The improved relationship between Kenya and Tanzania seems to be bearing fruits with bilateral trade between the two countries doubling in just ten months, the highest figure recorded since independence.
According to the Economic Survey 2022, by KNBS, Tanzania’s exports to Kenya doubled from $242.6 million in 2020 to $473.9 million in 2021.
The survey attributed the rise to increased imports of maize and rice from Tanzania. KNBS revealed that Kenya opened its market to receive agricultural products from Tanzania amid the pandemic that affected its stock.
Kenya’s maize production dropped from 42.1 million bags in 2020 to 36.7 million in 2021. At the same time, coffee production also dropped to 34,500 tonnes in 2021 from 36,900 tonnes a year earlier. Tea was also noted to have declined.
The economic survey also found that Kenya’s exports to Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo showed a significant rise, jumping from $276.5 million and $124.3 million in 2020 to $396.5 million and $212.2 million. The bureau attributed the increase to the export of cut flowers, tea and coffee to DRC and soap to Tanzania.
Overall, Uganda remained the highest export market for Kenyan goods in 2021, despite trade disputes between Nairobi and Kampala.
According to the survey, the value of exports to Uganda rose from $627.8 million in 2020 to $797.4 million in 2021. KNBS said the growth was on the back of a rise in domestic exports of goods, including cement clinkers, palm oil, and flat-rolled iron products.
Other exports included non-alloy steel and re-exports of machines and tools for drilling, boring sinking, milling, threading or tapping.
However, there was a decline in exports to South Sudan, which dropped by 26 per cent to $148.7 million. The bureau attributed the decline to domestic exports of food supplements and re-export of dried leguminous vegetables.