PUBLISHED ON July 13th, 2023

Kenya: UK Trade Body Opens First Nairobi Office With Target on Trade, Training

Nairobi — The United Kingdom’s (UK’s) trade body, the Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT), has opened its first office in Nairobi with a focus on trade and training.

The Kenyan office will also act as an expansion pad on the African continent.

Its entry into the country follows the signing of the UK-Kenya Economic Partnership Agreement.

IOE&IT has developed and delivered training, education, and consulting services on the continent.

The opening of the office follows the successful delivery of educational courses, with IOE&IT delivering qualifications in Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria.

“This new office, our first in Africa, is an exciting development of our growing partnership,” IOE&IT Director General Marco Forgione said.

“I look forward to using all our knowledge, expertise and experience to support Africa’s entrepreneurs grow their intra-Africa and international trade.”

The launch of the event took place at the Deputy British High Commissioner’s Residence (Air House), with Josephine Gauld, Deputy British High Commissioner to Kenya and Permanent Representative to the UNEP and UN Habitat, in attendance.

The Institute has worked with the International Trade Centre, along with the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, and the Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency.

In partnership with TradeMark Africa and the IOTA Foundation, IOE&IT has developed an interoperable digital supply chain infrastructure, the Trade and Information Pipeline (TLIP).

IOE&IT has successfully led a Consortium of experienced technology, traders, logistics, and supporting partners to test a pilot scheme to implement improvements on end-to-end supply chain processes within international trade, with a particular focus on Kenya and Africa as a whole.

This pilot scheme saw shipments of cut flowers, coffee, and tea from Kenya to the UK as part of the UK Government’s Ecosystem of Trust Pilot.

The Consortium’s goal was not only to deliver successful pilots but to subsequently use the learnings to establish clear recommendations for policy, legislative, technological, and process changes at the border to allow the models that had been tested in the pilots to be scaled up.

The initiative aims to reduce time wasted in logistics by around 40 percent, reduce the cost of compliance by 20 percent, and cut process duplications through simplification and transparency of trade by a further 50 percent.

The findings from the pilot programs will be published by the UK government in the coming months.

The launch of the new office will allow IOE&IT to support its other work within Africa and the development of TLIP.

UK exports to Kenya in 2021 were worth £530 million, while UK imports from Kenya stood at £579 million.

The Ecosystem of Trust pilot aims to increase trade on both sides to help create greater visibility of supply chains and simplify the facilitation of trade between the UK and Kenya.

The overall aim of the initiative is to reduce logistical time constraints for businesses by around 40 percent and reduce the cost of compliance by 20 percent.

“The opening of this office in Kenya is another example of the UK and Kenya’s continued commitment to unlocking mutual economic benefits for our countries and our people; which will upskill our workforces and grow our economies,” Gauld said.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TradeMark Africa.