KENYA – Kenya’s efforts to enhance its export capabilities have gained momentum with recent investments in Export Processing Zones (EPZs), signaling a significant economic boost.

Over the past six months, the government has gazetted four new private zones, attracting a capital infusion of KES 13.8 billion (US$106.5 million) and creating 3,143 jobs.

Rebecca Miano, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Trade and Industry, highlighted the impact of these developments on the country’s industrial landscape. “These new zones and enterprises mark a pivotal step towards achieving our ambitious investment targets,” she emphasized.

The government aims to attract $10 billion in investments by 2025 and achieve substantial growth in manufacturing.

Miano underscored the strategic importance of industrial parks and economic zones in diversifying exports and bolstering market access for SMEs.

The allocation of KES 4.5 billion (USD34.8 million) for county-level industrial parks and KES 1.9 billion (USD14.6 million) to support SME financing reflects Kenya’s commitment to fostering a robust economic environment.

Kenya’s export sector has shown promising growth, with total merchandise trade reaching KES 3.6 trillion (US$27.8 billion) in 2023, a 7.6% increase from the previous year. Export earnings surged by 15.4%, underlining the country’s expanding role in the global market.

The extension of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) by the US Congress further enhances Kenya’s export prospects, ensuring continued duty-free access to the US market for EPZ firms.

“We are optimistic about leveraging this extended framework to strengthen our trade relations with the US,” Miano affirmed.

In parallel, the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) has announced new fees for phytosanitary services, effective July 15, 2024. These fees aim to streamline inspection processes for agricultural products, impacting both importers and exporters.

Exporters of fresh produce, for instance, will incur charges for phytosanitary certificates and inspections based on weight and specific requirements.

The fee structure will charge 50 cents per kilogram, with a minimum charge set at Ksh100 (USD 0.78) per consignment. Additionally, each phytosanitary certificate will cost Ksh500 (USD 3.88).

Similarly, for importers of agricultural products, KEPHIS mandates a plant import permit and inspection certificate, also priced at 50 cents per kilogram. Additionally, each plant permit will incur an additional fee of Ksh600 (USD 4.65).


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