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Cablegate: Kenya -- 2009 Agoa Forum Update

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHNR #2839/01 3531347
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 181347Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8007
INFO RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY 3148
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC PRIORITY 1721

UNCLAS NAIROBI 002839

STATE PASS USTR CONNIE HAMILTON, PATRICK DEAN COLEMAN, AND WILLIAM
JACKSON

STATE FOR AF/FO, AF/E, AND AF/EPS ANN BREITER, GABRIELLE MALLORY,
AND TAWANNA DAVIDSON

STATE ALSO FOR EEB/TPP/BTA AMY HOLMAN

STATE PLEASE PASS USAID/EA

TREASURY FOR REBECCA KLEIN

COMMERCE FOR KEVIN BOYD AND BECKY ERKUL

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC AMGT ECON ETRD AGOA PGOV PREL KE
SUBJECT: KENYA -- 2009 AGOA FORUM UPDATE

REFS: (A) NAIROBI 2594 (B) STATE 114398
(C) NAIROBI 2224

1. This cable is not/not for internet distribution.

2. Summary. Pending confirmation from the Office of the President,
Kenya is now likely to propose hosting the 2009 AGOA Forum in
Nairobi during the August 3-7 timeframe versus the originally
proposed timeframe of August 9-14. The preferred venue remains the
Kenyatta International Conference Center (KICC) in downtown Nairobi.
Ministry of Trade (MOT) Secretary for External Trade Simon Chacha
Nyangi, the chair of Kenya's 2009 AGOA Forum national organizing
committee, told US Mission representatives on December 18 that he
expects the Office of the Presidency to approve the dates and venue
by December 19. As soon as we have written confirmation of the
Kenyan proposal, we will forward for Washington concurrence. End
Summary.

3. The Government of Kenya (GOK) has begun its preparations for the
2009 AGOA Forum in earnest. On December 18, the GOK's 2009 AGOA
Forum Main Preparatory Committee held its fifth session, four of
which have included representatives of the U.S. Mission. It will
hold its next session on January 15, 2009. The main preparatory
committee has also set up multiple subcommittees: conference and
accreditation; hospitality, protocol and accommodation; private
sector; publicity; civil society; technical (substantive program),
transport, security and finance. U.S. Mission members have been
assigned to and are working with virtually all of the AGOA
subcommittees.

----------------------------
Different Time, Same Station
----------------------------

4. Chaired by Kenyan Ministry of Trade (MOT) Secretary for External
Trade Simon Chacha Nyangi, the main committee resolved in its
November 26 and December 10 sessions to recommend to President Mwai
Kibaki and his Cabinet that Kenya host the 2009 AGOA Forum between
August 3-7 versus the dates, August 9-14, originally proposed (ref
A). Chacha reiterated that the forum would be held at the Kenyatta
International Conference Center (KICC) located in downtown Nairobi.
KICC committee representative Bernard Asoro said the conference
center has been reserved for the August 3-7 timeframe.

5. During December 10 and December 18 main preparatory meetings,
Chacha told committee attendees that his ministry expects the Office
of the Presidency to approve the date and venue by December 19.
(Note: US Mission RSO, MGT, and GSO personnel have already carefully
surveyed the KICC and the nearby Intercontinental Hotel, where we
propose to block rooms for the official USG delegation. MGT and GSO
have also reviewed facilities and the availability of rooms at other
hotels convenient to the KICC.)

---------------------------
Progress on Joint Statement
---------------------------

6. The GOK's AGOA publicity subcommittee is coordinating with U.S.
Mission Kenya PAO on the drafting and timing of a formal joint
statement announcing the forum. We reminded the Kenyans that the
embassy would first have to get USG concurrence on the statement's
wording before it could be released, preferably by mid-January.
Current thinking is that the announcement would be accompanied by a
joint press conference in Nairobi hosted by Deputy Prime Minister
and Minister of Trade Uhuru Kenyatta and Ambassador Ranneberger.
Following the publicity subcommittee's report, the general committee
resolved to have the forum's website on line by December 15, but it
now appears that the government will not have the website running
before mid-January.

-----------------------------
Theme and Program Suggestions
-----------------------------

7. The 2009 AGOA Forum technical subcommittee, charged with the
forum's program, has come up with the following proposal for the
Forum's theme: AGOA 8 Years On: Bridging the Gap to Realize Its
Full Potential. The Main Committee has not yet signed off on this
suggestion and we welcome Washington input as this process
continues.

