Kenya’s exports to other African countries rose 25 percent year on year in the first half of 2022, as the east African nation stepped up trade in the continent amid disruption caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict in global markets, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) said in a report released Thursday.
The exports increased to 130.05 billion shillings (about 1.09 billion U.S. dollars) in the first half of 2022 from 865 million dollars in a similar period in 2021, the apex bank said.
Most of Kenya’s exports went to South Africa and Tanzania, with shipments to the two nations surpassing those to Uganda, which was the country’s top trading partner for years.
During the period, Kenya exported goods worth 256 million dollars to South Africa, 226 million dollars to Tanzania, and 183 million dollars to Egypt, as well as exported goods worth 142 million dollars to Uganda, according to the CBK.
Kenya’s other top destinations of exports are Zambia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia.
The rise in exports to South Africa and Tanzania follows Kenya’s recent moves to strengthen bilateral ties with the two nations.
President Uhuru Kenyatta in November 2021 toured South Africa for talks with President Cyril Ramaphosa to deepen bilateral relations. Kenyatta and his Tanzanian counterpart Samia Suluhu Hassan in December 2021 signed eight documents to foster trade.
Kenya has also strengthened bilateral ties with Egypt.
Kenya mainly exports tea, coffee, oil (re-exports), animal, and vegetable fats and oils, and manufactured goods to African nations. In 2021, exports to the continent stood at 2.54 billion dollars, according to the central bank.