Since its inception, Business Ireland Kenya (BIK) has worked to become a well – renown business association that works to enhance membership through a combination of strategies that include value-adding activities, collaboration with key partners, sharing of insightful resources and the leadership of an excellent Steering Committee.
While 2021 has been a challenging year, we have witnessed countries taking steps to recover from the pandemic through a strong vaccination campaign that allows for reopening businesses and boosting global economies. Closer home, we have seen the Government of Kenya implement several interventions outlined in stimulus packages aimed at cushioning enterprises, communities and families.
BIK closes the year with 54 members (27 Corporate, 25 Individual, 2 Overseas). BIK introduced a new tier of membership to cater for overseas organisations during 2021 and look forward to attracting additional members within this tier during 2022 and onwards. Overall, based on BIK’s various membership categories, BIK has a membership of over 100 individuals, representing a variety of sectors including but not limited to agriculture, agri-food, law, audit advisory services, consulting, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, logistics, trade and tourism.
Networking and Information sharing events 2021
In alignment with the Government of Kenya Covid-19 protocols, BIK held a series of events during 2021 including virtual and hybrid events, with a limited number of face to face events. The following table provides a summary of our interesting and successful virtual events during 2021:
|Month||Event Topic||Guest Speakers||Attendees|
An economic outlook for 2021 and guidance on changes to tax laws in in Kenya
|Mr. Judd Murigi: Head of Research, ICEA Lion Life Asset Management (ILAM)
Mr. Emmanuel Laalia: Legal and Financial Tax Consultant, Viva Africa Consulting LLP
Mr. Declan Galvin: Head of 3i, WS Insight
|April||Opportunities and challenges within the logistics sector and the impact of Brexit||Mr. Eddie Burke: Principal Officer, EU & Central Policy Division – Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport (DTTAS), Ireland
Mr. Gilbert Langat: CEO Shippers Council of Eastern Africa
|November||Contingency planning for SMEs and MSMEs – highlighting the importance of collaboration across core business functions to create responsive strategies in the face of external shocks||Mr. Colin Danvers: Managing Director, Russell Philips Limited
Ms. Mary Kanuku: Head of Treasury, DIB Bank Kenya Limited
Mr. Declan Galvin: Head of 3i, WS Insight
Breakout room discussions aligned to security, logistics & supply chain management, human resources and finance each led by experts in these fields.
In addition to the above virtual events, the association hosted 3 hybrid events while adhering to all Covid-19 protocols. Limited number of members (30) attended the events in person at Sankara Nairobi and Capital Club with other members attending virtually. Virtual attendance has proven to be very successful, opening up BIK events to a wider audience, including members outside of Nairobi and/or outside of Kenya. The association was honored to be joined virtually at our Tourism event in Sept by H.E. Amb Michael Mubea, Ambassador of the Republic of Kenya to Ireland and in person by H.E. Amb Fionnuala Quinlan, Ambassador of Ireland to Kenya. The following table provides a summary of our hybrid events during 2021.
|MONTH||Event Topic||Guest speakers||Attendees|
|February||Opportunity to explore the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and Economic Processing Zones (EPZs) with key learnings for Kenya from the Shannon Free Zone – the world’s first free trade zone.||Mr. John Drysdale: Business Development Manager, Shannon IASC, part of Shannon Group
Ms. Carole Karuga: Chair, Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) Twiga Foods
Mr. Daniel Ngugi: Head of Legal & AdministrationTwiga Foods
Mr. Declan Galvin: Head of 3i, WS Insight
|June||Kenya Finance Budget 2021/22 with in depth insights for how key decisions affect everyday business||Mr. Kenneth Gichinga – Chief Economist, Mentoria Economics
Mr. Kwame Owino – Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA Kenya)
Mr. Simon Mutie – Senior Analyst, WS Insight
Moderated by Mr. Robert Nyamu – Partner and Technology Consulting Leader, Ernst & Young (EY) East Africa
Ms. Diana Carson: Managing Director, Response Med & Mr. Silvanus Sewe: Country Director Kenya, Health Passport Worldwide
|September||The tourism sector looking into opportunities for recovery and reinvention||Mr. James Kenny: Industry Manager, Emerging Markets, Tourism Ireland
Mr. Fred Okeyo: Director of Marketing, Kenya Tourism Board
Ms. Siobhan Byrne Learat: Chief Executive Officer, Adams & Butler
Mr. Alan Dixson: Managing Director, Let’s Go Travel Uniglobe
In total, over 500 individuals registered for virtual and hybrid events 2021 with a marked increase in regular repeat attendance. BIK hopes to convert some of the new connections created during 2021 into membership to BIK in 2022. Feedback from each session was taken on board to path and improve the next session.
