Kenyan exports to the bloc jump $ 160 million, but Uganda remains the front runner


By Albert Mwazighe

Kenya‘s exports to the East African Community rose from Ksh 140.4 billion (US $ 1.28 billion) in 2019 to Ksh 158.3 billion (US $ 1.44 billion) in 2020. This was 64.3 percent of the country’s total exports to Africa, data from the Kenya National Bureau‘s Economic Statistics Survey 2021 shows.

Uganda was the largest export destination for Kenyan goods, accounting for 29.3 percent of total exports to Africa. South Sudan’s export revenue nearly doubled from Ksh 12.6 billion (US $ 114.6 million) in 2019 to Ksh 23.2 billion (US $ 211.1 million) in 2020, while exports to Rwanda rose 8.8 percent.

Combined exports to Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan totaled Ksh 120.6 billion (US $ 1.09 billion) in 2020, up 20.8 percent from Ksh 99.9 billion (US $ 909 million). US dollars) in 2019. Trade with Ethiopia and Sudan also increased significantly, up 32.4 percent and 42 percent in 2020, respectively, to bring Kenya’s export revenues from the two countries to 17.7 billion Ksh (161 million US dollars) bring.

Kenya’s export revenue from the EAC increased 12.7 percent to Ksh 158.3 billion ($ 1.44 billion) in 2020 from Ksh 140.4 billion ($ 1.28 billion) in 2019. Growth was despite a 0.2 decline in real GDP in the East African Community. recorded percent in 2020 compared to a growth of 6.2 percent in 2019.

Contribution of the pandemic

“Covid-19 affected the EAC in many ways, be it a negative impact on tourism revenues, falling commodity prices and declining financial flows, which worsened household and current account balances. In addition, interruptions in the supply chains had an impact on food production and trade in the region, ”the survey said.


Inflation rose from four percent in 2019 to 4.5 percent in 2020, in part due to currency depreciation and the rise in imported food prices. The current account deficit widened from 5.2 percent in 2019 to 5.7 percent in 2020, partly due to low export demand and the decline in remittances.

Tanzania’s real GDP grew 1 percent in 2020, which was much slower compared to 7 percent in 2019. Rwanda’s economy contracted 0.2 percent in 2020, down from 9.4 percent in 2019, while Uganda’s economy is estimated to have contracted 2.1 percent in 2020 after growing 6.7 percent in 2019. Uganda’s inflation rate was 3.8 percent in 2020, compared to 2.9 percent in 2019.

Kenya’s exports to Africa rose 9.8 percent to Ksh 246.1 billion ($ 2.24 billion) from Ksh 224.2 billion ($ 2.04 billion) in 2019.

But while trade with its East African counterparts and the rest of Africa grew significantly in 2020 despite Covid-19 restrictions, the same couldn’t be said of Kenya’s trade with other parts of the world.

The value of exports to America, for example, fell from Ksh 56.1 billion (US $ 510.7 million) in 2019 to Ksh 52.3 billion (US $ 475.7 million) in 2020. Specifically, export revenues decreased in the US from Ksh 51.9 billion ($ 472 million) in 2019 to Ksh 49.4 billion ($ 449 million) in 2020.

The total value of exports to Asia increased only slightly from Ksh 156 billion ($ 1.4 billion) in 2019 to Ksh 157.6 billion ($ 1.43 billion) in 2020.


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