental treaties to business realities," is in
line with Kenya’s investors lobby’s commitment to enhanced
cross-border trade in goods and services.
"There is need for renewed dialogue between governments and
industry to explore the opportunities provided by the vast
African market," said Muthoga.
Kenyan business executives have rallied behind reforms aimed
at promoting market linkages across Africa and beyond.
Darshan Chandaria, CEO of Chandaria Industries, a leading
manufacturer of hygiene products, said that investments in
modern infrastructure is key to promoting intra-African trade.
"Indigenous companies are keen to exploit opportunities in
the regional and continental market subject to investments in
modern roads, ports and railway network to ease movement of
goods and labor," said Chandaria.
He noted that Kenya has a comparative advantage in
manufacturing and financial services sectors that it can harness
to expand its footprint across the African market.