Kenya Turns to Virtual Markets to Boost Exports

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Kenya is now relying on a new e-commerce platform to link exports with the International markets. The Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency (Keproba) has shifted its sights online amid travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Manufacturers, farmers, traders, Small and Medium Enterprises,marketing agencies and international buyers including importers, retailers, agents and wholesalers are set to benefit from the scheme.

Keproba said virtual transactions could help them grow annual exports by about 6.5 percent over the next two years.

Read: How Covid-19 Boosted Online Deliveries and Electronic Money Transactions

“As the future of everything is digital, we want to leverage on technology to ensure that not even distance or time can hinder our exporters from transacting,” Keproba Chief Executive Office, Wilfred Marube, said.

“We’re creating an e-commerce platform that will offer a transactional handshake for online engagement, meetings and exhibitions,” he added.

In October, 36 Kenyan firms sold Sh235.22 million worth of Vegetable and Fruit produce during the MacFrut Digital Trade Fair in Rimini, Italy. The event, which was in collaboration with the International Trade Centre, had been postponed in May during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Read also: Co-op Bank Gives Businesses a Lifeline Through Cashless Transactions During Covid-19 Pandemic

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics reports that in the nine months to September, Kenya’s exports grew by six percent to Sh479.7 billion despite the pandemic.

The high earnings were linked to food and beverage exports,which accounted for 47 percent of the total amount. This was an increase from last year’s figures which were booked at Sh449.6 billion in the same period.

Kenyan traders have also turned to placing online orders for goods from China as the second wave of the pandemic disrupted chances of a return to normalcy.

During the China-Central and East Africa (Kenya) International Trade Digital Expo held this week, Kenyan traders accounted for 43 percent of 13,990 African participants who engaged 1,026 Chinese enterprises that exhibited their products

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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