Kenya is a country in Eastern Africa bordering the Indian Ocean and Lake Victoria. Neighboring countries include Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. Unique Kenyan physiography, from highlands to glaciers, supports abundant and varied wildlife of scientific and economic value. The government system is a republic; the chief of state and head of government is the president. Kenya has a mixed economic system which includes a variety of private freedom, combined with centralized economic planning and government regulation. Kenya is a member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the East African Community (EAC).

Population Population Growth Rate Age Dependency Ratio Urban Population Infant Mortality Rate Life Expectancy at Birth
18,754,440 (2020)
1.292 annual % (2020)
58.849 % of working-age population (2020)
57.671 % of total (2020)
9.3 per 1,000 live births (2019)
73.18 years (2019)

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Kenyans culture is very communal in nature. Kenyans share everything from clothes, food, and even space! At home, personal items are often shared with every member of the family. In most families, they don’t understand the concept of private time and it’s uncommon to stay alone in one’s room for long periods of time except to sleep.

Kenyan culture is a way of life that blends tradition with modernity. Traditionally, most Kenyans will not engage in direct communication, but instead, use non-explicit techniques in passing over their intended message. However, the style of communication depends directly on the level of intimacy between each person.

Kenyans people are quite sociable and friendly. When they meet, they hug, shake hands, and stand close to each other. It’s not easy to get privacy since people are always talking and chatting. It is considered rude to stand away from others. Disagreement with others is seen as a sign of disrespect, especially with elders. It is considered ill-mannered to shout or speak with a high tone.


Losing ones temper and shouting is considered highly rude. Most disputes are resolved by using humor, or they might simmer under the surface for long periods without confrontation.  It’s best to remain polite and smiling, even if frustrated.

Kenyans tend to dress in a conservative manner with an emphasis on appearing smart and well dressed as a matter of pride. To look sloppy or wear revealing or damaged clothes would mean that a foreigner would instantly lose a degree of respect amongst Kenyans.

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Social Media Stats in Kenya

Facebook = 36.73%

YouTube = 21.96%

Twitter = 20.03%

Instagram = 10.08%

Pinterest = 9.09%

LinkedIn = 0.96%

Browser Market Share in Kenya

Chrome = 60.96%

Opera = 31.13%

Safari = 2.55%

Firefox = 1.87%

Edge = 1.63%

Samsung Internet = 1.18%

Natural Resources

Mineral resources in Kenya include gold, iron ore, talc, soda ash, some rare earth minerals, and gemstones. Gold is mostly restricted to the westernmost part of the country, while areas around Mombasa host limestone, niobium, iron ore, gemstone, and self.

The mining and quarrying sector in Kenya accounts for less than 1 percent of gross domestic product, with the majority being contributed by the soda ash operation at Lake Magadi in south-central Kenya. In 2010, Kenya’s share of the world’s soda ash production amounted to 4%. Cement, Fluorspar, and Petroleum refining were the other mining and mineral processing activities undertaken by the mining sector.


A Kenyan standard is a document established by consensus and approved by KEBS that provides for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines, or characteristics for products and services, as well as related processes or production methods, aimed at the achievement of the opimum degree of order in a given context.

Kenya applies a comparative ‘standard’ to all products of services. Kenya standards are classified into six categories: 
1. Glossaries or Definitions of terminology
2. Dimensional Standards
3. Performance Standards
4. Standards Methods of Test
5. Codes of Practice
6. Measurement Standards
These standards are developed by technical committees whose membership includes representatives of various interest groups such as producers, consumers, technologist, research organizations, and testing organizations, in both the privet and public sectors.

Some of the departments include the Food and Agriculture Department which is responsible for the development of standards covering food technologies, food safety, fertilizers, agricultural produce, livestock products, poultry products, etc.

The Chemical Department is responsible for the development of standards covering soaps, detergents, paints, pesticides, stationery, and related equipment and all products based on chemical formulations. Others include the services standards department, and the engineering department.

Service Standards Department is responsible for the development of standards in the service industry such as tourism, hotels, transport, education, social activities, etc. These standards are aimed at addressing the evolving needs in the service sector and represent a growth area.

