The parallels in South Africa’s and Kenya’s development paths support the harnessing of complementarities in economic and business pursuits, said the chief director of export promotion and marketing at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Zanele Sanni. She was speaking during the first leg of the Outward Selling and Investment Mission in Nairobi, Kenya. “Both South Africa and Kenya are renowned for the soundness and advances made in their financial services sector, particularly in the banking sectors. Pairing the strengths of Kenya in mobile money transfer (M-Pesa) with South Africa’s large pool of the unbanked can help catapult the latter’s fledgling industry in this subsector,” said Sanni. “On the other hand, South Africa’s expertise in the development of capital equipment, deep mining technologies and manufacturing can be exchanged between the businesspeople to stimulate the optimal, responsible and sustainable use of Kenya’s new found mineral resources.”
Sanni cited developments at the recent African Union summit held in Ethiopia, where both President Uhuru Kenyatta and President Jacob Zuma reiterated their commitment to the aspirational pillars of a prosperous Africa that is based on inclusive growth and sustainable development amongst others. This according to Sanni, obligates both the public and the private sector to work together to attain these ideals of a progressive and influential Africa. “What this translates to is that businesspeople in both countries need to work on the synergies that would give life to these political commitments,” she emphasised. In her view, memoranda of understanding (MoUs) aimed at boosting trade and investment were being discussed with a view of finalising them in mid-2015.
“These include the MoU between Trade and Investment South Africa (TISA) and Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) and the Export Promotion Council (EPC), the MoU on Standardisation between Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), and the MoU on Common Mutual Assistance Agreement between the South African Revenue Services (SARS) and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), among others.