Today the USAID Hub and the Kenya Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives joined Kenya’s private sector to review and validate a new Kenya National African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Strategy. Since 2010, Kenya has nearly doubled its exports to the U.S. under AGOA, from $225 million to $389 million in 2016. The new National AGOA Strategy outlines updated priority actions for Kenya to diversify its export portfolio with the goal of doubling the value exports to the U.S. under AGOA by 2025.
The new strategy is the result of a supply-side and end-market analysis provided by the USAID Hub at the invitation of the Government of Kenya. The USAID Hub worked closely with government officials and the private sector to perform its analysis which included a series of stakeholder engagement workshops by sector.
The U.S. Government remains committed to contributing to Kenya’s economic growth. Duty-free access through AGOA supports Kenya’s efforts to bolster industrialization, create jobs and achieve economic prosperity. The apparel sector under AGOA is the largest contributor to job creation in Kenya currently credited with supporting over 200,000 full-time jobs. It is also Kenya’s highest earning sector, accounting for 85% of its $389 million in 2016 AGOA exports.
The USAID Hub is also working with the Kenya Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives on a “East Africa Cotton, Textile and Apparel Workforce Development Initiative,” a collaborative effort with the private sector based on a partnership agreement between the USAID Hub and the American Apparel and Footwear Association. The partnership ensures U.S. brands and retailers’ goods are manufactured in accordance with best-in-class business practices and operations in East Africa, producing a win-win for trading partners. As part of that initiative, in July 2017 the USAID Hub signed a grant with Generation Program Kenya Limited, a local subsidiary of the McKinsey Social Initiative, to create 2,000 full-time jobs and provide over 100,000 hours in skills development for young people in the apparel industry.