TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Country Info: Kenya

Economic Background

Kenya, a leading developing country in East Africa, has been a significant beneficiary under AGOA and is one of the leading apparel exporters to the US in sub-Saharan Africa.  

Kenya has been hampered by corruption and by reliance upon several primary goods whose prices have remained low. Low infrastructure investment threatens Kenya's long-term position as the largest East African economy. In the key December 2002 elections, Daniel MOI's 24-year-old reign ended, and a new opposition government took on the formidable economic problems facing the nation. After some early progress in rooting out corruption and encouraging donor support, the Kibaki government was rocked by high-level graft scandals in 2005 and 2006.

In 2006, the World Bank and IMF delayed loans pending action by the government on corruption. The international financial institutions and donors have since resumed lending, despite little action on the government's part to deal with corruption. Unemployment is very high.

The country has experienced chronic budget deficits, inflationary pressures, and sharp currency depreciation - as a result of high food and fuel import prices. The discovery of oil in March 2012 provides an opportunity for Kenya to balance its growing trade deficit if the deposits are found to be commercially viable and Kenya is able to develop a port and pipeline to export its oil. (Source: World Factbook, 2013)

Selection of document downloads

Brochure - AGOA performance and country profile of Kenya

Brochure - AGOA performance and country profile of Kenya

An overview of Kenya's participation and utilisation of AGOA preferences since 2000, including relevant trade data and sector-focus.  Double-sided A4 brochure. For printing purposes, set 'fit to page' on your printer. [UPDATED MARCH 2019]

Author Eckart Naumann
Organisation Trade Law Centre (tralac)
Publication Date 21 December 2018
View the document D Size: 5 MB
Kenya - National AGOA Strategy 2018-2023

Kenya - National AGOA Strategy 2018-2023

Prepared by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives with support from the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) East Africa Trade and Investment Hub. The Kenya National African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Strategy and Action Plan (2018 – 2023) provides strategies and actions for increasing exports to the United States (U.S.) informed by an analysis of identified priority sectors. The overall approach...

Author Kenya Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives
Publication Date 30 July 2018
View the document D Size: 6 MB
AGOA 101 Kenya - Exporter Guide 2018

AGOA 101 Kenya - Exporter Guide 2018

The USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub helps East African businesses take advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). AGOA allows for duty-free export of over 6,000 products. This guide outlines the step-by-step process that Kenyan businesses should take to export to the United States of America (U.S.A.) duty-free through AGOA and gives a general overview for the export of all AGOA products from Kenya. It...

Author EA Trade Hub - USAID - Kenya MITC
Organisation USAID
Publication Date 08 June 2018
View the document D Size: 3 MB
US end-market analysis for Kenyan textiles and apparel

US end-market analysis for Kenyan textiles and apparel

The apparel market in the United States (U.S.) is the largest in the world with a market value of $343 billion. In 2016, the U.S. imported apparel worth $105 billion, up from $88 billion in 2015 and $82 billion in 2014.1 U.S. consumers spent $312 billion on apparel. Ten countries account for almost 80 percent of all U.S. apparel imports with China topping the list with a 30 percent share. While Kenya does not yet stand among these countries,...

Author East Africa Trade and Investment Hub
Organisation USAID
Publication Date 07 December 2017
View the document D Size: 2 MB
US end-market analysis for Kenyan cut flowers

US end-market analysis for Kenyan cut flowers

Cut flowers are a major export industry in Kenya. Kenya presently ranks first among world exporters of roses to the European Union (EU), with a market share of 38 percent. However, the country has not yet made as deep of inroads into the cut flower market in the United States (U.S.). Kenyan cut flower exports to the U.S. have grown since 2010, but the country’s market share remains small, standing at 1 percent. This report analyzes emerging...

Author East Africa Trade and Investment Hub
Organisation USAID
Publication Date 07 December 2017
View the document D Size: 2 MB
US end-market analysis for Kenyan home decor and fashion accessories

US end-market analysis for Kenyan home decor and fashion accessories

This report provides market data at a product level for use by Kenyan exporters interested in the United States (U.S.) market and to support the National African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Strategy and Action Plan for Kenya. The home décor and fashion accessories sector has the capacity to further the goals of increasing women and youth participation in manufacturing by providing greater access to economic opportunities. In 2016, the...

Author East African Trade and Investment Hub
Organisation USAID
Publication Date 07 December 2017
View the document D Size: 973 KB
US end-market analysis for Kenyan speciality coffee

US end-market analysis for Kenyan speciality coffee

The United States of America (U.S.) is the largest market for coffee in the world. Within the U.S. coffee sector, the specialty coffee industry imports almost 750 million kilograms (kg) of green, specialty-grade coffee from around the world each year, often paying double the commodity price. Specialty-grade coffees are identified by their high-quality, unique taste characteristics and countries of origin. They are roasted by one of 1,400 U.S....

Author East Africa Trade and Investment Hub
Organisation USAID
Publication Date 06 December 2017
View the document D Size: 826 KB
US end-market analysis for Kenyan tea

US end-market analysis for Kenyan tea

The tea market in the United States (U.S.) is growing, with Americans consuming larger quantities of tea each year. In 2016, the U.S. imported nearly $760 million in tea (excluding herbal tea), making it the world’s third largest tea importer.1 According to the Tea Association of the USA, the sector projects compound annual growth rates of 3 to 5 percent over the coming years. This has been driven by an increase in volume, but especially...

Author East Africa Trade and Investment Hub
Organisation USAID
Publication Date 07 December 2017
View the document D Size: 1 MB
Kenya - National AGOA Strategy 2012 (new version below)

Kenya - National AGOA Strategy 2012 (new version below)

The preferential market access granted to Kenya and other African countries through the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) has played a critical role in spurring Kenya’s exports with the US. This has been most dramatic in the case of the textiles and apparel sector, which grew at 44% a year in the few years after AGOA’s passage. In effect, AGOA has created an apparel industry in Kenya on a scale that the country would unlikely have...

Organisation USAID / Chemonics International
Publication Date 28 June 2012
View the document D Size: 1 MB

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