Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A $1.25 Million Facelift for the Kenyan Image

Photo: Homes in Molo, destroyed in post election violence in 2008 has an article on a US trade delegation, headed by Hilary Clinton, that is due to visit Kenya to help them clean up their image as an investment destination. I don't think the article intended any irony.

But the post election violence certainly didn't help the country's image. This crisis was followed by a fuel crisis, a food crisis, a global financial crisis and various other serious setbacks.

The delegation will attend the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum. Apparently it "offers a great opportunity for American importers and investors to see and assess first hand East Africa's needs and challenges". Still no hint of irony.

But the figures cited show that the US exports to Kenya are worth more than double the value of Kenya's exports to the US. And while goods the US exports to Kenya are high value products, such as "aircraft parts, machinery and electronic equipment [and] pharmaceuticals", Kenya's exports to the US are generally lower value products and raw materials, such as "tea, coffee, textile goods, processed nuts and pyrethrum".

A commentator said "the forum will review its impact and explore new ways of exploiting other opportunities created by the [AGORA] Act". Opportunities for whom? I just wish I could see the commentator's face. Sphere: Related Content

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