Browsing: East African Community

Kenya's textile industry

A recent report has revealed that the ban on second-hand clothing, also known as mitumba, might not enhance Kenya’s textile industry as previously anticipated. The report commissioned by the Mitumba Consortium Association of Kenya (MCAS) on the Second-Hand Clothing Industry in the East Africa Community has cautioned against protectionism towards importing second-hand clothing.…

US Dollars
  • Weaker currencies make the fight to tackle inflation harder given Africa’s dependence on imports.
  • According to the IMF, the average depreciation for the region since January 2022 is about eight percent, but events vary by country.
  •  Ghana’s cedi and Sierra Leone’s leone depreciated by over 45 percent. An analysis by The Exchange Africa shows the Kenya shilling has shed about 18.4 per cent since May last year.

Most African currencies have weakened against the US dollar, fanning inflationary pressures across the continent as import prices surge, IMF now says. This, together with a growth slowdown, leaves policymakers with difficult choices as they balance keeping inflation in check with a fragile recovery.

According to the IMF, the average depreciation across Africa since January 2022 is about eight percent though events vary by country. Ghana’s cedi and Sierra Leone’s leone depreciated by more than 45 per cent.

An analysis by The Exchange …

Idorenyin Obong and Femi Aghedo
  • Grey’s expansion in the East African Market follows $2 million seed funding of the West African company.
  • Grey CEO AIdorenyin Obong says the Kenya office will help the firm navigate its planned operations across East African Community. 
  • The company has also privately launched Grey Business, a borderless business banking for startups. 

Nigerian Fintech startup Grey has picked Kenya as its East African hub as it expands operations into the largest economy in the East African Community. The move follows $2 million seed funding the West African company raised as it eyes Uganda and Rwanda in the near future.

Already, the firm’s platform is live in Tanzania and Kenya with over 300,000 users. Grey CEO AIdorenyin Obong says opening offices in Kenya will help the firm navigate the markets in the East African Community. 

“Kenya’s Diaspora remittance is very vibrant as remittance inflows to Kenya have increased tenfold in the last

EAC Secretary General Dr Peter Mathuki.
  • The programme, being implemented with the support of the World Customs Organisation (WCO), is aimed at bolstering the region’s private sector by encouraging participation in both regional and international trade.
  • Intra-regional trade within the East African Community (EAC) is on an upward trajectory, standing at $10.17 billion as of September 2022 while total trade with the rest of the world stood at $62 billion, highlighting a need for further improvement. This represents a 20 percent share of Intra-trade to global trade.
  • The digitisation of the CETs will see the region’s business community — exporters and importers- gain access to trade information from the private sector in international trade.

The East African Community (EAC) secretariat has embarked on the digitising its Common External Tariffs (CET) a move that is billed to encourage the countries’ participation in regional and international trade.

The CET is meant to protect the member countries of the

Kenya and the UK agreed to accelerate work to remove barriers affecting bilateral trade and investment,
  • Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Investment, Trade, and Industry Moses Kuria is leading a high-powered government delegation to London for the Economic Partnership Agreement and Investment meeting.
  • Kenya is leveraging on the talks to intensify pitches to investors.
  • This is in an effort to net at least $10 billion in Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) this year.

Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Investment, Trade, and Industry Moses Kuria is this week leading a high-powered government delegation to London for the Economic Partnership Agreement and Investment meeting, that Kenya seeks to intensify pitches to investors.

The government is aiming to net at least $10 billion in Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) this year in a plan mooted by the Kenya Investment Authority.

The forum is being held through a Ministerial Council meeting on the Economic Partnership Agreement, which was scheduled to kick-off on Tuesday, March 21, 2023 in London.

“The forum will provide a platform …

An overpass road construction of a section of the Nairobi Expressway Project along Mombasa road is complete. The Nairobi Expressway is expected to ease traffic congestion in the Kenyan capital. www.theexchange.africa
For years, the East African Community (EAC) struggled with divisions among member states mainly on key trade agreements slowing down the region from achieving a full working common market.
Countries have been playing protectionism targeted mainly at protecting local industries, with fallouts witnessed among states.
Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania have had their fair share of the trade wars with both tariff and non-tariff barriers affecting regional integration.
Poor infrastructure in some parts of the region has also been affecting easy movement of trade volumes while businesses have suffered lack of enough capital to do trade.
However, recent developments have set the region for growth both on intra-EAC trade, continental trade and of course international trade.
Over the course of 2022, there has been progress on the East African Community’s Common External Tariffs (CETs) which had dragged since 2016.This exposed the region to cheaper imports mainly from China and India, making
The path towards a common currency in the EAC

Should a common currency in the EAC come to fruition, the trade will be fueled by a reduction, albeit limited, in transaction costs, the elimination of exchange rate risk and region-wide price harmonisation – all of which will undoubtedly be underpinned by policy incentives.

  • Monetary Union is the third stage towards EAC regional integration, capped through Political Federation.
  • Considering individual economies are relatively small, currency harmonisation might play a significant role in improving intra-African trade.
  • The IMF, through its chief Christine Lagarde, previously warned the EAC not to rush into a currency union, pointing to the issues faced in Europe.

Interest in regional integration, including monetary, in Africa has remained intense over the decades since independence. Consequently, various regional groupings have been formed. Those initiatives were stimulated by the generally small size of individual economies. This led to a desire to promote economies of scale in production and distribution. A…

African Trade

The rising commodity prices, surging inflationary pressures, and the contracting global financial situation have risked African trade and production capabilities. Moreover, the rising threat of sovereign defaults poses a severe risk to the growth of African trade. Thus, African trade prospects remain unclear, considering the challenging global economic scenario.

The Covid-19, energy and food shortages have hit with the countries having minimal or no policy space to respond. As a result, African countries have fallen into a real risk of debt distress and even possibilities for sovereign debt default.…

KAM: Spare Kenyans pain of inflation adjustment www.theexchange.africa

Regressive taxation, bureaucracy, and the expense of regulatory compliance are cited in the Plan as the main obstacles to rescuing Kenya from the “economic hole” it is now in.

Examining and streamlining all business licences is the first step in the economic reform process, intending to cap overall licencing expenses at 1.5% of turnover fees.

As correctly stated in the Plan, passing an administrative burden law resembling the Reduction of Paperwork Act in the United States of America will guarantee that no company spends more than four person-hours per month on tax and regulatory compliance.

The ease and cost of conducting business in Kenya have remained critical barriers to the country’s economic growth.…

sugar

There are increasingly more and more ‘outbreaks’ of non-communicable diseases in Africa and more so in sub-Saharan Africa.

These lifestyle ailments are ironically a symbol of increasing income among the population. As more and more African countries rise from low-income to middle-income status, statistics show a correlation with the rising number of people suffering from non-communicable diseases.

The reason is simple; when you rise in income, people do not increase their eating of the vitamin-rich greens they used to eat when they could not afford unhealthy but yet prestigious red meat; no, they change their diet to gabble up the ‘rich man’ foods, unwittingly damaging their health.

A local paper puts it into perspective; ‘People’s eating habits are shifting from food rich in starchy staples, vegetables and fruits to a more westernized diet high in sugar, saturated fats and oils’ the recipe for non-communicable diseases.

The troubling fact is that …