Working-poor in S.Saharan Africa now at 251m - ILO

87.3 per cent of the employed population in the region were in informal employment in 2022

In Summary

•Majority of those in poor-quality employment in sub-Saharan Africa are in informal employment

•Across the world, 29 percent of key workers are low paid (where low paid is defined as pay that is less than two-thirds of the hourly median wage).

George Onyango with fellow jua kali artisans at his Kamukunji workshop, Nairobi /JACK OWUOR
George Onyango with fellow jua kali artisans at his Kamukunji workshop, Nairobi /JACK OWUOR

Kenya is eyeing $10 billion (Sh1.3 trillion) in Direct Foreign Investments from the UK this year.

The country will be leveraging on the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), signed on December 2020 and ratified in March 2021 to drive the investments.

This week a delegation led by the Cabinet Secretary for Investments, Commerce, and Industry Moses Kuria will visit London for an EPA and investment meeting.

The partnership allows Kenya and UK to maintain trade relations post Brexit and grants Kenyan goods, particularly horticulture exports duty- free access to the UK Market.

Among the key objectives being of the meeting will be to provide full duty-free and quota-free market access conditions for goods originating in EAC Partner States into the UK market on a secure, long- term and predictable basis.

It also seeks to preserve and improve market access conditions to ensure that Kenya fully benefits from the EPA.

“EPA provides a good framework for strengthening of the strategic cooperation between Kenya and UK in the areas of trade, investment, research, innovation & development at both government and private sector level,” read a statement from the Ministry of Investments Trade and Industry.

Already, Kenya Investment Authority has packaged bankable investment opportunities worth $18 billion (approximately Sh2.3 trillion) that Kenya’s CS Moses Kuria will present to UK investors.

The forum will provide a platform to explore opportunities between the two countries to grow economic relationship and mutual prosperity.

According to the UK Department of Business and Trade total trade in goods and services (exports plus imports) between the UK and Kenya was £1.1 billion (Sh154billion), in the four quarters to the end of Q3 2022.

Total UK exports to Kenya in the period amounted to £521 million (Sh73.2billion), a decrease of 2.4 percent or £13 million (Sh1.8 billion) compared to the four quarters to the end of Q3 2021.

UK imports from Kenya amounted to £627 million (88.1billion), in the four quarters to the end of Q3 2022 (an increase of 14.8 percent compared to the four quarters to the end of Q3 2021.

 Through the EPA, Kenya and UK have undertaken operations on market access and business environment issues having held discussions in March 2022 as well as the trade and business environment road show in the UK.

The institutional governance framework of EPA comprises of EPA Council, Committee of Senior Officials and Consultative Committee.

Kuria, who is leading the delegation to the London talks, will be accompanied by among others Kisumu Governor Peter Anyang Nyong’o.

As part of the four-day investor engagement, the delegations from both countries will witness the signing of an investment partnership worth Sh. 30 billion between United Green and the County government of Kisumu.

So far, the British Government has announced funding worth millions of pounds to Kenya in renewed efforts to deepen trade and investment between the two countries.

The theme of the forum will be to build and promote trade and investment partnerships between Kenya and the United Kingdom.

The UK is keen on helping Kenyan exporters of agricultural produce to the UK, currently worth over £300m annually (Sh46bn), by increasing UK investment in value addition activities in Kenya and supporting the 'Made in Kenya' brand.

The forum is being held through a Ministerial Council meeting on the Economic Partnership Agreement scheduled for 21st March 2023 in London.

Participants are drawn from senior government and private sector officials including Principal Secretaries and chief executives of various relevant government agencies from Kenya as well as government and private sector players from the UK.

The key state agencies involved include Kenya Bureau of Standards, Kenya Development Corporation, Kenya Intellectual Property Institute, Kenya National Trading Corporation, LAPSSET and Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest).

The private sector is represented by among others, its umbrella organisation Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) through Mr. Bimal Kantaria (MD Elgon Kenya Ltd), Fresh Produce Exporters Association and The Kenya Flower Council.


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