8. The technical subcommittee, led by MOT Commercial Officer Lina
Ochieng, also outlined 10 prospective topics for break-out
sessions:

-- Agriculture: Value Addition and Branding (agro-processing), and
Investment Opportunities in Agri-business

-- Textiles: Category 9, Vertical Integration, and AGOA Challenges
(e.g. third country fabric, safeguard measures)

-- SME Programs

-- Infrastructure: Transport - road, rail, airport, port and ICT

-- Finance: Sources of Finance

-- Private Investment: Alternative Sources of Energy,
Private-Public Partnership, and Conducive Investment Environment

-- Contemporary Global Challenges: Global Warming, Security
(bio-terrorism, piracy), Health (AIDS, malaria), Global Recession

-- Market Development: Product/Regional Promotion, Product
Development

-- Regulatory Regimes: Quality Standards, SPS

-- Technical Assistance: Technology

9. Ochieng assured participants that, in addition to the USG, the
GOK will solicit input from African governments and resident
missions as it crafts the forum's theme and agenda. In terms of the
overall program for the Forum, Ochieng envisions Kenya chairing the
Africa consultations on day one, followed by the ministerial on day
two, then the private sector and civil society events on day three.
Kenya is contemplating holding a March 2009 pre-ministerial of
African participants to prepare for the forum.

------------------------------
Security Preparations Underway
------------------------------

10. Security subcommittee chairman Henry Barmao representing the
Commissioner of Police reassured everyone that the security forces
will be well prepared for all contingencies. He commented favorably
that the police force already enjoys a close working relationship
with US Embassy RSO. Embassy security officers have begun
participating in this subcommittee.

----------------------------
Private Sector Participation
----------------------------

11. Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) assistant executive
officer Joseph Wairiuko cited the numerous trade organizations,
including the American Chamber of Commerce of Kenya (ACCK), now part
of the private sector subcommittee (FCS SCO, USAID and ECON are also
members). Wairiuko and representatives of Kenya's Export Promotion
Council and Export Processing Zones Authority discussed various ways
of involving local businesses, notably Kenya Airways, in getting the
word out about the forum. We recommended that the subcommittee
likewise reach out to Delta Airlines and the Corporate Council on
Africa (CCA; we have subsequently included preparatory committee
leaders in an email to CCA establishing contact). Referring to
recent trade delegations from Dallas, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia,
and Miami, we reminded general committee members not to overlook
Nairobi's Sister Cities as another vehicle to recruit private sector
participation. US Mission officers also encouraged the private
sector subcommittee to develop contacts with the U.S. Chamber of
Commerce, the USA-Kenya Chamber of Commerce based in Philadelphia,
the African Chamber of Commerce DFW, the USAID-supported Kenya

Horticulture Development Program, Fintrac, the Fresh Produce
Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK), and other trade promotion
agencies.

12. Wairiuko said his subcommittee would craft a website targeting
the private sector. Emboffs passed the message from the USG DC AGOA
interagency committee that forum registration documents should be
easily accessed, completed, and submitted. We reiterated our view
that post-forum events, such as pre-packaged trips to the world
famous game reserve at Maasai Mara or Lake Nakuru National Park,
ought to be advertised on the forum website to increase attendance
and generate tourism. The Kenyans already are planning a "bush
dinner" for the expected 1,000 participants at Nairobi National
Park.

13. Wairiuko added that the private sector subcommittee envisions
cutting off registrations in May. This generated considerable,
unresolved debate on a general registration deadline. Several
argued for a lenient one, stretching into mid-July, with fees
calibrated along "early bird" ($150), before the deadline, and after
the deadline.

--------------------
Budget Deliberations
--------------------

14. At the December 10 preparatory meeting, Chacha led a
line-by-line evaluation of budgetary requests made by all the
subcommittees, except for security. Considerable slashing was done,
especially of requests submitted by the transportation, publicity,
and civil society subcommittees. Chacha instructed the technical
subcommittee to scrub all subcommittee budget projections and
provide an acceptable overall budget for review and approval on
December 18. At the December 18 meeting, the main preparatory
committee tentatively approved a budget of nearly 135 million
shillings (about $1.75 million), subject to funding restraints.

--------------------------------------
Principal GOK 2009 AGOA Forum Contacts
--------------------------------------

Simon Chacha Nyangi
Secretary for External Trade, Ministry of Trade
Chairman, GOK 2009 AGOA Forum Main Preparatory Committee
Email: snyangi@tradeandindustry.go.ke
Cell Phone: 254-722-523-114

Lina Ochieng
Senior Commercial Officer, Ministry of Trade
Chair, GOK 2009 AGOA Forum Technical Subcommittee
Email: linaochieng@hotmail.com
Cell Phone: 254-729-829-363

Catherine Kiiri
Senior Administrative Assistant, Ministry of Trade
Secretary, GOK 2009 AGOA Forum Main Preparatory Committee
Email: ckiiri@yahoo.com
Cell Phone: 254-738-408-115
Direct Line: 254-20-222-8271

Ranneberger

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