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S/African firms eye business opportunities in Kenya

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South African companies taking part in the government-sponsored Outward Selling Mission in Kenya have identified business opportunities in the east African country, according to a business delegate with the mission on Thursday.Since arriving in Kenya on Sunday, the delegation of 27 business people has participated in business seminars, business-to-business meetings, as well as a site visit to a company with South African linkages.

AfroBotanics chief executive Ntombenhle Khathwana said she was impressed by the opportunities the Kenyan market offered the mission.

Her firm makes hair and body products from essential oils and natural ingredients, which are sold in 317 South African retail stores.

“I came to Kenya to understand the Kenyan market better, from a regulatory business perspective as well as from a consumer perspective.

“I had already attempted to enter the Kenyan market through Game Stores but the regulatory issues were hindering me. So this trip was a blessing, bringing me here to meet the role players,” an excited Khathwana said.

She said she was aware that Kenya had a fast-growing natural hair movement, where women are opting away from chemically straightening their hair. In this regard, she was impressed by how big the target market was, and how and where they bought their products, she added.

“I was able to successfully unlock the issues preventing my products from entering Kenya through Game Stores, which is already selling my products in five African countries besides South Africa.

“The business-to-business meetings we had assisted me in fast-tracking my ability to [export] products.  AfroBotanics products will most likely be available in the Kenyan market in the next three months,” she enthused.

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