Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua Thursday asked Kenyans in Angola to take advantage of business opportunities in the country, which are untapped.
Speaking when he met Kenyans living in Angola on the sidelines of the 10th Summit of the African Caribbean and Pacific States (OACS) on Thursday night in the capital Luanda, Gachagua said Angola, which heavily relies on food imports from other continents is an opportunity due to its proximity to Kenya.
“Food in this county is from Brazil. You must think outside the box. We should look into these potential business opportunities,” said the DP.
Due to the flooded market of agricultural products like vegetables in Kenya, farmers contend with poor prices and exploitation from brokers and middlemen.
In that regard, Gachagua said the Ruto Administration will task foreign missions to look for business opportunities for Kenyans even as they market the country.
“At least 70 percent of our diplomacy will be based on the commercial interests of the country. We will sign a memorandum of understanding (with ambassadors) for two years with expected deliverables. The ambassadors will have to look for markets to increase our trade opportunities,” he said.
In the interactive evening session, the Kenyans raised concerns over the termination of the Kenya Airways direct flights from Nairobi to Luanda a few years ago.
They said direct flights could help deliver agricultural products quickly.
Gachagua thus said he was aware of this challenge and the government is committed to opening the route to ensure that business is eased.
In addition, the DP challenged the Kenyans to invest at home, adding that the government is creating favorable conditions.
“Create wealth; invest at home. We have created a full department of diaspora (in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) to attend to and coordinate investments. We are considering sending a trade attaché to each mission for this purpose and to also coordinate with us back home,” he stated.
On the other hand, he said the government expects embassies to protect Kenyans against exploitation when they are in a foreign land.
For instance, he said, Kenyans working in a foreign land must be protected against all forms of exploitation and ill-treatment.
The Kenyans in Angola raised hurdles on visas and passport renewals, which the DP said the government will try and address through the missions.
He was also concerned that some of the Kenyan products are rebranded by cartels in other countries denying the farmers the best prices they could be enjoying.
He said the government will work with farmers to ensure value addition is done for all finished products while streamlining the market for the Kenyan brand to stand out and fetch more.
Gachagua also asked them to bring more other Kenyans to work with them wherever they see opportunities.