Trade Data Analysis

Kenya: Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile

Kenya: Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile

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Intra-Africa trade profile for 2018

In 2018, 18% of Kenya’s total trade was intra-Africa; 80% of that trade was with EAC, COMESA and IGAD member states. Kenya imported and exported goods to the value of US$2 billion and US$2.1 billion, respectively from and to the rest of Africa. Kenya’s intra-Africa imports accounted for 12% of the country’s total imports, and intra-Africa exports accounted for 35% of total exports for 2018.

  • In 2018, Kenya’s top 10 intra-Africa export products accounted for 40% of the country’s total intra-Africa exports.

  • The main export products are tea (accounting for 11% of intra-Africa exports); medicaments, petroleum oils, flat-rolled iron or non-allow steel, and cigars (each accounting for 4% of intra-Africa exports); palm oil and its fractions (3%); articles for the conveyance or packaging of goods, sugar confectionery, and food preparations (each accounting for 2% of intra-Africa exports).

  • Uganda is the main destination market for Kenya’s intra-Africa exports (29% of Kenya’s intra-Africa exports). Other African destination markets include Tanzania (14%), Egypt (9%), Rwanda (8%), DRC (7%) and Somalia (7%).

  • Kenya’s top 10 intra-Africa import products accounted for 42% intra-Africa imports. The main intra-Africa imports for 2018 were flat-rolled products of iron or non-alloy steel (8% of intra-Africa imports); sugar (7%); maize (6%); dried leguminous vegetables, mixtures of odoriferous substances (additive used in the food and beverage industry), milk and cream or coal (4% each ); semi-finished iron or non-alloy steel (3%); and unmanufactured tobacco and motor cars (2%).

  • South Africa is the main source market for Kenya’s intra-Africa imports (31%). Other main source markets are EAC and COMESA member states including Uganda (24%), Egypt (18%), Tanzania (9%), Eswatini (4%), Zambia and Mauritius (3% each).

Intra-Africa import tariffs

Kenyan imports from the EAC and COMESA countries (except DRC, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Tunisia which are in the process of acceding to the COMESA FTA) enter duty-free. Imports from outside EAC and COMESA are levied the MFN applied duty (i.e. EAC Common External Tariff). However, between 1 July 2018 and 1 July 2019, Kenya was granted exceptions for specific products to the EAC CET.


Kenya: Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile | December 2019
Infographic: Kenya – Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile | December 2019
Kenya: Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile | July 2018
Infographic: Kenya – Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile | July 2018
Kenya: Intra-Africa trade data spreadsheet | July 2018

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