Kenya is making a renewed push to deepen its trade ties with Namibia, Rwanda and Zambia after the East African country’s Head of State Uhuru Kenyatta held bilateral talks with the nations’ Presidents this week.
Speaking after his official inauguration on Tuesday, November 28th, 2017, President Kenyatta confirmed his plans to boost inter-regional relations with the three States.
Locally, Kenya has existing trade ties with Tanzania, Uganda, which are major export destinations for the East African nation. Despite its station as a powerhouse in the tea export sector, Kenya could benefit from the development of its other sectors, including its fledgling textile industry.
Kenya’s mainly exports garments to the United States, traded under the terms of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). However, the industry has been facing stiff competition from more experienced Asian markets. As such, the country’s government has been reaching out to partners both foreign and domestic, to help support the sector.
Kenyatta met with Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame to discuss ties within the East African Community (EAC), an intergovernmental organisation composed of six countries in the African Great Lakes region.
Kenyatta’s administration recently confirmed that Kenya and Rwanda are already fast tracking integration within the Community. The two nations have already eased the movement of goods and people within their territories.
Kenya’s government is also planning to boost its trade margins with Zambia. The latter country’s President, Edgar Lungu wants Kenya to support Zambia in developing its horticulture sector.
Namibia’s President Hage Geingob has touted Kenya as a strategic partner and plans to increase trade cooperation between the two countries.
The Presidents were in Kenya this week to witness the swearing-in of Kenyatta, who took an oath of office for his second and term.