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Kenya: Progress in Strengthening Trade Under the African Continental Free Trade Area

The project in Kenya aims to boost trade facilitation under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). In cooperation with stakeholders from the private and public sector, several activities took place during the past months.

Tea Exports: Sensitisation and Capacity Building to Unlock Full Market Potential

Kenya is one of the leading tea exporting nations[1] in terms of volume. However, the export to other African countries plays only a minor role so far. To provide knowledge on the AfCFTA and its benefits, the Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade) and the German Alliance for Trade Facilitation jointly organized a three-day workshop in Mombasa. More than 40 members of the East African Tea Trade Association (EATTA) deepened their expertise on the opportunities offered by the AfCFTA.

The workshop gave access to general information about the free trade area and demonstrated how to make use of its benefits to expand their exports within the African continent.

Authorised Economic Operators (AEO) Programme: The Framework for Future Inter-Agency Cooperation Is Set

In mid-June 2023, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) held a meeting in Mombasa with representatives of the tax authority’s state agencies to develop the preliminary draft framework for a unified AEO process. Together they have taken an important step to shape the future way of inter-agency cooperation. A unified AEO programme is expected to accelerate the customs clearance and thus bringing great relief to importing and exporting businesses. Furthermore, it will enhance the security of supply chains while enabling customs authorities to work more efficiently. An AEO programme can support the customs officers to focus their limited time resources on high-risk shipments instead of inspecting every single cargo. KRA and the state agencies of the tax authority are therefore pursuing the implementation of the AEO approach with great ambition.

One Stop Border Post in Malaba

The border post in Malaba is the most important in economic terms on the border between Kenya and Uganda. Even though the border facility has been limited to a single customs crossing for several years (following the concept of a One Stop Border Post[2]), delays in border traffic can still result in long waiting times. A joint visit by KRA, the Shippers Council of Eastern Africa and the German Alliance aimed to address and identify concrete hurdles. Moreover, it created a space to discuss practical challenges in the context of AEO with different stakeholders.

The tour of the border facility and conversations with customs officials gave valuable insights into the practical processes at this economically important border post.


[2] A One Stop Border Post follows a coordinated and integrated approach of border management. It minimizes duplications across border through joint inspections and routine activities.