Engineering Department is responsible for the development of standards in covering civil engineering, electro-technology, information technology, renewable energy, textile engineering and mechanical engineering. Standards Information and Resource Section is responsible for the maintenance and availability of standards information, library, WTO NEP, and sales of standards.

Trade Agreements

Multilateral Trade System (MTS):
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the primary international organization dealing with the global rules of trade between nations. Kenya has been a member of the WTO since its inception in January 1995. The WTO’s 10th Ministerial Conference was held in Nairobi, Kenya in December 2015. The Conference culminated in the adoption of the “Nairobi Package”, a series of six ministerial decisions on agriculture, cotton, and issues related to least-developed countries (LDCs). The latest EAC Trade Policy Review by WTO was scheduled for March 2019.

African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA):
Kenya was among nearly 50 African nations signed a deal to create the ACFTA in Kigali, Rwanda, on March 21, 2-18, marking a historic milestone in the economic integration of the continent. The formation of a free trade area spanning Africa creates a single market of 1.2bn people with a combined gross domestic product of more than $2 trillion (UNCTAD).

U.S – EAC Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA):
The United States signed Trade and Investment Framework Agreements (TIFA) with the East African Community (EAC) in 2008, and with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) at https://ustr.gov/countries-regions/africa/regional-economic-communities-rec/common-market-eastern-and-southern-africa-comesa in 2021. Kenya is a member of both regional organizations. The Office of the U.S.

Regional Markets:
Kenya is a member of the East African Community (EAC) with a population of approximately 177 million across the countries of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan and Tanzania.

ACP/Cotonou Partnership Agreement:
Exports from Kenya entering the European Union are entitled to duty reductions and freedom from all quota restrictions. Trade preferences include duty-free entry of all industrial products as well as a wide range of agricultural products including beef, fish, dairy products, cereals, fresh and processed fruits, and vegetables.

African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA):
Kenya qualifies for duty free access until 2025 to the U.S. market under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. Some of Kenya’s major products that qualify for export under AGOA include textiles, apparels, and handicrafts.

Generalized System of Preferences (GSP):
Under the Generalized System of Preferences, a wide range of Kenya’s manufactured products are entitled to preferential duty treatment in the Australia, Austria, Canada, Finland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, other European countries, and the United States. In addition, no quantitative restrictions are applicable to Kenyan exports on any of the 3,000-plus items currently eligible for GSP treatment. Additional information is available at United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Bilateral Trade Agreement:
Kenya has signed bilateral trade agreements with several countries: Argentina, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, China, Comoros, Congo (DRC), Djibouti, Egypt, Hungary, India, Iraq, Lesotho, Liberia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Somalia, South Korea, Swaziland, Tanzania, Thailand, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

U.S – Kenya Free Trade Agreement:
In July 2020, the United States and Kenya entered into FTA negotiations to seek a high standard agreement that will also complement regional integration efforts within the EAC and ACFTA. Negotiations were paused at the end of 2020, pending a review of the status of negotiations by the incoming USTR leadership. In addition to the launch of trade negotiations, the United States and Kenya agreed on a Strategic Cooperation Framework to provide technical assistance and trade capacity building in Kenya with the aim of maximizing Kenya’s utilization of the AGOA trade benefits for the remaining years of the preference program, which is scheduled to expire in 2025.

U.S. – Kenya Commercial Memorandum of Understanding (MoU):
In parallel to FTA negotiations, the United States and Kenya intend to intensify efforts to bolster commercial cooperation under the bilateral commercial Memorandum of Understanding signed in June 2018, and to work together to identify and prioritize trade and investment opportunities in strategic sectors including energy, health, digital economy, infrastructure, manufacturing, and agriculture.

Import Tariffs

Kenya applies tariffs based on the international harmonized system (HS) of product classification and applies duties and tariffs of the EAC Common External Tariff. Customs duties can be levied at rates between 0% and 100%, with an average of 25%. However, sensitive items attract duty higher than 25% (the sensitive items are listed in the schedule 2 of the EAC Common external tariff). Excise duties de[end on whether the imported item it excisable or not. The rates are prescribed under the Excise Duty Act 2015. Imports into Kenya are subject to a standard VAT rate of 16%, levied on the sum of the CIF value, duty, and other applicable taxes. An import declaration fee of 3.5% and railway development levy of 2%.

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