Kenyan manufacturers to increase production to tap into Africa's free trade deal

Source: Xinhua| 2020-11-16 22:23:57|Editor: huaxia

NAIROBI, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan manufacturers are preparing to increase production in order to tap into African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which kicks off from Jan. 1, 2021, a senior government official said on Monday.

Betty Maina, cabinet secretary, ministry of industrialization, trade, and enterprise development told journalists in Nairobi that Kenya is targeting to supply the continent with goods and services that are currently imported from outside Africa.

"Our manufacturers are preparing to ramp up production in agro-processing industries to take advantage of liberalized trade in Africa," Maina said.

She added that Kenya is prioritizing the African market because it absorbs most of the country's processed exports.

Maina noted that through concentrating on value-added exports, the country will achieve its target of growing the manufacturing sector share of gross domestic product (GDP) to 15 percent from the current 8.4 percent by 2022.

She observed that the east African nation has developed a competitive advantage in the value addition of agricultural produce through the adoption of modern technology.

She revealed that the expanding population in Africa provides Kenya with an opportunity to help the continent bridge its food imports.

According to the ministry of industrialization, Kenya can easily supply its neighbors with processed food products.

"However, sales to countries in west and southern Africa could pose a challenge due to inadequate road and rail infrastructure that is required to make it affordable to take products to consumers," she added.

Maina said that the government is willing to partner with Kenyan-based air cargo operators to enable them expand their footprint across Africa so as to reduce the cost of logistics. Enditem