The Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency (BRANDKE) is developing a robust e-commerce platform that will link Kenyan exporters to buyers from across the world. This is part of the Agency’s strategy to leverage on information technology and go digital in promotion of exports and marketing the country. The Agency seeks to adopt non-traditional means in export and country marketing, away from physical exhibition even beyond COVID-19 era.
The move is also geared towards narrowing the balance of trade deficit through an envisioned annual export growth rate of 25% by the year 2022 as enshrined in the Integrated National Export Development and Promotion Strategy (INEDPS). The Kenya Export promotion and Branding Agency seeks to contribute to this target by growing exports by 6.5% annually by 2022 through diversifying Kenya’s export products and markets, as outlined in its 3-year strategic plan.
In 2019, Kenya’s exports declined by 2.9% to Ksh. 597 billion from Ksh. 614 billion in 2018. In the period from January to September 2020, Kenya’s exports amounted to Ksh. 480 billion, up by 30 billion from Ksh 450 billion registered in the same period in 2019. This represented a 6.7% export growth despite the disruption occasioned by the emergence of COVID -19 and consequent measures to control its spread, confirming resilience of Kenya’s export sector. Assuming that the export values from October to
December 2020 will remain the same as those in the same period in 2019 where exports worth Ksh. 146 billion were recorded, Kenya’s exports are projected to hit Ksh. 626 billion, representing an increment of 4.7% from the previous year’s performance.
“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. We are thus creating an e-commerce platform that will literally offer a transactional handshake for online engagement, meetings and exhibitions. In some markets, we shall go virtual, while in others we just need to provide an assurance that the key products are being delivered. COVID 19 has given us an opportunity to diversify our markets at a click,”
said Dr. Wilfred Marube, the Chief Executive Officer for Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency.
Dr. Marube reiterated that the development of this platform is to continuously inform, provide linkages between buyers and sellers and wholesomely promote Kenya and its products.
“As an Agency charged with promotion of Kenya exports in the global markets, we have had to re-look at our promotion models and take advantage of information technology to ensure that we deliver on our mandate. Export promotion is not just about exhibiting. It is also about offering A-Z support to exporters and linking them to markets, and this is exactly what we have done here,” he added. The Platform targets Kenyan sellers who include manufacturers, farmers, traders, SMEs, marketing agencies, and international buyers who include importers, agents,
retailers, and wholesalers.It will literally be Kenya’s gateway window to the world and will enlist all verified Kenyan exporters with their list of products.
It will also have accurate, relevant and up to date information to promote Kenya as the destination of choice for export, trade, investment and tourism. For successful implementation, the Agency has had a series of stakeholder engagements at different levels since they will be the key users of the platform. The engagements are thus meant to create awareness for exporters in preparation for their listing on the platform.