Kenya and the European Union have signed a trade deal which, once ratified, will give Kenya tariff-free access to the EU market.
This should mean that Kenyan goods would be cheaper for European consumers, which could increase exports and create more jobs in Kenya.
The deal is expected to enhance Kenya’s economic development, with President William Ruto saying it “will stimulate Kenya’s manufacturing and export of finished, value-added products out of Kenya”.
Trade Minister Moses Kuria termed it a “proud moment” for the country, after signing the EU-Kenya Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis.
The EU is one of Kenya’s biggest markets and sells about one-fifth of all its exports there – these are made up of mostly agricultural products including vegetables, cut flowers, tea and coffee.
Kenya is also expected to gradually lower barriers to EU products.
An EU statement noted that this was a balanced agreement, as it considers “Kenya’s development needs by allowing it a longer period to gradually open its market”.