Key sectors

Textiles and Apparel

AGOA has had an unambiguously positive impact on Kenya’s textile and apparel sector. The sector grew at 44% a year soon after AGOA’s passage through a mix of much expanded growth in existing product lines as well as the launch of new products in which Kenya was not previously active.

This blossoming of new products has led to a diversification of the Kenyan textile and apparel sector into business opportunities that had not been tapped before AGOA’s passage, such as knitted clothes as well as t-shirts and babies garments.

Seeing as AGOA specifically sought to encourage Africa’s movement in the textile and apparel export market, Kenya’s response can be seen as a huge success.

Other sectors

The overwhelming focus and advantage for AGOA to exporting countries has been – and was intended to be – in textiles and apparel. However, Kenya has also seen growth in exports to the US in other non-textile and apparel sectors. Though the results are less dramatic, and it is not certain to what degree the growth is AGOA-fueled or part of the general trend of Kenya’s growing exports.

Coffee, which formed the base of pre-AGOA exports, has continued to do well, while tea has actually declined. The fastest growth has been in nuts and cut flowers, which averaged over 50% a year since AGOA’s launch.

Non-textile and apparel exports also weathered the storm of the US recession reasonably well.