Kenya in new plan to cash in on Agoa

By: BRIAN NGUGI

Kenya is seeking to boost the capacity of Kenya’s micro, small and medium-sized enterprise players so they can exploit the renewed African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) to increase exports to US markets.

Experts observe that despite the recent Agoa Extension and Enhancement Act of 2015, giving Kenya the opportunity to increase its volume of trade with the US, Kenya has failed to reach its full potential.

In 2013, Kenya exported Sh4.47 billion worth of textiles and apparel, Sh100 million worth of leather, and Sh8.9 billion worth of vegetable and food products to the US market.

“While this is encouraging, it still leaves room for improvement. Kenya plans on increasing the annual exports margins from about $500 million to $1billion by the time the extension is ending,” says Industrialisation and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed.

In line with this efforts, the Industrialisation ministry will next week hold a forum to educate micro, small and medium-sized businesses on the detailed regulations and benefits provided by the Agoa Act

Mr Mohamed said the forum would educate MSMEs on various sectors, including construction, agro-processing exports, home décor, handloom, textiles and apparel, adding that, in particular, leather and fisheries are a few ripe sectors they could capitalize on.

“It’s time for MSMes to leverage on this great opportunity we have as a nation with the AGOA Trade Act renewal. This forum is a crucial step in the process of expanding our export capacity to the USA.

“The invaluable information that will be shared at the forum will give Kenyan MSMEs a platform to actively engage this untapped market,” said the CS.

He said MSMEs, through this renewed Act, have the opportunity to capitalise on the trade in several value chains and take advantage of the opportunities that allow trade of more than 6,300 products duty-free from Kenya to the US.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION