Business opportunities in East Africa presented at Expo Milan 2015

Business opportunities in the East Africa Community were today presented and discussed during an event organized at the Expo Milan 2015. It was supported by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

The event was attended by the Deputy Secretary-General of the East African Community (EAC), Jesca Eriyo; the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development of Kenya, William A. Songa; UNIDO Managing Director, Programme Development and Technical Cooperation Division, Philippe R. Scholtès; and the African Packaging Organisation (APO) President, Joseph Nyongesa; as well as the CEO of Centrexpo Ipack-Ima Group, Guido Corbella.

The discussion was moderated by Mpoko Bokanga, from the Representative Office of East Afripack, the processing, packaging and converting exhibition that will have its second edition held in Nairobi from 12 to 14 October 2016.

Participants noted that a recent study by the International Monetary Fund registrured a very high pace of economic growth in the last decade in the countries of the East African Community. In the period between 2004 and 2013, the growth rate in the EAC was 6.2 per cent, one of the highest ever recorded in the world since 1960. This performance is even more significant due to the fact that the period encompasses the 2007 global and financial economic crisis.

It was also pointed out that the EAC is fertile region ripe for business development. Reports suggest that manufacturing in EAC is growing and exports as a share of GDP are rising (from 12 per cent in 1990 to 19 per cent in 2010) and are becoming more geographically diversified.

The African Development Bank has included agro-industrial development within its operational priorities and has started incorporating a more market- and value chain-based approach in the planning of new operations, with agro-processing, postharvest loss reduction and market development as prominent features of its strategy. These trends translate into greater demand for processing and packaging equipment and technologies. By bringing processing, packaging and converting technologies to Kenya, East AfriPack 2016 will respond to the needs of the East African Community for the coming years.

East Afripack, organized by Ipack-Ima Spa, in a joint venture with the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies (PMMI) and in partnership with UNIDO, the East African Community, and the Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development of Kenya, was first held in 2014 in Kenya with the participation by more than 60 Italian companies.