The introduction of the value-added products with a brand name KETEPA, deepens the bilateral trade between the two countries and commitment to maximise the opportunities AfCFTA presents.
Ghana had earlier through its National Coordination Office of AfCFTA shipped palm kernel oil and ceramics to Kenya and Cameroon under the Guided Trade Initiative (GTI).
The first consignment of a 20-foot container had 1700 boxes of the tea produced by the company, Kenya Tea Packers (KETAPA), a subsidiary of Kenya Tea Development Agency Holdings Ltd. (KTDA).
The Company is the leading tea blending, packing and marketing entity in Kenya with over 100 products.
Kenya is the third largest producer of tea globally – behind China and India, and in 2021, exported 305, 000 metric tons worth US$ 1.2 billion.
Speaking at the unveiling of the first consignment, Mr Eliphas Barine, Kenyan High Commissioner to Ghana, said, the African market is world’s largest free trade area with about 1.3 billion-person market.
He said, however, that intra-Africa trade was less than 20 per cent – a situation that needed to change as the continent was committed to creating wealth and prosperity for its people.
“…and the introduction of the KETEPA tea Ghana is a testimony of changing the narrative by leveraging the opportunities AfCFTA presents,” Mr Barine said.
He said Africa was under stress in her socioeconomic development and called for supporting and buying African products to create jobs for her rapidly growing youth population.
Madam Catherine Afeku, responsible for Strategic Communications, National AfCFTA Coordination Office, said, having KETEPA tea in Ghana indicated that the single African market was bearing fruits.
She said Ghana would sooner than later send some chocolate, other cocoa products and coconut oil to Kenya, so “there are opportunities in Kenya for our entrepreneurs to explore.”
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, the former Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, said Africa needed trade to stop the dependency on the western world.
“There is a plethora of value-added products in Ghana and our jobs is to let the Ghanaian entrepreneurs know what is possible under the Guide Trade and AfCFTA,” she said.
“The GTI seeks to allow commercially meaningful trading, and test the operational, institutional, legal and trade policy environment under the AfCFTA.
“The products earmarked to trade under this initiative include ceramic tiles, batteries, tea, coffee, processed meat products, corn starch, sugar, pasta, glucose syrup, dried fruits, and sisal fiber among others.”