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Kenya aims to boost exports under AGOA
Nov '15
Despite Kenya being the leading exporter to the US under the African Growth Opportunity Act, AGOA, accounting for 59 per cent of exports, most SMEs are not fully utilizing the preferential trade deal due to limited access to information, the state-run Kenya Broadcasting Corporation has said in a report.

Industrialization Principal Secretary Dr. Wilson Songa says capacity building will see Kenya boost the number of products currently being exported to the US as the ministry works to establish the Micro and Small Enterprise Authority as an independent body to aid SMEs.

Data from the US government indicates that in 2013, out of $57 billion worth of goods exported to the US by African countries under AGOA, Kenya was the top exporter with 59 per cent of the goods.

Mauritius came second at 33 per cent, Ethiopia had 6 per cent and Tanzania exported 2 per cent of the products.

Following the 10 year extension of the preferential trade agreement, the Kenyan government has embarked on a roadmap to push the value of exports from Kenya to the US and regional economies to 100 billion shillings in the next two years through investments in the value chain for key products.

Surveys have shown that the Micro and Small Medium Enterprises do not have sufficient information on what can be exported, thus the low number of exported goods which are less than 100 against a sanctioned maximum of 6,300.

Dr Songa said that besides capacity building, in the next one year, the Micro and Small Enterprise Authority currently under the ministry is set to become autonomous body, to facilitate SMEs in utilizing the trade deal as well as a fund from which they can access capital to expand their businesses.

Textiles and apparel still remain Kenya's leading exports at 45 billion shillings. Leather exports of 100 million shillings while food products exports of 8.9 billion shillings have helped create 40,000 jobs in the country. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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