Kevit Desai, Kenya’s Principal Secretary, East African Community (EAC) has urged partner states to explore export opportunities for raw cotton to the global market. As per All Africa report, the EAC region produces 100,000 metric tons of cotton, compared to its potential to produce 400,000 metric tons. It currently exports only 8 per cent of cotton to the world market, notes Dr Desai.
To boost exports, the region needs to promote the textile value chain. It needs to invest production of leather and textile goods and turn a crop like pyrethrum into aerosols, adds Desai. Desai, who is also the Chairperson of the Coordination Committee that brings together Permanent/Principal/Under Secretaries for EAC Affairs in the partner states, was addressing the media at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha. He says intra-EAC trade currently stands at only 15 per cent as compared to other regional economic communities like the European Union (EU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
He emphasized on the need for greater aggregation and consolidation to increase the region's exports to external markets. EAC partner states should also create the necessary networks to promote collaboration, he says.