Future prospects

Trading partner for the German agricultural sector

Great potential in the land of green energy

Dr. Antje Eckel travelled to Kenya with the Chancellor's delegation

Important trading partner for the German agricultural sector

Olaf Scholz was accompanied on his trip to East Africa by various business representatives, including three entrepreneurs from the agricultural sector. There are good reasons for this, as Kenya is not only a model country for green energy, which already covers 90 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources, but is also Germany's largest economic partner in East Africa. Two thirds of Kenya's exports come from agriculture. In addition to large parts of the country where only nomadic farming is possible due to the climate, a large proportion of produce is grown for self-sufficiency and export, particularly in the fertile highlands. A very well-organized cooperative system dominates production; vegetable and flower cultivation in particular are well developed, as is the dairy market. The animal feed industry, on the other hand, is currently still very fragmented, but Antje Eckel is certain that this will change in the near future.

“A lot is happening in Kenya right now. Many young people are setting up their own businesses, which is particularly supported by politicians. The aim is to explicitly promote owner-managed companies and avoid the expansion of large corporations. Kenya is very digitalized, agriculture plays an important role for food security and also as a growth market.”

Premiere in the chancellor machine

It was Antje Eckel's first trip as part of a business delegation. “That's something special, after all, it's not every day that you fly on the chancellor's plane. But the trip was also very intensive, we had lots of very good discussions, both on site and during the flight.” Her personal highlight was the reception with President William Ruto. In her speech to the President and the invited guests, Antje Eckel was able to convey the spark of her attachment to Kenya. “The words came from my heart, and you could obviously feel that. So many people came to me afterwards to exchange ideas and network.” So far, Dr. Eckel has no direct business with Kenya. But if Antje Eckel has her way, she doesn't want it to stay that way. “Kenya needs the right business model, then the opportunities are enormous.” She is convinced of this not only by the impressions of her trip and her many years of experience in international agribusiness, but also by her personal background.

“African at heart”

Antje Eckel spent three years in Kenya in her youth, went to school there and still feels a deep connection with the country and its people to this day. “I love the people here, the climate, the diverse beauty of the country from the arid and semi-arid regions to the highlands and the beaches - Kenya has it all.”

Antje Eckel has very fond memories of her time in Kenya. During her trip, she was able to relive memories and acquaintances from back then. “The three years in Kenya definitely left their mark on me,” she says, “more than many other places where I lived for longer. I am very German in many ways, but also a bit African at heart.”

 

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