Kenya secures new tea market in Ghana via AfCFTA

President William Ruto on Thursday flagged off the inaugural consignment of tea to Ghana under the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

Ruto stated that small-scale growers helped actualize Kenya’s tea export position, claiming that they provide 90% of what Kenya sells. According to Ruto, Kenya earned $1.1 billion (KSh 132 billion) from tea exports this year.

‘This gives us a platform for us to be able to realise our dream of taking Africa to its rightful place in matters trade, investment and business,” Ruto said.

Kenya is one of the seven nations selected to participate in the pilot phase of the African Continental Free Trade Area initiative on guided trade. The other African nations selected for the initiative are Egypt, Ghana, Rwanda, Tanzania, Cameroon and Mauritius.

Ruto said the Trade ministry must be prepared to increase the value of tea from 5% to 50% at the minimum in the next five years. This was also seconded by AfCFTA Secretary General Wamkele Mene who said value-added production will create employment opportunities and grow exports under the AfCFTA Guided Trade Initiative and accelerate the region’s global competitiveness.

Ruto also went on to say that there was a need to create a Kenyan brand of tea.

“We must have a Kenyan branded product in tea that we can market, and it doesn’t matter what form it is,” Ruto said.

“Apart from Ghana, we will have the same conversations with Tunisia, Morocco and all other tea importing countries so that we can give them the opportunity to drink the best tea in the world,” he added.

To boost farmers, Ruto said he will work to ensure an adequate supply of fertilizer at a price of Ksh 2,500 to Ksh 3,000.

The AfCFTA is the world’s largest free trade zone, bringing together the 55 African Union (AU) countries and eight (8) Regional Economic Communities (RECs). The AfCFTA’s overarching goal is to create a single continental market with a population of around 1.3 billion people and a combined GDP of approximately US$ 3.4 trillion.

The AfCFTA’s mandate includes removing trade barriers and increasing intra-Africa trade. Its primary goal is to promote commerce in value-added products across the African economy’s whole service sector.

In 2021, Kenya’s exports were valued at USD 1.2 billion and accounted for 14.4% of world exports of tea products. Kenya was ranked the 3rd global exporter of tea.

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