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Kenyan Firms At The Arab International SMEs Expo In West Africa

KEPROBA facilitated the sponsorship, mobilized and coordinated SMEs in select sectors

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Five Kenyan SMEs exhibited at the Arab International SMEs conference and expo (SMEX ALGERIA) held on 12th to 14th November 2022 in Algiers, Algeria. They were invited by the Arab Union for Industrial Exports Development through Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency (KEPROBA), which invited SMEs from Kenya to be sponsored to participate in the SME Expo.

KEPROBA facilitated the sponsorship, mobilized and coordinated SMEs in select sectors to represent Kenya at the expo. The event was organized by the Arab Union for Industrial Exports Development (AUIED) and the Algerian Fairs and Exportation Company (SAFEX) to build a platform of “display, trade, exchange and cooperation” for SMEs home and abroad to increase understanding, strengthen cooperation, expand exchanges, and strike common development for Arab’s SMEs and their foreign counterparts.

The five who were selected and facilitated include Mathara Holdings that exports coffee, Ohana Family Wear that produces modest swimming wear idea for Islamic countries, Miyonga Fresh Greens that export fresh and dried fruits, herbs and vegetables;  Stawi Foods and Fruits that specialize in the milling of cereals and dry fruits to produce nutritious pre-cooked and fortified flours; as well as Melvin Marsh International that is renown for tea exports.

The criteria used to select the companies to participate include suitability of products or services to the target markets; potential for business in the market as well as consistency of the applicant’s goals and objectives with the stated scope of the event.

KEPROBA, while flagging off the SMEs to the West African Market, also briefed the exhibitors on how to represent Kenya optimally and use the opportunity to expand their market access and open more opportunities for more exports to West Africa.

“This Expo offers you a chance to increase your market share to West Africa, and for us, it is a chance for Kenya to increase its brand awareness and recognition. You have a chance to leverage on this Expo to form new partnerships, networks and enhance your market access in the region,” said Dr Wilfred Marube, CEO, KEPROBA during the Exhibitor briefing session.

Kenya enjoys good bilateral relations with Algeria. The country’s exports to Algeria have been below US$1 billion from 2017 to 2021. “This presents to us an opportunity to explore the Algerian market and its untapped potential,” added Dr Marube.

The Arab International SMEs Conference & Expo (SMEX Algeria) brought together approximately 60,000 business owners. “We as Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency will continue supporting you with relevant training and export market information to enable you break even into such markets,” said Dr Marube.

Macro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) contribute approximately 40% of Kenya’s GDP even though majority of them fall in the informal sector. Of the 7.41 million MSMEs in Kenya, only 1.56 million are licensed whereas 5.85 million are unlicensed.

KEPROBA supports SMEs through trainings on export-readiness, market access and exposure to international markets. The Agency is currently developing an Exporters’ Directory that will list all exporters in Kenya, their contacts, key products, key export markets and all, for ease of access by buyers.

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KALU MENGOhttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
Kalu Mengo is a Senior Reporter With Business Today. Email: [email protected]
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