AGOA week in Kenya

The 8th AGOA forum is to be held this week in Nairobi.

Ugandan insomniac posted some charts on AGOA’s impact in East Africa and the outlook is bleak. CNBC’s East Africa show over the weekend reported that of the 6,400 products that are eligible under AGOA, Kenya exports just 20. The conference comes just a few weeks after Delta Airlines maiden flight to Nairobi was canceled at the last minute and even Businessman Chris Kirubi was on KTN a few days ago lamenting the obsession with a faraway US market, instead of building regional trade links trade within Africa especially to South Africa.

So there will be a high powered delegation in Nairobi this week, led by Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, with 300 business leaders in tow. We wait and see what impact they will have and I hope Hilary Clinton gets to see Kenya, unlike when her predecessor when Condi Rice came to Kenya last year, and never ventured outside her security/US Embassy cocoon. The 300 business people should mix and mingle with some local SME and business leaders outside the conference.

Here are the official Kenya and US sites for the AGOA forum

other non-related AGOA opportunities include

One Africa Award: The OneAfrica Award celebrates individual or organizations s that are succeeding in helping African countries achieve millennium development goals. Closing deadline is August 21, and the prize is $100,000

Maker Faire Africa conference is about to kick off in Ghana where the GO Ingenuity Award will also be launched.

UN Photo: There is s a UN photo contest for Africa.

10 thoughts on “AGOA week in Kenya

  1. KW

    I spent sometime this past week looking for information on how exactly to go about certifying exports so they qualify for AGOA benefits…was given the runaround. EPC -> KRA -> KAM -> KRA. There does not seem to be one central point/person who can give all relevant information about requirements and procedures in a straightforward and simplified format. Kenya needs to get that in place even as we push for businesses to start taking advantage of AGOA (I think).

    On a more encouraging note; nice to see Kenya with a significantly better designed website than US one.

  2. kachwanya

    Chris Kirubi is very right, i think he made the same point sometime back in South Africa during Africa Economic Forum, we want the rich nations to open their market for Africa while we can’t open our markets for each other. The biggest Kenyan trading partner is Uganda, not US, not UK and definitely not Japan. A fact that should demonstrate the benefits of inter-trade between African countries. Agoa is a good idea and should not just be dismissed or discarded. Actually it is a pity that people are not taking advantage of the opportunity. But at the same time an equal amount of effort should be put in place in looking for ways of increasing the volume of trade between Kenya and other African countries.

  3. propaganda

    Tanzania wamekataa kata kata kupanua. Wanaona tunaushawishi mbaya kwa kutaka kujinufaisha kwa soko lao la watu milioni arobaini. Sio hoja.

    KW, on Agoa, I’d suggest talking to the US embassy trade desk, the Trade and Industry ministry and/or the EPZ authority… while it is still there.

  4. me888

    Hi all – Considering this event, I was wondering if anyone knew where you can trade USD/KES. Does anyone know of a FOREX broker that handles trades with the pair?

    I’m having difficulty finding one that does.


  5. coldtusker

    Condi came for a reason… and it was not sight-seeing… Where would she have gone anyway (without massive protection)?

    I have argued in my blog that our neighbours are (& shud) be our most important partners… After Uganda produces its won oil… Kenya’s importance to them will drop like a rock UNLESS we can export more to them. Kampala-Tanga is only 600 kms longer than Msa-Kampala.

  6. bankelele

    KW: I know about EU restrictions or food and flowers, I’m sure there are similar measures that companies must take to export to the US under AGOA. Will try and find more

    Kachwanya: he’s right on this and regional opportunities. But if delta begins direct flights then small exporters could have an easy entry point

    Propaganda: wacha ni fanye uchunguzi kidogo kuhusu Tanzania na AGOA

    Me888: large commercial banks do that in Nairobi

    Coldtusker: Condi could have gone IDP
    – M7 must be rubbing his hands waiting for Kenya to come and kiss up when the oil starts flowing

  7. Grains of masala

    @ Bankelele..Thanks for watching east Africa Business Report. On the issue of why trade with the US when we can trade with our neighbors. We as east Africans basically sprout from the same shoot, as much as Uganda for instance could be among our biggest trading partners, we have a lot of products in common, and some that will have a higher value if exported to the US.

    There is nothing wrong with a market as large as over 300 mill people. Issues between US & the 39 sub Saharan countries under AGOA have transportation & stringent import laws from the US as some of the biggest challenges.

    Here I think, the question would be..What’s the value at the end of trade? EPZ, for instance. Clothing & apparels have seen companies there grow from 17 to over 80 in a couple of years, re exporting to the AGOA Market.

    The neighboring markets can’t fully satiate the potential of entrepreneurs under the right investment conditions.

    Sorry for blogging herein, but I am not entirely with Kirubi on this one. AGOA does not mean trade between our neighbors’ stops. but remember it also raises the quality standards of our products by virtue of competing with developed countries. My take: I think we ought to look at the bigger picture.

  8. madsvibe

    And thanks for watching that interview with Kirubi on KTN Sunrise Live the other day. He made some very valid points there. Speaking earlier today to AU deputy chair Erastus Mwencha he actually wants it reviewed.

    But our competitiveness, lack thereof, is something only we can deal with. Both Kibaki and Raila also did make their appeals for the US to open up more, and for a more diversified product range to enter the market under AGOA.

  9. Anonymous


    A foreigner will win the UN’s “Africa Photo Contest” which shall be judged by a panel of foreigners based on a scorecard of prejudices and labels.

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