In July 2021, Simon Coveney T.D. Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence was in the country for a three–day UN Security Council visit to the horn of Africa that comprised engagements with various stakeholders linked to key projects led by the Embassy of Ireland in Kenya and its partners. On Wednesday 21st July, the Minister joined Business Ireland Kenya, the Embassy of Ireland and key business contacts from Kenya and Ireland for a business luncheon and launch event at Trademark Hotel, Nairobi. The event was an opportunity for all attendees to discuss and promote bilateral trade linkages between the two countries and officially launch the Doing Business in Kenya Guide 2021. The Doing Business Guide has been developed to present key information about the general economic and business context in Kenya presenting an overview of investment opportunities in some of the key sectors of the Kenyan economy. The Guide seeks to outline practical information an investor may find essential when considering Kenya as a business destination including taxation, labour, immigration requirements and the legal frameworks which are important to consider.
The guide is available on the BIK website and partners including Embassy colleagues in the region, the Irish Abroad Unit, Enterprise Ireland, Business Ireland South Africa have received copies of the guide for their teams.
In 2021, the BIK Steering Committee continued to enhance key partnerships through a number of initiatives including – the signing of an MOU with the Kenya Private Sector Alliance that has seen sharing of resources with all members, working closely with the European Business Council promoting attendance to their events, collaboration with Embassies in Dublin and Nairobi to discuss areas of cooperation. The Steering Committee also launched a Technical subcommittee tasked with updating members on regulatory and business issues that could affect their business sending out eight exclusive and informative publications to members. Notable alerts shared have included themes around the Voluntary Disclosure Programme, the Finance Bill, an EPZ & SEZ regimes analysis, tax changes and a summary of highlights from the contingency planning event in November.
BIK Digital Communications 2021
In addition to the virtual and hybrid networking events as outlined above, BIK engaged with various digital platforms to share information and updates with members, Examples include Member to Member Offers through Email (110 recipients), member promotion via social platforms and the launch of the BIK Resource Hub that features key insight into member activities. The following table provides a summary of BIK digital statistic (excluding email) for 2021:
|PLATFORM||STATISTICS AS AT DEC 2020||STATISTICS AS DEC 8 2021|
|WEBSITE||14,775 unique viewers with a record of 22,294 visits gathered via 437,098 hits for 89,209 page views||13,984 unique viewers with a record of 17,838 visits gathered via 874,886 hits for 591,374 page views|
|Over 2,000 profile visits and a recorded tweet impression of over 190,000 and a total of 1212 followers||Over 9,000 profile visits and recorded tweet impression of over 140,000 with a total of 1300 followers|
|An approximate post impression of over 6,000 and a total 454 page connections||An approximate post impression of over 12,000 with a total of 650 page connections|
|A page reach of over 2500 with a total of 543 connections||a page reach of over 2500 with a total of 547 page connections and 598 followers|
Under the Emigrant Support Programme, BIK has been able to accomplish a number of key objectives and projects planned for the year. Notably, the association has been able to make use of funding received in the fight against COVID-19 through the production of branded face masks that are handed out at each event. In addition to this, the association has been able to cater to key branding costs including use of the BIK website, zoom meeting account for all virtual engagements and marketing materials used throughout the year. Funding has also contributed toward expanding the reach of the network through the European Business Council and their engagement at Lamu port with delegation visit aimed at building connections and seeking opportunities for members. Finally, the funding has been instrumental in contributing to the support of community activities through contributing to an art exhibition led by 7 independent Nairobi – based lady Artists held to highlight and uplift Brighter Communities Worldwide’s work in Kenya to raise awareness and funds for communities hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.