Kenya requires 8.7 trillion shillings to develop various sectors that will realize a 25 percent annual export growth by the year 2022 where total exports is expected to surpass imports by 77 billion shillings.
This will be done through aggressive expansion of export markets and diversification of the product base that has muzzled growth.
The targeted sectors to catalyze exports comprise manufacturing, agriculture, handicrafts, mining and petroleum as well as trade services.
Between 2016-2017 Kenya’s exports grew by a paltry 3% to KES 594B while imports surged 20 percent to 1.7 trillion.
This leaves a balance of trade amounting to KES 1.13T. This is blamed on the slim export destinations made up of 13 countries which 70% of total exports.
Similarly, horticulture, tea, clothing and apparel, coffee and tobacco make up 56% of all exports. For a country seeking to increase output in the manufacturing sector to 15% in five years, policymakers say product diversification is a must.
Sectors that could help Kenya grow exports by 25% over the next five years to KES 1.8T are manufacturing, agriculture, handicrafts, mining and petroleum as well as trade , against KES 1.7T in imports.
Financing however remains a challenge as the government urged to set up Export/Import Bank with up to KES 500B in capital to finance exports development while banks increasing lending to KES 1.8T.