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UK’s trade training body expands into Africa

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The port of Mombasa in Kenya. Imports and exports into Kenya are expected to significantly increase over the next few years. Image credit: Flickr

UK’s trade training body expands into Africa

 Trade education is vital to further grow exports between the UK and Africa. The Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT) last week announced a new investment in Africa with the opening of its first international office in Nairobi, Kenya.

Building on the Kenya-UK Economic Partnership Agreement the IOE&IT is developing training, education and consultancy offerings for the entire African continent – unique and specific to Africa-world trade and intra-African trade.

The opening of the office builds on a successful 2021 in Africa where the IOE&IT delivered qualifications in Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria. The Institute has worked with the International Trade Centres, along with the Ghana Export Promotion Authority and Nigerian Export Promotion Council, as well as developing a Trade and Information Pipeline (TLIP) with TradeMark East Africa.

UK exports to Kenya in 2021 were worth £530-million and imports from Kenya totalled £579-million. The TLIP project aims to increase trade for both sides and will help create greater visibility within supply chains and simplify the facilitation of trade between the UK and Kenya.

The overall aim of the TLIP initiative is to reduce logistical time constraints for businesses by around 40%, reduce the cost of compliance by 20% – potentially worth an initial saving of up to £36-million to UK Exporters.

According to Marco Forgione, director general of the Institute of Export & International Trade, opening the first office outside the UK in Kenya shows the growing importance of Africa.

“Of course, the Institute has always worked to support our members around the world but in opening up this new chapter we are sending a strong signal that we are there for members on the African continent and that we can help traders in Africa to upskill their teams to trade in support of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as well as growing their trade globally. This investment in growing our presence in Africa especially our new base in the Kenya is central to this ambition,” says Forgione.

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