Foreword from Daniel Rathwell, Director of the Department for International Trade East Africa

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RathwellI’m delighted that the Institute of Export has produced this publication. We in the Department of International Trade in Sub-Saharan Africa are extremely keen to support quality UK SMEs win business in this exciting continent. As the individual responsible for East Africa, I’m particularly excited about the opportunity to bring companies here to Kenya.

Kenya is a market that is changing incredibly rapidly. The fast pace of growth, mixed with other macro shifts such as urbanisation and personal income levels means that opportunities are emerging at a rapid pace. We are seeing the fabled ‘leap-frog’ effect in Kenya across a range of areas.

This is only natural, as Kenya was the home of the African mobile money revolution through M-Pesa. So in areas like tech, communications, education & skills, Kenyans are finding ways to innovate for their own market, and this means opportunities for UK companies.

In the more ‘traditional’ sectors of infrastructure and energy, we’re also focused on bringing UK companies into the market. We’re working with both mid-size and large UK companies in these sectors to help them win deals, particularly when the Kenyan Government is directly involved in procurement.

We’re trying to develop a genuine partnership with Kenya in order to support UK companies achieve solutions to Kenya’s development challenges. That’s why, for example, we signed a renewable energy MOU with the Kenyan Government last year, aimed at unlocking UK money and targeting specific projects where UK companies could become involved in the sector.

We work closely with our colleagues at UK Export Finance—which has series of fantastic products well suited to East Africa—to be able to offer buyers both British expertise and quality, and competitive British Government finance, and the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for Kenya, Lord Hollick, continues to champion UK business interests in the country through regular visits and engagement.

A very warm welcome to Kenya!


Daniel Rathwell
Director, Department for International Trade East Africa


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