The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Hub in east Africa and the Kenyan ministry of industry, trade and cooperatives recently joined Kenya’s private sector to review and validate a new Kenya National African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) strategy that aims to double its 2016 figure of exports to the United States by 2025.
Kenya nearly doubled its exports to the United States under AGOA from $225 million in 2010 to $389 million in 2016. Apparel is mainly exported under AGOA. The new national AGOA strategy outlines updated priority actions for Kenya to diversify its export portfolio, according to an USAID press release.
The new strategy is the result of a supply-side and end-market analysis provided by the USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub at the invitation of the Kenyan Government. The apparel sector under AGOA is the largest contributor to job creation in Kenya currently credited with supporting over 200,000 full-time jobs. It is also Kenya’s highest earning sector, accounting for 85 per cent of its $389 million in 2016 AGOA exports.
The USAID Hub is also working with the Kenyan ministry on a ‘East Africa Cotton, Textile and Apparel Workforce Development Initiative’, a collaborative effort with the private sector based on a partnership agreement between the Hub and the American Apparel and Footwear Association. The partnership ensures US brands and retailers’ goods are manufactured in accordance with best business practices and operations in East Africa, producing a win-win for trading partners.