Kenya keen on boosting agricultural exports to Africa under AfCTA

Written By: Christine Muchira/Benson Rioba

Industrialization and Trade Chief Administrative Secretary David Osiany

The government will prioritize export of agricultural products under the African Continental Free Trade Area strategy to create additional markets for small-scale farmers. 

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Addressing the press in Naivasha during the ongoing validation workshop for the AfCFTA strategy, Industrialization and Trade Chief Administrative Secretary David Osiany said the government is planning a national wide sensitization meeting for small scale farmers on the opportunities in the African market.

Trade within the East African Community has been decreasing over the years and now stands at about 660 billion shillings. 

Kenya is seeking to increase its market share in the East Africa region and the African continent through policies that will guide the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area. 

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Among others the strategy will give preference to agricultural exports to ensure small scale farmers access continental markets. 

The African Continental Free Trade Area agreement that came into effect in January 2020 is expected to increase intra African trade and open up countries for more investments.

According to the CAS, the AfCFTA creates a large single market with a population of over 1.2B people and combined GDP of about US$3.4T.

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In 2018 Kenyan exports accounted for 38% to the African market while imports constituted 11.6%.

Osiany emphasised the need for Intra-African trade saying it is crucial for development, economic growth, integration and increased competitiveness of Africa´s industrial products thus boosting employment opportunities.

The Secretary of Trade Bruno Lunyiru said that Kenya started the process of developing its National AfCFTA Implementation Strategy in November 2019 and the draft had been subjected to public participation twice.

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“Under this strategy trade barriers will be removed and this will come in handy for small-scale traders keen to do business with their partners in other countries,” he said.

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Trademark East Africa Regional Director Dr Anthony Mveyange, noted the need to capacity build farmers and traders so they incorporate value addition to their goods for export, for improved business competitiveness in the region.

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