- This comes a year after Mogadishu lifted a two-year-long ban on Miraa imports from Nairobi.
- The miraa exports to Somalia were initially capped at 19 tonnes daily when the ban was lifted in July last year.
Kenya’s exports to Somalia nearly doubled in the first half of 2023 following the resumption of miraa exports to the Horn of Africa country that has now zoomed past the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Ethiopia to become the fifth largest destination of the country’s goods in Africa.
Latest data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) shows Kenya exported goods worth a record Sh11.4 billion to Somalia in the first six months of the year, underlining a 76 percent growth from Sh6.5 billion in the same half last year.
The increase saw Somalia become Kenya’s fifth largest export destination on the African continent only behind Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Egypt, and above DRC and Ethiopia which previously used to rank above it.
This comes a year after Mogadishu lifted a two-year-long ban on Miraa imports from Nairobi after talks between then President Uhuru Kenyatta and Hassan Sheikh Mohamud who had been newly elected as the Somalia President.
The miraa exports to Somalia were initially capped at 19 tonnes daily when the ban was lifted in July last year but was later increased to 50 tonnes daily.
The lift was a major boost to farmers who had been forced to look for alternative markets for their produce, heavily affecting farmers in Mt Kenya East and West who grow the crop.
Kenya’s exports to its eastern neighbor have been growing steadily in recent years, rising from Sh6 billion in the first half of 2021 to Sh6.5 billion in the first six months of 2022 and now to a record Sh11.4 billion in the first half of 2023.
Besides miraa, Nairobi’s major exports to Mogadishu are tobacco, pharmaceutical products, soaps and lubricants, coffee, tea, and machinery, according to data from the United Nations (UN) COMTRADE database on international trade.
During the period, Kenya’s exports to African countries grew by 20.3 per cent from Sh168.2 billion to Sh202.4 billion, according to the CBK data.
Uganda maintained its lead as Kenya’s largest trading partner with exports to Kampala growing by 40.2 percent to Sh62.4 billion up from Sh44.5 billion during the half-year period compared to a similar period last year.
Exports to the Democratic Republic of the Congo enjoyed the third highest increase of 36.9 percent to Sh11.1 billion up from Sh8.1 billion, those to Ethiopia rose by 20.1 percent from Sh6.9 billion to Sh8.3 billion while Tanzania closed the top five with a growth of 10 percent after the exports hit Sh29.3 billion.