At the end of September 2022, the United States overtook Uganda to be Kenya’s leading export market.
US ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman accredited the milestone to the ongoing agreement between Kenya and the America under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
According to Whitman, since the implementation of the Act, parallel export to the US increased drastically.
“AGOA has been an amazing success story. Just recently the US was announced as Kenya’s largest export market. We were number two and now we are number one and this is majorly due to AGOA,” she explained.
The duty-free access agreement with Kenya has helped alleviate the unemployment situation in the country.
Uganda had dropped from Ksh36.3 billion to Ksh36.2 billion while the United States jumped up 47 per cent to Ksh38.8 billion.
Speaking to KTN News, Meg added that she looks forward to working with Kenya and increasing trade between the two countries.
Furthermore, she pinpointed the growing young group of Kenyans in several industries.
“I am not a career diplomat I am a career woman. I went to MAS Intimates and met very young Kenyans working at the factory. It was exciting working with the young population. It give you a sense of belonging,” she remarked.
Notably, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), had pleaded with the US government to extend the AGOA agreement.
“With unemployment and under-employment challenges in Kenya at a record high, the contribution of AGOA to creating job opportunities cannot be underestimated,” KAM stated.
Uncertainty looms as the AGOA agreement is set to expire in 2025.