Went for a mini-tour of the exhibits outside the on-going AGOA conference with a focus on other African countries like Zambia, Senegal, Mali, Rwanda, Nigeria, and Zambia. Most of the products were agricultural or textile in nature.
Kenyan companies were there too with big tents, lots of state agencies, but the curios were Masai market upgrades. There were also some plastics and media companies. At the Color Creations stand, had a nice chat with CEO Eva Muraya (its always nice to when the boss rolls up his/her sleeves, runs the stand, and meets prospective customers)
The 8th AGOA forum is to be held this week in Nairobi.
Ugandan insomniac posted some charts on AGOA’s impact in East Africa and the outlook is bleak. CNBC’s East Africa show over the weekend reported that of the 6,400 products that are eligible under AGOA, Kenya exports just 20. The conference comes just a few weeks after Delta Airlines maiden flight to Nairobi was canceled at the last minute and even Businessman Chris Kirubi was on KTN a few days ago lamenting the obsession with a faraway US market, instead of building regional trade links trade within Africa especially to South Africa.
So there will be a high powered delegation in Nairobi this week, led by Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, with 300 business leaders in tow. We wait and see what impact they will have and I hope Hilary Clinton gets to see Kenya, unlike when her predecessor when Condi Rice came to Kenya last year, and never ventured outside her security/US Embassy cocoon. The 300 business people should mix and mingle with some local SME and business leaders outside the conference.
Here are the official Kenya and US sites for the AGOA forum
other non-related AGOA opportunities include
One Africa Award: The OneAfrica Award celebrates individual or organizations s that are succeeding in helping African countries achieve millennium development goals. Closing deadline is August 21, and the prize is $100,000
Maker Faire Africa conference is about to kick off in Ghana where the GO Ingenuity Award will also be launched.
UN Photo: There is s a UN photo contest for Africa.