Trade, Investment and Tourism conference to link Uganda – Kwale and Kilifi Counties of Kenya
- Background and Rationale
Intra EAC Trade, Investment and Tourism make enormous contribution to the growth and development of the region. According to Uganda’s Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, 2020, the market and trade potentials are estimated at US$1.1 billion (coffee), US$1.2 billion (tea) US$2.85 billion (powder milk), among other products.
Kwale and Kilifi Counties are the tourism hubs of the coastal region of Kenya. A number of tourists from Europe, America and beyond visit the beaches and resorts in Kwale and Kilifi annually to enjoy a variety of tourism attractions it offers. Kwale County is home to beautiful Diani beaches, Marine National Park, Elephant sanctuary, the Dolphins, Wildlife Park, slave caves and sacred forest. Kilifi County possesses some of the best beaches and it is home to Malindi Fort, Watamu Whitesands, coral reefs, dolphins among others.
It is worth noting that tourism supports Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs) 8 and 15-in promoting sustainable tourism and sustainable use of ecosystems; African Union Agenda 2063-in increasing the contribution of tourism to GDP; East African Community Vision 2050-in prioritizing competitively-priced, cost-effective and high-return joint interventions in the tourism sector.
However, there are inadequate linkages between tourism in Uganda, Kwale and Kilifi Counties of Kenya. There is therefore need for a deliberate joint marketing strategy for the unique tourism attractions that Uganda and the two Counties offer.
Trade between Uganda and Kenya is a key factor of growth between the two countries. According to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development) report, 2021, Uganda’s export to Kenya in the preceding decade grew by 13.7% to USD 401m in 2020 while Kenya registered increased export at 6.43% to the tune of USD 940m in 2020.
Kwale and Kilifi Counties have opportunities in sectors such as agriculture, fish processing, livestock, steel rolling mills and beekeeping. However, not much agriculture takes place in the Coastal region and most of the food consumed comes from the Central and Western parts of Kenya. Meanwhile Uganda has massive agricultural productivity and is a potential source of food to the Coastal region.
The Coastal region boasts of large chunks of arable land which is under-utilised. Investors from Uganda can be mobilised to invest in agricultural opportunities in Kwale and Kilifi Counties.
Kenya has for long been one of the major sources of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) to Uganda in sectors like Finance, Banking, Insurance, Technology and Machinery among others. Therefore a joint investment strategy for trade in Uganda and the Counties of Kwale and Kilifi is a necessity.
It is against the above background that the Consulate, in conjunction with the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) KNCCI Kwale and Kilifi Chapters and the respective County Governments are organizing 02 Conferences in Kilifi and Kwale Counties to harness trade, investment and tourism opportunities between Uganda and the Kenta Coastal Region.” The two conferences are a precursor to the Trade and Investment Mission from the Kenya Coastal Region to Uganda as well as the Tourism Conference between Uganda and the Kenya Coastal Region that are expected to take place later this year. The tourism conference will climax into a fam trip to Uganda.
The overall objective of the conferences is to harness Trade, Investment and Tourism Opportunities between Uganda and the Kenya Coastal Region”
The specific objectives of the Conference and visits:
- To promote trade opportunities between Uganda and the Coastal region;
- To promote investment opportunities in Uganda and the Coastal region;
- To explore and promote synergies and complementarity in the tourism sectors of Uganda and the Coastal region