Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency (KEPROBA) and the Kenya Trade Network Agency are targeting to increase exports to regional countries through collaboration in various cross-border trade initiatives.
This follows the signing of a 3-year Memorandum of Understanding between KEPROBA and KenTrade which is expected to deepen trade facilitation in the region with the coming into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on 1st January 2021.
According to KEPROBA, the two Agencies will ride on each other’s programs to boost cross-border trade and promote Kenya exports in target markets.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, KEPROBA chief executive Dr. Wilfred Marube said the agency from 2019 has been working on digitizing export procedures and transactions with the aim of making it easier for the buyer and seller to meet.
Creating synergies with KenTrade, he said, will assist in realizing this since KenTrade has a history of connecting buyers and sellers.
“This MOU will address this aspect through the envisioned exporters’ academy which will build the capacity of traders through product development and trade advisories for export ready traders. This will be made possible through the exchange of information between the two agencies,” said Dr. Marube.
He reiterated that the agency is seeking to address how they can facilitate normal Kenyan Traders to reach the global market and become exporters.
KENTRADE CEO Amos Wangora said a priority to the agency is facilitating how fast exports can get to the global market which will give Kenya a competitive edge.
“This will be made possible through simplification of the export process which forms some of the provisions in the MOU,” he added.
The deal covers exchange of Information, capacity building programmes, trade, product development & promotion, product design, development and test marketing in target export markets, branding and communication, and documentation and simplification of commodity procedures.
The collaboration is seen as a game changer in promoting the exports agenda since KenTrade is a trade facilitation institution mandated to manage and operationalize the Kenya National Electronic Single Window System and the facilitation of cross border trade in the Republic of Kenya.
According to official statistics, Africa remains the leading export destination, accounting for 37.6% of the total exports with earnings amounting to KSh 224.2 billion in 2019.
Total exports to East African Community (EAC) expanded by KSh 10.4 billion to KSh 140.4 billion and accounted for 23.5% of the total exports which stood at Kshs. 596.7 billion during the year.
KenTrade’s mandate covers international trade transactions that involves interactions between customs, ports of entry operations, government sanctioned regulatory bodies/Partner Government Agencies and economic operators from the private sector.
KEPROBA’s core mandate on the other hand is to implement export promotion and nation branding initiatives and policies for the promotion of Kenya’s export of goods and services.
KEPROBA thus seeks to ride on linkages and partnerships in fulfilling its mandate nationally, regionally and internationally.
The Agency is also in the process of rolling out an e-commerce platform for exporters that will connect buyers and sellers on the platform and boost Kenya exports.