Entrepreneurs Wandia Gichuru and Chebet Mutai to Lead Ruto’s Ksh32 Trillion Pitch to US Investors

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Kenya is gearing up to make a monumental investment pitch totalling $250 billion (approximately Ksh32.56 trillion in the current exchange rate) during President William Ruto’s state visit to the United States, with two entrepreneurs poised to take center stage in showcasing the country’s business acumen and innovation.

Trade and Investments Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Miano announced on Tuesday, May 14, that Wandia Gichuru and Chebet Mutai, founders of Vivo Fashion Group and Wazawazi respectively, will be pivotal in Kenya’s efforts to attract prospective investors during President Ruto’s upcoming visit.

Vivo Fashion Group, a leading retail fashion enterprise in Kenya, is set to mark its entry into the U.S. market this May with the opening of its inaugural store, while Wazawazi, a Denver-based leather bag-making store, is emblematic of Kenya’s prowess in the fashion industry.

The investment push, which will take place during President Ruto’s visit to Atlanta, Georgia from May 19 to May 26, intends to win deals for more than 30 bankable projects, according to Cabinet Secretary Miano.

“Our delegation will showcase over $20.5 billion worth of bankable investment opportunities, spanning sectors aligned with Kenya’s Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA),” stated Miano during a press briefing.

Miano emphasised the strategic importance of promoting Kenyan goods and services to bolster the country’s profile as an attractive destination for foreign direct investments (FDI) from the U.S. She underscored the significance of deepening commercial ties between the two nations.

A photo of US President Joe Biden (left) and President William Ruto (right)


Among the sectors poised to benefit from the investment drive is the textile industry, which Miano described as experiencing an upward trajectory in Kenya. 

Notably, American brands like Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger have been pivotal in creating employment opportunities for Kenyan youths through the Export Processing Zones (EPZ).

“Our textile exports to the U.S. have seen a commendable growth of over 25 per cent from 2021 to 2022, with total exports valued at $679 million last year,” Miano disclosed.

The surge in exports highlights Kenya’s growing prominence as a reliable supplier of textiles and apparel to the U.S. market, a trend that the government aims to capitalise on during President Ruto’s visit.

In addition to the textile industry, Kenya’s investment pitch will encompass diverse sectors including agriculture, manufacturing, infrastructure, and technology. 

The country seeks to leverage its youthful population and vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem to attract foreign investment and drive economic growth.

President Ruto’s visit is expected to strengthen bilateral ties between Kenya and the United States, fostering mutually beneficial partnerships that contribute to job creation, technology transfer, and sustainable development.

Also expected to be on the agenda of discussions between President William Ruto and US President Joe Biden is the unrest and gang violence that has been ongoing in Haiti and Kenya’s intervention. The US is one of the main backers of Kenya’s Mission to Haiti.

Trade CS Rebecca Miano, addressing a gathering at the Amcham Business Summit, in the US April 24.


Ministry of Trade

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