Nairobi, Thursday, June 20, 2019: Preparations for hosting the Source 21 COMESA High Level Business Summit and International Trade Fair to be held in Nairobi, Kenya from 17 to 21 July 2019 are at advanced stage.
The event will be jointly hosted at the Kenyatta International Conference Center, by the COMESA Business Council (CBC) in collaboration with the Government of Kenya and the Kenya Association of Manufacturers.
A joint press briefing was conducted Thursday, June 20, 2019 which was addressed by Hon Peter Munya, Kenya’s Trade and Industry Cabinet Secretary, COMESA Secretary General Chileshe Kapwepwe and Chair of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers Mr. Sachen Gudhka.
This event comes at time when COMESA’s is marking 25 since its transformation from the Preferential Trade Area (PTA) thus marking an important milestone in the regional integration process.
In her statement, the Secretary General said the event is intended to spur regional trade addressing issues of competitiveness of enterprises, enhancing regional supply chains and encouraging local sourcing within the COMESA, Tripartite and African region.
“Despite being the largest single market in Africa, regional trade in COMESA remains quite low,” she noted. “Out of a total trade of $240 billion recorded in 2017, intra COMESA trade represents a meagre 6.7%.”
Source 21 will bring together public and private enterprises from the region and beyond to discuss pertinent issues that affect growth of businesses in the regional bloc. Policy makers and the private sector who are the drivers of trade and economic development will attend.
Hon. Munya encouraged local and international businesses from the region to participate in the event which will open up markets and create linkages for the different exhibitors and participants.
He particularly urged small businesses to take advantage of the International Trade Fair and show case their products.
CBC Chief Executive Officer Ms. Sandra Uwera said the association intends to make Source 21 an annual event in different Member States.
About Source 21
The Business Summit will include a Presidential Dialogue where Heads of State will interact with business leaders on key strategies to enhance industry competitiveness and formulate strategies to enhance local sourcing and intra-regional trade.
Sectoral roundtables will also provide a platform for engagement on sector specific issues. The topics will center on Manufacturing competitiveness, Digitization and Trade Facilitation, Digital Financial Services and Regional Payment System, Standards and Quality Issues, Smart and Sustainable Cities and the Continental Free Trade Area.