PRESIDENT UHURU KENYATTA ACCEPTED TO BECOME A GOODWILL AMBASSADOR OF AFRICAN CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE
The Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI) held its first of a series of business forum 2018 -2019 entitled “What the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (Afcfta) Means For Your Business” at Weston Hotel in Nairobi on 23rd and 24th October, 2018. Chairman of the Kenyan National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), Kiprono Kittoni, and Executive Director of PACCI, Kebour Ghenna, welcomed the attendees and made introductory remarks regarding the current state of trade and the benefits and challenges of the Continental Free Trade Agreement for countries and firms.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, who received the African chambers of commerce presidents at State House, called for expeditious implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) treaty that was signed in Kigali, Rwanda. He urged all African chambers of commerce leaders to lobby their governments that have not yet signed the agreement, to do so and ratify the new agreement so that the continent can move together towards the realization of the Pan African vision of an “integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa”. At the State House meeting President Kenyatta accepted the request lodged by Olive Kigongo, Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry President, to become a Goodwill Ambassador of African Chamber of Commerce.
In all some 200 business leaders from Africa discussed the difficulties small and medium-sized companies face to their development and commercial expansion, and said they felt isolated due to the great amount of work and hence lose touch with innovative ways to develop and expand. The Forum featured speeches by Mr. Peter Mihok, Chairman of the International Chambers of Commerce, Peter Biwott , Kenya’s Export Commissioner, Christopher John Forster, President of the Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce, and others , who gave tips on how to promote industrial development through diversification, regional value chain development, the issuance of certificate of origin, the use of ATA carnets
The Forum made over 15 recommendations including for chambers of commerce to be involved in the development of the TVET Curriculum as a way to improve skilled manpower for enterprise growth and to anchor chambers of commerce as global trade facilitation agencies to ensure that the issuance of CoO and ATA Carnet become primary mandate of all African Chambers.