Neoclassical economists gained worldwide acclaim for pushing for the advancement of economic growth by expanding the export function of government.
The same has been propagated by policy makers around the world, which has placed more emphasis on a robust economic growth model in which exports play a key role by contributing significantly to the country’s GDP growth.
A study by the World Trade Organization showed that the highest average GDP growth rate of 4.7% achieved in Africa between 2005 and 2010 was positively correlated with an increase in export growth of 16.7%. In the region.
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Although the export is lucrative due to the high incomes, it is riddled with many certifications.
Procurement, rules and regulations governing global trade (rules of origin), specific market requirements and specific product requirements, to name a few.
In addition, it is appreciated that the export sector is dynamic in nature.
Such dynamism can only be addressed through continuous assessment of market dynamics, accessibility, compliance with market entry requirements and applicable standards.
During the development of the Agency’s current strategic plan, the lack of information and skills development among entrepreneurs was identified as one of the barriers to export growth.
The impact of limited access to timely, relevant and accurate trade and branding information on export development is both significant and negative.
Limited knowledge of product offerings and capabilities as well as export processes remains an obstacle to prudent decision-making and business internationalization.
The Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency (KEPROBA) is currently implementing the identified interventions to address export trade barriers referred to as “pain spots”.
The exercise examines pain areas identified by exporters in different areas, namely horticulture, manufacturing, handicrafts, tea, fisheries, services, coffee, chemicals, livestock and fibers .
Training in international trade is positively related to export performance and improves the competitiveness of exporters.
Well-educated exporters are not only able to negotiate effectively with foreign entities and attract more foreign investment in identified sectors, but also encourage robust domestic trade.
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In Peru, the use of Connect Americas, an online platform that offers businesses capacity building services with general business information, boosted businesses’ ability to export, resulting in a 1.8% increase to 1.9% of exports in response to an extra day of work with the platform.
The Agency has implemented several measures to develop and improve access to information relating to export trade.
The main resolution is the creation of a Knowledge Repository, which is an “Exporter Academy” to address the above challenges and be a one-stop-shop for all export matters while supporting the government’s program of creating knowledge. jobs for young Kenyans.
This will help instill an export culture in the Kenyan business community and act as a catalyst for the delivery of its functions.
Exporting is one of the most important ways to connect a business to the global economy, which is why the Agency, through the academy, is designed to help businesses better integrate in the global economy through skills development.
The Agency therefore wishes to fill the skills gap by deploying targeted training programs in collaboration with identified players.
The Academy proposes to integrate young people, women and other vulnerable business enterprises into its activities with a view to equipping them with the knowledge and practical experience of some captains of industry sharing their journey in the global space, including exposure to international markets.
The positive impact of export promotion programs on export competitiveness has been highlighted by Freixenet & Churakova (2018) in their study of Russian manufactures.
Using consulting services, market intelligence and export training programs provided by the government, companies have been able to connect and develop the skills and capabilities of their staff, achieve high quality product differentiation , make effective use of organizational resources to successfully export and promote in international markets.
This initiative fits well with some of the Agency’s functions of “promoting and branding Kenyan exports through knowledge-based support and information to exporters and producers, including export procedures and documentation”. , market entry requirements and marketing techniques”.
Further analysis of some of the trade support institutions in Kenya offering trade training services indicates that export development has not received sufficient attention leaving exporters ill-equipped hence the need for this project. .
It is for all these reasons that the Agency wishes to establish the Kenya Exporters Academy to provide export development courses (both online and physical), to instil an exporting culture in Kenyans, to create a pool of experts in the field of international trade and equip business leaders. /practitioners timely and relevant information to help them make informed decisions.
Once fully operational, the academy will not only run short training courses/programmes targeting exporters and offer business coaching and entrepreneurial support, but will also partner with international organizations to develop tailor-made modules in based on identified needs.
The academy will liaise with local curriculum developers to assess course content to provide credible skills and knowledge sufficient to participate in international trade.
The Kenya Academy will draw heavily on the concept of the International Trade Center (ITC) to offer a variety of courses and issue certificates upon successful completion to candidates/participants if required.
The International Trade Center (ITC) has supported the development of similar initiatives in Ghana and Nigeria respectively.
The overall objective of the Academy is to provide high quality and globally competitive training programs and business support services to enable the Kenyan business community to make informed decisions and venture successful in international trade.
The specific objectives of the Academy are to provide a one stop shop/facility where existing, potential and future exporters can be comprehensively guided in exporting.
It will also help develop and deliver professional, quality and industry-focused hands-on training in export development and promote the Agency’s programs.
It will help to collaborate with other international trade training institutions to deliver a variety of programs both in Kenya and in countries in the region.
It will provide business mentoring, coaching and export readiness assessment. It will also provide an alternative source of income generation to facilitate its sustainability and offer advisory services on export development issues.
As an agency, we call on all stakeholders to embrace the program as it will help more Kenyans to participate in various value chains, in addition to creating more jobs for Kenyans.