Enterprise Ireland is leading 42 client companies on a five day trade mission to South Africa and Kenya.

This marks the first time that Enterprise Ireland has undertaken a trade mission to Kenya.

The trade mission will focus on strengthening trade links between Ireland and the two African countries and raise awareness of Ireland as a source of world class products, services, and technologies.

The programme will also support participating Irish companies as they enhance their relationships with local partners and customers.

Over 205 Enterprise Ireland supported companies are already active in South Africa and 75 within Kenya, with exports to the two countries growing in the last year.

Enterprise Ireland client companies exported over €113m to South Africa last year, an increase of 12% on 2017. Exports to Kenya were €29m in 2018, up 4% on the previous year.  

"Africa is transforming into a continent of opportunity, which is why the Government is so determined to increase Ireland's exports into the Sub-Saharan Africa region," the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys said. 

"Furthermore, market diversification has never been more important than it is now with Brexit on the horizon," the Minister added. 

In South Africa, opportunities exist across the life sciences, digital technologies, fintech and education sectors. 

South Africa imports over 90% of medical devices and is among the largest medical device market in the MEA region. 

Key industries in Kenya for Irish exporters include agritech and education.

The Kenyan agricultural sector employs 85% of the rural workforce and has continued to grow at almost 5% annually with huge potential for further growth. 

Kevin Sherry, executive director for global business development at Enterprise Ireland, said the 42 Enterprise Ireland supported companies taking part in this Trade Mission span a wide range of sectors, including digital technologies, agri, fintech, education, construction, telecommunications and life sciences. 

"They all have one thing in common - the commitment to provide what are world class solutions to customers and partners in Africa. These companies see Africa as a key element of their current and future export diversification strategy and recognize the substantial opportunity that Africa represents," Mr Sherry added.