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EPC launches awards programme to promote exports

by Sharon Chepngetich

More than 24 companies are participating in the inaugural Kenya Exporter of the Year Awards (KEYA) aimed at encouraging local firms to export their goods and services.

The KEYAwards2019 has been organised by the Export Promotion Council (EPC) to recognize firms that have made significant contribution to the development of the economy through exemplary business performance.

The EPC Chief Executive Officer, Mr Peter Kibet Biwott, says participating companies are being evaluated on excellence and recognition.

“We want to help power the Government’s Big 4 Agenda by recognizing excellence while at the same time inspiring ambitious companies to export more to boost the economy,” said Mr Biwott.

Kenya Exports Performance 2018 Report by EPC indicate that exports grew in value from Kshs. 594 billion in 2017 to Kshs. 613 billion in 2018 (an increase of 3.2 per cent) while imports grew from Kshs. 1.73 trillion in 2017 to Kshs. 1.76 trillion in 2018 (an increase of 2.0 per cent). The balance of trade deficit from Kshs. 1.13 trillion in 2017 to Kshs. 1.15 trillion in 2018 (an increase of 1.42 per cent).

According to the report, the major exports in 2018 included tea, horticulture, articles of apparel and clothing accessories, coffee and titanium ores and concentrates, all contributing to 62.0 per cent of the merchandise exports, while the major imports were petroleum oil products, crude palm oil, industrial machinery, motor vehicles and medicaments.

In 2018, Uganda regained top position as Kenya’s lead market for merchandise exports with her exports slightly increasing from Kshs. 61.8 billion in 2017 to Kshs. 61.9 billion in 2018 (an increase by 0.1 per cent); followed by Pakistan who imported products worth Kshs. 59.4 billion in 2018 down from Kshs. 64.1 billion in 2017 (a decrease of 7.9 per cent); and USA who imported goods worth Kshs. 47.34 billion in 2018 up from Kshs. 47.27 billion in 2017 (a slight increase of 0.15 per cent).

EPC is charged with the mandate of addressing bottlenecks facing exporters and producers of export goods with a view to increase the performance of the export sector and narrow the trade deficit.

The Awards ceremony will be held at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) in Nairobi on 15th July 2019.

The KEYA Awards focuses on excellence based and recognition honours, which are determined by leadership and corporate governance, marketing and customer focus, financial and revenue generation practices and ICT adoption in the firms. Product quality, processes and certification, human resource management and sustainability of the firms are also evaluated.

The Recognition awards on the other hand consider the excellence-based criteria as well as other specific aspects of the participating companies that are used to determine the various recognition categories.

Below are the various categories of the recognition awards:

  1. Spear of the Nation Award – Outstanding Sector Commendation: This award is provided to companies that have excelled and lead as a top exporter in Kenya. An enterprise whose contributions have had a strong impact in the sectors export growth and must have contributed demonstrably towards national successes.
  2. Forex Award – Exemplary Contributor to Foreign Exchange: This award is provided to companies that have consistently excelled in foreign exchange generation. The Company’s products and sales revenue are by and large derived from exports, and the contributions of the company must have contributed towards national successes through fiscal and monetary successes.
  3. Innovators Award – Novelty, Innovation, Diversification and Value Addition: This category recognizes organizations that considers themselves as innovators and can exhibit export diversification, value addition, new product development, packaging and processed export. The contributions of these companies must have contributed demonstrably towards national successes.
  4. Rising Stars Award – Small and Medium Enterprise Award: This award is provided to companies that have less than 99 employees, and an annual sales turnover of not more than Ksh. 800 million and has consistently excelled in foreign exchange generation. The Company’s products and sales revenue are by and large derived from exports.
  5. The Eagles Award – Upcoming Export Performers: This category recognizes emerging exporting enterprises exhibiting sustainable and high value foreign exchange returns from their operations over and above the ability to meet the fiscal economic transformation and conforming to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
  6. Solid Rock Commendation – Lifetime Achievement: This award is given to companies that have been in operation continuously for at least 50 years. Such companies must have contributed to export growth consistently for a minimum of 30 years and have demonstrated how they support the National developmental goals.


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