By: BBC AFRICA
Kenya and the European Union have signed a major economic partnership agreement (EPA) that will guarantee the East African country duty-free and unlimited access for select products into the EU, its biggest export market.
Kenyan President William Ruto and EU Commission chief Ursula Von Der Leyen were at a signing ceremony in Nairobi.
“At the core of this arrangement is our aspiration to put real money into the pockets of ordinary people: farmers, craftsmen and women, fabricators, transporters and various other kinds of workers who contribute to the manufacturing, intercontinental transport and last-mile delivery to consumers of various products that are a subject of the signing of this agreement,” President Ruto said.
Kenya is required to reciprocate by gradually opening its market to EU products.
The EU is Kenya’s leading export destination and second-largest trading partner, totalling about €3.3 ($3.6bn;£2.8bn) of trade in 2022 – an increase of 27% compared to 2018.
Both the EU and Kenyan parliaments will have to ratify the deal to bring it into effect.
The EPA was initially meant for East African Community (EAC) members but all countries in the regional bloc, barring Kenya, abandoned the trade pact in 2014.