The 2020 AGM was conducted virtually on Friday, 4th December 2020. The event was hosted via Zoom meetings and there were approximately 45 guests in attendance. The session ran from 11.00 am to 12.15 pm with all who had registered having received the meeting link and relevant documents ahead of the session. A copy of the registration sheet is attached as an annex.
- Welcome by Darren Gillen – Chair, Business Ireland Kenya
- Remarks by H.E Ambassador Fionnuala Quinlan – Embassy of Ireland, Kenya.
- Security briefing – Declan Galvin, Head of Insight, Information, & Intelligence (3i), Warrior Insight
- AGM Elements:
- Review of BIK activities in 2020 by Kathleen Vaughan – Secretary, Business Ireland Kenya
- Presentation of BIK accounts by Michael Murphy – Treasurer, Business Ireland Kenya
- Election of Office Bearers 2021 presided over by Mike Craig – Steering Committee Member, Business Ireland Kenya
- Membership presentation by Joy Gitaka – Coordinator, Business Ireland Kenya
- AOB and Closing remarks by Darren Gillen – Chair, of Business Ireland Kenya
Minute 1: Welcome by Darren Gillen – Chair, Business Ireland Kenya
The BIK Chair, Mr. Darren Gillen, welcomed members to the 5th end-of-year BIK Annual General Meeting. He thanked everyone for their attendance and support throughout the year. It was noted that some members had unfortunately closed their operations as a result of the economic downturn and expressed solidarity and support for all members affected by the effects of COVID-19.
He shared that the hope for 2021 was the return of in person events and a regular BIK program to allow for members to engage more. It was also noted that despite the difficult year, companies had still expressed interest in partnerships and investment in Kenya with an aim to explore this in the new year.
Mr. Gillen gave brief announcements on the AGM agenda and introduced H.E Ambassador Fionnuala Quinlan for her remarks.
Minute 2: Remarks by H.E Ambassador Fionnuala Quinlan – Embassy of Ireland, Kenya
Ambassador Quinlan shared that she was delighted to be attending the 2020 AGM noting that BIK had been innovative throughout the year in planning and hosting virtual engagements. She thanked the Steering Committee and Secretariat for their leadership noting BIK’s efforts to pivot and adjust in response to the effects of COVID-19.
Amb. Quinlan shared that the pandemic had created far-reaching effects with significant impact on the global economy, livelihoods, communities and families. She communicated that Kenya had been greatly affected with reports of rising unemployment, increase in inflation, decline in multiple economic sectors but noted that though the country’s economic growth had been revised down from 5% there was hope for projected growth next year. It was communicated that the Irish economy had been projected to contract by almost 2.5% with the government introducing support measures for businesses and entrepreneurs. In addition to dealing with COVID, Ireland was also prioritizing the negotiation of the Brexit deal which would have substantial and long-lasting effects on trade.
She commended Kenya’s resilience in facing the pandemic and gave a brief update on the Embassy’s main activities for 2020 including strategic partnerships with TradeMark East Africa to enhance trade in the region and with KEPSA to host workshop sessions for SMEs to assist them in mitigating the impact of COVID. With Ireland set to join the United Nations Security Council, the Embassy was also focused on working to analyze the crisis in the Horn of Africa and its wider implications with keen interest in preventing conflict, building peace and ensuring accountability as well as monitoring political temperatures in the region.
Amb Quinlan concluded by highlighting notable Virtual Business Hour sessions hosted in 2020 and shared enthusiasm for continued partnership between BIK and the Embassy.
Minute 3: Security briefing – Declan Galvin, Head of Insight, Information, & Intelligence (3i), Warrior Insight
Mr. Galvin shared a brief presentation on security trends for the holiday season and the ways to respond to this. Key points to note included a projected rise in road traffic accidents and crime accompanied with slowed police response time and recommendation to keep lines of communication open, cutting down night travel, avoiding loitering and sparsely crowded areas.
He shared some notable security incidents highlighting that there was a 25% drop in crime in comparison with October influenced by the country’s COVID restrictions. It was also emphasized that 8% of reported robberies had resulted in fatalities and he called for members to practice caution but most importantly to comply with assailant demands if a victim of crime.
It was emphasized that the projected rise in crime was also expected at the Coast with increased police patrols to counter the cases. He shared that those planning to take holidays would need to stay aware of their surroundings and practice the tips shared.
