DRC now Kenya’s fastest-growing EAC export market


The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has overtaken Uganda to develop into Kenya’s fastest-growing export market inside the East African Group bloc, new information exhibits, regardless of frosty diplomatic relations between Nairobi and Kinshasa.

Kenya’s exports to the DRC jumped by greater than half (56.04 %) to Ksh8.62 billion ($66 million at present trade charges) within the first three months of the 12 months, in line with the newest official information, the largest year-on-year progress in over a decade.

“Notably, there was elevated home exports of …wheat flour to Democratic Republic of Congo,” the Kenya Nationwide Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) wrote within the newest Stability of Fee report, masking the primary quarter of 2024.

Evaluation of the KNBS information exhibits quarterly exports to Africa’s second-largest nation by land mass have remained elevated above Ksh7 billion ($54 million) since July final 12 months when Kenya minimize import responsibility on wheat imports from 35 % to 10 %.

Kenya’s Treasury Cupboard Secretary, Njuguna Ndung’u, mentioned final 12 months the lowered taxes, which have been maintained for the present 12 months ending June 2025, have been geared toward guaranteeing “that there’s sufficient wheat to satisfy native demand, whereas on the identical time defending wheat farmers from unfair competitors from imported wheat”.

The info exhibits Kenyan merchants trucked items value almost Ksh23.88 billion ($185 million)  within the first 9 months ended March 2024 for the reason that lowered responsibility on wheat took impact, a big 57.48 % climb over Ksh15.16 billion ($117 million) beforehand. KNBS additionally cited wheat flour as the principle driver of demand for exports within the second half of final 12 months.


The DRC’s elevated imports got here at a time the diplomatic relationship between the 2 nations remained frosty. Kinshasa recalled its ambassador to Nairobi final December within the warmth of disagreements over Kenya’s “internet hosting” of Congolese opposition figures, who launched a celebration in Nairobi and later professed assist for the insurgent group M23, which has been preventing authorities forces and their allies within the japanese area of the nation.

Learn: DR Congo relaxes its stance on Kenya ties

It was not till Might that the DRC envoy to Kenya resumed duties after President William Ruto despatched a high-profile delegation to Kinshasa, led by Prime Cupboard Secretary and Cupboard Secretary for Overseas Affairs Musalia Mudavadi.

“My mission right here in Kinshasa was to ship to President Felix Tshisekedi a particular message from President William Ruto of Kenya, that we’re companions and, as nations inside the East African Group, should proceed working collectively very cordially and carefully,” Mr Mudavadi mentioned.

“Kenya respects the territory and sovereignty of DRC and I guarantee the individuals of DRC that Kenya will at all times work with them to make sure there’s peace and concord within the area always.”

Regardless of rising on the steepest tempo, the DRC nonetheless trailed the opposite EAC locations for Kenya’s items besides Burundi, one of many world’s poorest nations.

Learn: Northern Hall truckers mull shift to Dar over tax

The DRC’s share of Kenya’s exports to the regional bloc, nonetheless, hit double-digit ranges within the evaluation quarter, rising to 10.74 % from 7.96 %.

Uganda remained the largest purchaser of Kenya’s items within the area regardless of rising a modest 7.39 % to Ksh33.34 billion ($258 billion), largely on elevated orders of “carboys, bottles, flasks, and related articles”, in line with KNBS. That is decrease than the 49.62 % bounce a 12 months earlier to Ksh31.05 billion ($240 million) from Ksh20.75 billion ($160 million) within the first quarter of 2022.

Uganda’s share of exports to the EAC bloc additionally shrank to 41.56 % from 44.77 % beforehand.

Nairobi and Kampala additionally skilled renewed commerce disputes after Kenyan authorities restricted the issuance of import permits for items comparable to eggs, sugar, and milk powder from Uganda in protectionist insurance policies geared toward shielding native producers.

“We now have agreed that commerce between the 2 nations is unimpeded both by tariff or non-tariff limitations or arbitrary levies,” Dr Ruto mentioned on Might 16 after he hosted his Ugandan counterpart, Yoweri Museveni, for a two-day State go to.

“We now have agreed that the frequent precept would be the full implementation of the EAC customs and different infrastructure that assist commerce between East African nations. Due to this fact, all the problems round rice, juice, furnishings, eggs, hen, and sugar at the moment are resolved.”

The seven-member EAC buying and selling bloc has continued to battle on-and-off commerce tiffs, slowing down progress in intra-regional commerce regardless of the area being essentially the most built-in in Africa.

That is regardless of the EAC Customs Union Protocol, the bloc’s first integration breakthrough which got here into drive in 2005, permitting the free motion of products, companies, capital, and labour inside the bloc.

The KNBS information additional exhibits that imports by Tanzania grew 18.01 % to Ksh16.74 billion ($129 million)  within the evaluation interval, a slower tempo than South Sudan’s which rose by 1 / 4 (25.69 %) to Ksh9.27 billion ($71 million).

South Sudan’s share of Kenya’s exports to EAC rose marginally to 11.56 % from 10.64 % beforehand, with progress largely being supported by family or laundry-type washing machines.

Tanzania’s share was largely flat, with re-exports of kerosene-type jet gas a notable driver.

Total, Kenya bought items value Ksh80.23 billion ($62 million)  to EAC nations within the three months, a 15.69 % progress over Ksh69.35 billion ($53 million) a 12 months earlier.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *