While U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was visiting Kenya last week, a low-key B2B trade show was taking place nearby in Nairobi’s Sarit Exposition Centre. It would probably have been worthwhile for the Secretary and his entourage to check it out.
It shows the diversification of China’s economic engagement in Kenya, and elsewhere in Africa, beyond just the large state-owned enterprises that have long dominated the narrative. Instead, this event was organized by the somewhat obscure northern Chinese province of Shandong. It is hoping to open new markets in Africa for local companies that specialize in transportation, chemical products, construction equipment, and medical technology among other sectors.
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