Minute 4: Review of BIK activities in 2020 by Kathleen Vaughan – Secretary, Business Ireland Kenya
The BIK Secretary, Ms Kathleen Vaughan, presented the Business Ireland Kenya Association annual general report for the year ended. Ms. Vaughan shared key highlights from the year noting that BIK had seen an increase in membership, hosted a successful in person breakfast and stakeholder engagement event at the beginning of the year, convened 12 Virtual Business Hour sessions, held two virtual socials, explored partnership with multiple stakeholders, implemented various marketing initiatives, enhanced digital channels, strengthened the secretariat and more.
She concluded by sharing that BIK hopes to continue engagement with members, building connection with key publics and growing the association.
Minute 5: Presentation of BIK accounts by Michael Murphy – Treasurer, Business Ireland Kenya
The BIK Treasurer, Mr. Michael Murphy, presented the audited summary of accounts for the first ten months of the year. He gave insight into key income attributed to subscriptions from membership and major expenses linked to administrative costs, marketing and events hosted in the year. He encouraged members to renew their 2021 membership with hopes to have the association improve its financial standing and become self-funding.
The full audit will be finalised post-AGM (to reflect any outstanding income and expenditure) and will be audited at year-end.
Minute 6: Election of Office Bearers 2021 presided over by Mike Craig – Steering Committee Member, Business Ireland Kenya
This segment of the AGM was presided over by Mr. Mike Craig. It was noted that Mr. Darren Gillen’s tenure had come to an end after a two-year term but a successor had not been identified and he had kindly agreed to stay on for an additional 6 – month period to allow for the Steering Committee to make suitable nominations. No objections were raised to this proposal with members sharing their unanimous support via the chat function; Mr. Gillen was then nominated by Amb. Fionnuala Quinlan and proposed by Mr. Lau Larsen.
In regard to additional committee announcements, it was noted that BIK Secretary Ms. Kathleen Vaughan’s two-year term had been completed and she would be stepping down from the Steering Committee in 2021. It was shared that Mr. Stephen Fagan would officially take over from Amb. Quinlan as Co – Chair in 2021. Finally, it was communicated that a new member would be joining the Committee next year, Ms. Enid Otieno was nominated by Mr. Lau Larsen and seconded by Mr. Michael Murphy.
The other members of the committee from the year retained their seats in the Steering Committee with plans to finalize all changes at the first Steering Committee meeting of 2021
Members were encouraged to send in their applications to join the Steering Committee for consideration.
Minute 7: Membership presentation by Joy Gitaka – Coordinator, Business Ireland Kenya
Ms. Gitaka shared an overview of the year highlighting key engagements as well as thanking both individual and corporate members for their participation, support and feedback. She shared information on the Early Bird Offer running until the end of January 2021 and gave insight into the calendar of events for the next year.
She concluded by encouraging members to renew their subscriptions and join the association to benefit from the plans for the year.
Minute 8: AOB and Closing remarks by Darren Gillen – Chair, of Business Ireland Kenya
Mr. Gillen opened the floor for an opportunity to allow members to share their feedback or any comments from the year. Members gave feedback on the impact COVID – 19 had on their businesses noting that it had been challenging to keep operations going however, companies had implemented new strategies to stay afloat and all communicated hope for an improved outlook in 2021. Members were encouraged to plan against potential risk and explore formation of partnerships to orient businesses in order to navigate different elements expected in the new year.
Mr. Gillen appreciated all members in attendance, speakers from the meeting and took the time to personally thank each member of the Steering Committee who volunteer to offer their support and leadership throughout the year including Mr. Quentin Rukingama, Ms. Rachael Ngindu who had stepped down from their roles in the year. Special thanks was given to Ms. Kathleen Vaughan for her excellent work as the Secretary of BIK over her tenure as she moved to step down from the role in the new year.
He concluded the meeting by thanking Amb. Quinlan and the Embassy for their collaboration with BIK and shared support for upcoming initiatives being spearheaded including the UNSC. He shared upcoming events including the Young Scientist’s Kenya National Exhibition from 8th – 11th December and asked members to mark their calendars for a European Business Council event in January.
The meeting concluded at 12.15 pm and he wished all members a happy holiday season.
Friday, 4th December