Mombasa, 01 April 2021 – Kenya’s Ministry for Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development, in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), reviewed and finalized the country’s African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) National Implementation Strategy, a blueprint to enable the country to tap into the opportunities provided by the agreement.
The finalization of the strategy followed a one-week technical review meeting that brought together trade strategists and economists from the government, development partners, academia and non-state actors.
Kenya is keen to expand its supply capacity and increase its export of goods and services across Africa, and globally in line with its economic transformation policy to expand export capacity, increase jobs and wealth creation opportunities for citizens and promote shared prosperity.
Kenya’s Trade Principal Secretary, Ambassador Johnson Weru, said: now that the strategy is in place, Kenya’s businesses should move into action. At the same time, development partners should offer the needed technical assistance to local manufacturers.
The Kenya AfCFTA strategy identified key products and services as well as markets that Kenya will prioritize as it seeks to boost its exports to the rest of the continent.
Ms Mama Keita, Director of ECA Sub-regional Office for Eastern Africa, said “the strategy
will facilitate effective trade in goods and services; enhance the productive capacity of domestic producers and exporters; and facilitate the inclusiveness of women, youth, persons with disabilities to trade under AfCFTA.”
The start of trading under the AfCFTA agreement kicked off on 1st January 2021. Kenya is one of the 36 countries that have ratified it. The country started developing its national strategy in 2019 with input from stakeholders in the private and public sectors.
Mr Martijn Boelen, European Union (EU) trade counsellor, said the AfCFTA held great promise for Kenya to diversify and amplify its international trade credentials.
“The EU is pleased to support the momentum in rolling out the AfCFTA and will continue to share its experiences in regional integration to support Africa’s transformation,” said Mr Boelen.
TradeMark East Africa’s Research and Learning Director, Mr Anthony Mveyange, said if well-implemented, the strategy would “transform Kenya’s economy into an export-led with a thriving domestic market as well as buttress the country’s position as an ICT hub and regional trade gateway”.
For countries to exploit the potential benefits presented by the AfCFTA, the ECA is supporting Member States to develop their national and regional strategies with the financial support of the European Union.
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Tel: +251 11 551 5826