- September 20, 2019
- Posted by: Ann Odero
By Linda Chepkwony.
In the 2018 edition of the Global Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum, Kenya was ranked 93rd most competitive nation out of 140 countries. In terms of trade and export, Kenya is part of different trading blocs and has entered into various bilateral and multilateral trade agreements which include AGOA, EAC, COMESA, EU, GSP among others.
These various agreements present different economic opportunities ready for exploitation, especially by the youth. Unfortunately, the opportunities presented in Trade and Export are greatly untapped and underexploited; yet it has the potential to provide decent employment for youth (SGD 11). A very good example is AGOA (Africa Growth and Opportunity Act), currently there are about 6,400 tariff lines to be exported duty free to the United States of America. Kenya is exporting less than 20 products currently major ones being tea, coffee, spices, herbs, textiles and apparels, home decor and crafts which has great potential for growth as there is a huge demand for authentic African products.
Whereas the opportunities are great, the major question that arises from young people is how do we penetrate this export market? The major challenges that young people face is lack of relevant and reliable information on product quality, standards, certification, marketing strategies, branding and packaging of their product and processes from production to export.
This is where organizations like KenTrade comes in. Trade and Export information is now accessible at the click of a button. On their newly launched platform one can now access the A to Z of trade and export in Kenya.
The Infotrade Kenya portal is a trade facilitation platform that has consolidated information on how to export any product from Kenya to the different countries in the world under the various trade agreements. It provides highly detailed information on all the requirements at every stage, institutions involved, cost of the various licenses and certificates, the relevant officer to be approached and most important, the average time period that each step should take.
The setup of this platform is in line with WTO-TFA article 1.2 that obliges governments to be transparent and provide information to businesses online. In this age where young people are connecting with each other across different parts of the globe on various platforms, why not connect through trade and empower themselves economically?
The author is a student at the United States International University-Africa. She is President-Kenya Youths In Trade and Business and CEO-Kyle & Ibraheem Limited. Linda is the winner of Zuri Awards, business category 2019 and Winner of 254 Awards, under the export category.