East Africa’s Thriving Startup Ecosystem Accelerates Commercial Ties with US

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President Ruto at the US Africa Business Forum Trade Investment Trade Summit

The U.S. Chamber organized a trade mission to Kenya and Tanzania led by the US-Africa Business Center to follow through on commitments made during the 2022 US-Africa Business Forum and Leaders Summit. The mission comprised over 30 private sector executives and was the Chamber’s first international trade mission for the year.

During their time in Kenya, the Chamber met with the Council of Economic Advisors under President William Ruto and other Kenyan government officials. They also participated in the third American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Business Summit held in Nairobi and met with key U.S. and Kenyan economic officials prior to the start of the bilateral negotiations aimed at establishing a US-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership (STIP).

In Tanzania, the Chamber delegation held talks with Tanzanian and U.S. government officials to build on the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Chamber and the Tanzania Trade Development Authority last year. The MoU was signed in the presence of Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan to strengthen the US-Tanzania commercial partnership following Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to the country.

But why?

According to Scott Eisner, President of the Chamber’s U.S.-Africa Business Center, there is a growing interest in international business in East Africa, which is the center of Africa’s thriving startup ecosystem.

The recent AmCham Business Summit held in Nairobi was attended by more than 1,200 delegates from 300 international companies, serving as evidence of this trend. Eisner believes that the U.S. Chamber is poised to play a significant role in the new era of U.S.-Africa economic relations.

“In particular, the U.S. Chamber looks forward to seeing what we expect will be a transparent, participatory process as the U.S. and Kenya enter the first negotiating round of STIP talks, and the U.S. Chamber stands ready to continue its role as a trusted partner to the U.S. and Kenyan public and private sectors,” said Scott Eisner, President of the Chamber’s U.S.-Africa Business Center.