Kenya targets Africa market to increase exports :: Kenya

EPC Chief Executive Officer Peter Biwott

Export Promotion Council (EPC) has completed surveys in five African countries as Kenya eyes increasing exports into the continent.

EPC, which is tasked with developing and promoting export trade, said it has been studying Nigeria, Ghana, South Sudan and Angola, which are now earmarked as having a potential market for Kenyan products.

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Apart from exports to Uganda, Tanzania and Egypt, Kenya has not in the past been involved in vibrant export attempt, but this is expected to change according to EPC Chief Executive Officer Peter Biwott. He said there are efforts to turn the continent to be one of the biggest markets for Kenyan exporters.

Biwot said as part of their mandate of identifying emerging demand and consumer preferences in new and existing markets they had completed surveys of doing business in five African countries.

“We have collected in-depth information on markets needed to guide bilateral, regional and multilateral policy discussions, we have completed surveys in Nigeria, southern Sudan, Ghana and Angola,” said Biwot.

Kenyan manufacturing sector has on average been growing at 11 per cent over the last decade according to Kenya’s Industrial Transformation programme (KITP). But Biwot says Kenya’s bid to grow manufacturing sector’s contribution to economy from nine per cent to 15 per cent will transform Kenya and accelerate the pace towards realisation of higher middle income status in a shorter time.

“The growth is buoyed by the country’s transformation in infrastructure, electricity distribution and ease of doing business among others, exports for the products will however be very pivotal, and we are enhancing this,” he said.

Spurring manufacturing locally, the EPC boss said, presents an opportunity both to develop the domestic as well as the global market.

In 2017, Kenya’s World Market Share stands at 0.006 per cent with estimated population of 49 million. “This means that consumers out of Kenyan borders amount to 99.9 per cent which is a significant number,” he said.

Biwot said that the importance of exports in the economy was the increase in foreign earnings that would strengthen and expand exporting firms and thus grow the economy by creating many high valued jobs and wealth for Kenyans.

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“We are able to achieve President Kenyatta’s target to create over 1.3 million jobs easily through manufacturing and access to key strategic markets such as Africa continent in addition to our traditional markets in Asia, Europe and the United States,” Biwot said.

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