Kenya now among the top export destinations in Africa, says report

Kenya is the second most preferred export destination in Africa, according to a survey of companies operating on the continent, signaling the country’s growing consumer power driven by rising population and incomes.

The latest Pan-African private sector trade and investment committee (PAFTRAC) report indicated that Africa-based companies exported goods and services to Nigeria at 25.96 percent, Kenya at 23.89 percent followed by South Africa at 22.12 percent.

Kenya’s performance was aided by the improved infrastructure including the standard gauge railway (SGR), which runs from Mombasa to Naivasha.

“The inclusion of South Africa, Ghana, and Kenya among the leading trading nations is partly the result of the role that their international ports play in regional trade,” reads the report.

One of the challenges with the SGR, however, noted by the private sector players surveyed was the railway did not transcend the country’s borders.

“Where new railways are built, it often proves difficult to secure funding for linking transport infrastructure across borders. For instance, Kenya’s new standard gauge railway (SGR) runs between Mombasa and Nairobi but not yet between Nairobi and Kampala,” said the report.

The country has also been importing from other African nations.

Although Kenya is one of the world’s largest horticultural exporters, Nigeria imports flowers from Europe rather than Kenya, making this one of the challenges around intra-African trading.

As of 2021, Kenya’s imports of goods and services were 20.1 percent of its gross domestic product.

“As with exports, the main Anglophone markets are the main source of imports for the companies we surveyed. Kenya performs particularly well, cited by 28 percent of participants, marginally behind South Africa (28.3 percent) in first place,” said the report.

The survey was administered to over 800 respondents, seeking to assess African private sector sentiment regarding the African trade prospects and landscape.

The respondents were surveyed between March and June 2022.

The represented companies had annual revenues of up to $250 million (Sh30.2 billion) and operating in agribusiness, manufacturing, education, and banking among others.

Source: Business Daily Newspaper.

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