Kenya exports tea with 20pc duty cut in AfCFTA deal

President William Ruto flags off value-added tea ghana

President William Ruto flags off value-added tea to Accra, Ghana, during the AFCFTA Guided Trade Initiative at KICC, Nairobi, on October 5, 2022. 

Photo credit: PSCU

Kenya’s debut tea exports to Ghana under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which were flagged off by President William Ruto on October 5, 2022 at the Kenyatta International Convention Center, benefitted from a 20 per cent reduction in import duty unlocked by the new pan-African trading bloc. 

This came up Friday during the opening ceremony of the ongoing tenth council of ministers of the AfCFTA taking place in Accra, Ghana. 

“President William Ruto said to me that all of the tea consignment that is being exported has been produced by small-scale farmers in Kenya and so there is a significant opportunity for small-scale farmers not only in Kenya but all over the African continent to benefit from the AfCFTA”, said Wamkele Mene, the Secretary-General of the AfCFTA Secretariat. 

The flag off of Kenya’s tea exports to Ghana was the second trade consignment Kenya was undertaking under the AfCFTA framework. The first preferential export for Kenya under AfCFTA took place on September 23rd, 2022 comprising exide batteries valued at $77,000 (about Sh9.3 million) imported by Yesudem Company Ltd in Ghana. 

Kenya is among the eight countries that implemented AfCFTA provisions to commence trading under the new trading bloc’s framework. 

“I want to thank those countries that have expressed readiness to start trading under the AfCFTA. Those countries are Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Egypt, Mauritius, Cameroon and Tunisia. More and more state parties are expressing interest as they conclude the process of domesticating the AfCFTA in their law”, Mr Mene said. 

AfCFTA has been billed as one of the interventions geared towards deepening the penetration of pan-African trade. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) places intra-African exports at 16.6 per cent, lagging far behind Europe’s 68.1 per cent and Asia’s 55 per cent. 

The agreement establishing the AfCFTA was signed in Kigali, Rwanda, on March 21, 2018.