Building capacity to help Africa trade better

Geek Week: Kenya Association of Manufacturers, 31 October – 2 November 2016


Geek Week: Kenya Association of Manufacturers, 31 October – 2 November 2016

Geek Week: Kenya Association of Manufacturers, 31 October – 2 November 2016

tralac organised a “Geek Week” from Monday, October 31 to Wednesday, November 2, 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya. The three day workshop was held at the request of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) to assist with capacity building within their institution. Some 17 Officers attended the workshop. The tralac team were tralac Associates Dr Henry Mutai (overall coordinator) and Dr Ron Sandrey and John Stuart (the Coordinators).

These tralac workshops are designed to be fully inter-active and have a final objective of participants producing tralac Working Papers or Trade Briefs. tralac sees these “Geek Weeks” as capacity building exercises, and seeks the maximum contribution from participants in a ‘learning by doing’ exercise.

Participants were divided up into four topic teams of their choice. Each group appointed a local team leader to work directly with the tralac coordinator(s) on the papers, and as expected with KAM as the clients these is a strong industrial theme running through these projects. These projects were:

  1. Kenyan Economic and Trade Performance. This topic examined the historical profile and performance of Kenya and its fellow EAC members with a particular objective of examining these performances against the background of some of the successful Asian economies. Consideration was given to some industrial policy strategies to assist Kenyan manufacturing.

  2. Kenyan Industrialisation. This extends the above paper into the concept of industrialization, and looks to where the EAC countries fit into an Asian industrialisation profile. Tralac (John Stuart) has had a couple of recent publications on this topic, and this project introduced participants to this work and extend it

  3. Intra-EAC Trade. This project examined the intra-EAC trade with special focus on the Kenyan perspective. It introduces the recent trade data from the International Trade Commission (ITC) that enables re-exports to be isolated and examined, and shows that these re-exports are an important component of the intra-EAC trade.

  4. The final topic examined the trade implications for Kenyan trade and trade policy following the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the EU (Brexit). It involved looking at Kenyan and EAC trade with the EU and isolating the UK component of this trade to assess possible BREXIT issues. It highlights that there are significant trade negotiating issues ahead as the UK will no longer be a part of the largely-completed EAC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU.


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