Think-tank urges Kenyan government to prepare for Brexit

Mombasa Port
Mombasa Port. Picture: Marisol Grandon/DFID

A government policy think-tank has said that Kenya should start planning to engage Britain over post-Brexit trade arrangements to avoid shocks to fresh produce exporters, and an expected drop in official development funds.

On Tuesday (25 July), the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (Kippra), said it believes the East African country will be among those hardest hit when Britain starts renegotiating the trade deals it currently has under the 28-member European Union.

While Britain’s exit from the EU is expected to take a few years, Kippra wants the government to start putting precautionary measures in place.

The UK’s exit from the EU, Kenya’s second largest export market, is most likely to hit exports of tea, flowers and vegetables, and donor funds for infrastructural development projects, largely renewable energy.

“As Britain realigns its engagement with other trading partners, Kenya and EAC need to prepare effectively and adequately to engage Britain for mutually beneficial trade relations.

“The EU development assistance to Kenya and the EAC might fall because Britain significantly contributes towards the European Development Fund.” – Kenya Economic Report 2017

The latest data from Kenya’s National Bureau of Statistics shows the value of exports to the UK fell 7.45 per cent year-on-year in the three months through March to Ksh10.06 billion. This accounts for a 26.67 per cent share of the country’s Ksh37.72 billion exports to the European Union.