Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) Chairlady Flora Mutahi is the new Vice Chairperson of the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Business Council. Ms Mutahi was elected after a highly contested election in Lusaka Zambia.
By Brian Muthuri
COMESA Business Council (CBC), whose key role is to provide a platform for advocacy in the development and progress of the private sector in respective economies, had its election on November, 24th 2016 to pick a team to drive the institution for the next two years.
Ms. Mutahi , who is also the CEO and Founder of Melvin’s Tea, said that she was privileged to have been elected to assist the region grow its economies. She added that in her new position, she will focus on increasing integration within the region, particularly through breaking trade barriers.
“Increased integration will lead to a competitive region in terms of business. It is concerning to see that inter-Africa trade is only at 2 per cent whereas other regions like Asia and Europe gain millions from inter-regional trade.We will use a new plan this coming year, which will include the review of previous achievements and strategize for deeper integration. My aim is to drive increased movement of persons and goods and services within the region to spur growth and innovation for our markets to compete globally” said Ms Mutahi.
Additionally, the Government of Kenya has committed to host the first COMESA trade fair in Nairobi in 2017. CBC has therefore been mandated to drive the organization and execution of this fair. KAM as the main link for CBC in Kenya will play a big role in mobilizing industry and other stakeholders to participate.
COMESA has been positioned as the recognized regional apex body of the private sector and business community. It also plays a critical role in steering the key drivers of regional integration, into the direction of a successful market driven economy that supports growth, development and regional wealth.