The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) and the Mouvement des Entreprises de France International (MEDEF) have renewed their Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a further 5 years. This is in support of trade between Kenyan and French businesses.

The initial MOU signed in 2012 has seen KEPSA and MEDEF collaborate in hosting high-level business forums both in Kenya and France to facilitate trade and investment opportunities for their respective members.

Areas of agreement in the renewed MOU include the joint promotion, development, and strengthening of trade, investment, joint ventures, and business relationships between KEPSA and MEDEF members. Another area of focus is the promotion of better knowledge, understanding, confidence, and structured trade between SMEs in both countries.

The agreement will also facilitate business forums and platforms to introduce Kenyan and French businesses to foster trust and confidence in potential partnerships, pitching opportunities, exhibitions and deal making.

KEPSA and MEDEF will also advocate for greater access to business opportunities and contracts for SMEs in France and Kenya in addition to better policies and regulations in the respective countries. Jointly, the business member organizations have held seven forums since the first MOU signing which has seen over 100 French businesses invest in Kenya including the resumption of Air France flights and establishment of the Peugeot Car Assembly plant.

Recent establishments include the Vinci Group, Voltalia in Energy, Carrefour in retail and Yves Rocher in cosmetics as well as Rubis Oil. Others ventures are Bolloré Logistics and Schneider Electric which have greatly expanded in the country and the EAC region.

KEPSA has also been working closely with the French Embassy in programs such as the Creating Opportunities and Alleviating Poverty through Sustainable Trade (COAST) project. The project aims to support women and youth entrepreneurs in Mombasa County to establish businesses based on the circular economy model creating solutions in waste management.

In her speech following the signing of the MOU, KEPSA CEO Carole Kariuki said, “In 2020 our businesses exported USD 87 million in products such as avocados, pineapples, cut flowers, beans, and vegetables. Likewise, we imported USD 219.1 million worth of products such as food preparations, petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, and machinery, among others. This is in addition to 46,000 French nationals who visited Kenya in 2019, a major boost for our tourism industry.”

“With the renewal of our MOU with KEPSA, MEDEF is looking to increase investment in Kenya, which is now a regional economy, through building a stronger and sustainable value chain,” said Philippe Gautier, MEDEF CEO.

Other MOUs that were signed during the forum include Proparco and Equity Bank signing on Portfolio Guarantees project and the signing of the financing of Shamba Pride by Africaseeds.