The EU-Kenya Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) has officially entered into force, representing a key milestone in the EU-Kenya Strategic Partnership. The agreement is expected to boost bilateral trade in goods, increase investment flows, strengthen ties between partners, and facilitate economic relations in a sustainable manner. This, will in turn stimulate job creation and economic growth.

The Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and Kenya was concluded in June 2023 and signed by both parties on 18th December, 2023. The agreement also aims to implement the provisions of the EU-East African Community (EAC) EPA, and it remains open to other EAC countries.

Deemed as the most ambitious deal negotiated with an African country, the EU-Kenya EPA serves as a template for other sustainable trade agreements. These commitments include binding provisions on labour issues, gender equality, environment, and the fight against climate change.

As East Africa’s main economic hub, Kenya’s trade relations with the EU has substantial growth potential. The agreement aims to unlock new economic opportunities, as the EU is Kenya’s first export destination and second-largest trading partner. Total trade between the EU and Kenya reached Ksh 413 billion (€3 billion) in 2023, a 16% increase compared to 2018.

The EPA will also create more opportunities for Kenyan businesses and exporters, as it will fully open the EU market for Kenyan products and incentivise EU investment in Kenya.

The EPA and its ambitious commitments represent a crucial deliverable of the EU’s 2021 Trade Policy Review and its trade policy with Africa. This helps the EU deepen and expand its current trade agreements with African countries, and enhance their sustainability objectives.