- Investors are set to meet in Nairobi on 19-20 February 2024 to explore medical care, infrastructure, and financing opportunities for Canada-Africa projects.
- Last year, Canada’s primary export markets in Africa were Algeria, Morocco, and the continent’s economic powerhouse, Nigeria.
- Between 2001 and 2018, Canada-Africa trade more than tripled, hitting $3.3 billion.
Kenya will host the second Canada-Africa Business Conference early next year, bringing together investors from the two regions to explore key investment opportunities. Some of the target industries that the 19-20 February 2024 conference will focus on are medical care, infrastructure, energy, financing for Canada-Africa projects, and FinTech.
The two-day meeting in Nairobi’s Muthaiga Country Club follows the two regions’ first-ever program at Botswana’s Gaborone International Convention Centre in 2019.
In partnership with the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), the Canada-Africa Business Conference will bring together key players who will also visit select locations.
Canada-Africa Chamber of Business
The event is open to all corporate members of the Canada-Africa Chamber of Business and guests and sponsors – in partnership with the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA).
Additional sector focus areas are in progress, under the theme of Canada’s role as a trusted partner across African markets in the vital context of Kenya as a critical gateway to the East Africa region and the continent.
”We look forward to announcing program updates as we confirm the participation of leading decision-makers,” says Garreth Bloor, President of the Canada-Africa Chamber. He added: ”Our previous engagements in Kenya have always been an incredible success, and this is testament – in no small part – to the key role of Kenya and KEPSA in Canada-Africa trade and investment.”.
According to the Kenya Economic Survey for 2022, Kenyan imports from Canada were valued at $58.4 million (KSh8.7 billion) in 2021, representing a decrease from $69.8 million (KSh10.4 billion) in the previous year and $93.3 million (KSh13.9 billion) in the year before that. On the flip side, Kenya’s exports to Canada increased, with goods worth $14.8 million (KSh2.2 billion) being exported in 2021, a notable rise from $8.05 million (KSh1.2 billion) in the previous period.
Promoting Canada-Africa trade and investment
“We are excited to collaborate with the Canada-Africa Chamber of Business and look forward to the forum that will promote trade and investment between Canada and our great continent of Africa. This forum aims to widen the scope of available opportunities in medical care, infrastructure, energy, FinTech and project financing,” said Ms Carole Kariuki, Chief Executive Officer of Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA).
Statistics show a remarkable demographic shift among African Canadians over the past two decades, with their population surging from 300,000 individuals in 2000 to 1.3 million in 2021. This surge underscores the growing significance of the African-Canadian community within the North American country.
Increasingly, authorities in Canada have been under mounting pressure to strengthen Canada-Africa relations, aligning their approach with other major global economies. Notably, Canada’s current diplomatic footprint in Africa lags significantly behind that of its southern neighbor, the United States, with less than half the number of diplomatic missions on the continent.
However, trade between Canada and African nations has seen significant growth in the past two decades, an analysis by law firm Dentons shows. Between 2001 and 2018, for instance, Canadian exports to Africa increased more than tripled, hitting $3.3 billion.
Canada’s export markets in Africa
Last year, Canada’s primary export markets in Africa were Algeria, Morocco, and the continent’s economic powerhouse, Nigeria, with goods valued at approximately $1.84 billion (CA$2.5 billion). On the import side, South Africa, Nigeria, and Egypt were the leading African economies exporting to Canada last year, with a combined import value of $3.9 billion (CA$5.3 billion).
Canada’s top exports to Algeria, Morocco, and Nigeria included wheat products, non-metallic mineral mining, quarrying, and iron ore mining. On the import side, Canada mainly imported oil and gas, metals, and precious minerals such as gold and silver from South Africa, Nigeria, and Egypt.
Despite these trade activities, there remains a significant gap in trade volumes compared to other continents, such as Europe and Asia. This suggests that Canada has untapped potential to develop further and expand its trade relations with African countries.
Africa’s vast and resource-rich landscape is an undeniable global asset. The continent is home to 60 per cent of the world’s arable land, a critical resource for food production and agricultural sustainability. Not only does Africa boast an abundance of fertile soil, but it also possesses 30 per cent of the planet’s mineral deposits, including vital resources essential for green technologies, digital innovations, and renewable energy. This rich endowment underscores Africa’s pivotal role in the global transition toward a more sustainable and technologically advanced future.
Africa’s trade potential
Africa’s most distinctive feature is its youthful population, the world’s youngest and fastest-growing continent. Projections indicate that by 2050, Sub-Saharan Africa will be home to one of every four individuals globally.
This demographic phenomenon highlights the immense human capital present on the continent, with the potential to drive innovation, growth, and development. The youthful and growing population is valuable for the continent and holds great promise for global cooperation and progress.
In addition to its demographic advantage, Africa has embarked on a transformative journey by ratifying the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). This agreement positions Africa to create a unified and cohesive common market, connecting 1.3 billion people across the continent.
The AfCFTA presents a unique opportunity for fostering economic growth, enhancing trade, and promoting regional integration. It signifies Africa’s commitment to harnessing its potential and charting a course toward shared prosperity and development. As Africa continues to evolve, its vast resources, burgeoning population, and the AfCFTA provide compelling reasons for Canada and the world to pay close attention to its unfolding narrative.