The index, which is a joint project of the African Development Bank, the African Union Commission and the Economic Commission for Africa, covers the following dimensions: free movement of persons, trade integration, productive integration, regional interconnections and infrastructure, and macroeconomic policy convergence.

Headline Findings

Where specific policy measures that could boost its performance are concerned, Kenya could consider ratifying the COMESA protocol on free movement of persons, waiving visa requirements or granting visas on arrival for nationals of a greater number of African countries, further reducing tariffs on intraregional imports, and looking into other measures to boost intraregional trade in goods.

View more detailed analysis

  • First in EAC (score: 0.74).
  • First in COMESA (score: 0.57). 

COMESA

How Kenya Ranks Within COMESA

Country is a high performer – score is higher than average of countries
Country is an average performer – score is within the average of countries
Country is a low performer –score is below the average of countries
Average score across REC member countries

Compare Kenya's Dimension Scores

Trade Integration
Regional Infrastructure
Productive Integration
Free Movement of People
Financial & Macroeconomic Integration

EAC

How Kenya Ranks Within EAC

Country is a high performer – score is higher than average of countries
Country is an average performer – score is within the average of countries
Country is a low performer –score is below the average of countries
Average score across REC member countries

Compare Kenya's Dimension Scores

Trade Integration
Regional Infrastructure
Productive Integration
Free Movement of People
Financial & Macroeconomic Integration

CEN-SAD

How Kenya Ranks Within CEN-SAD

Country is a high performer – score is higher than average of countries
Country is an average performer – score is within the average of countries
Country is a low performer –score is below the average of countries
Average score across REC member countries

Compare Kenya's Dimension Scores

Trade Integration
Regional Infrastructure
Productive Integration
Free Movement of People
Financial & Macroeconomic Integration

IGAD

How Kenya Ranks Within IGAD

Country is a high performer – score is higher than average of countries
Country is an average performer – score is within the average of countries
Country is a low performer –score is below the average of countries
Average score across REC member countries

Compare Kenya's Dimension Scores

Trade Integration
Regional Infrastructure
Productive Integration
Free Movement of People
Financial & Macroeconomic Integration

Analysis of Kenya's Performance Across Dimensions

Free movement of persons: Good score (joint first in EAC, joint fourth in COMESA, seventeenth in CEN-SAD, second in IGAD). Kenya allows nationals of 33 other African countries to enter visa-free or with a visa on arrival. Kenya has ratified the relevant EAC instruments concerning free movement of persons, rights of establishment and free movement of workers – Community of Sahel and Saharan States (CEN-SAD) – but is yet to ratify the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) protocol on free movement of persons.

Trade integration: Good score (first in EAC, fourth in COMESA, twenty-first in CEN-SAD, second in IGAD). Kenya has an average applied tariff of zero on imports from EAC, and an average applied tariff of just 1 per cent on imports from COMESA. Nevertheless, since COMESA members generally have low average applied tariffs on imports from the bloc, it ranks 14th among COMESA members on this measure. Trade (as a share of GDP) with the rest of the regional economic communities (RECs) of which it is a member is mixed. Imports from other REC members are could be increased (at or below 1 per cent), while exports are somewhat stronger – 2 per cent to EAC and 3 per cent to COMESA.

Productive integration: Good score (first in EAC, second in COMESA, first in CEN-SAD, first in IGAD). Kenya is fairly well integrated into regional value chains. Kenya’s trade is relatively complementary with that of its partners. Kenya’s share of intermediates in its imports from the RECs was 21 per cent, while the share of intermediates in total exports within the region averaged 46 per cent.

Infrastructure: Good score (first in EAC, sixth in COMESA, twenty-fifth in CEN-SAD, third in IGAD). Kenya’s internet bandwidth per capita of around 21 megabits per second per person is the highest on the continent. Internet bandwidth is important for international communication, both within Africa and beyond, including to support trade in services. Around 71 per cent of international flights to and from Kenya are intra-COMESA, and 63 per cent of such flights intra-EAC.

  • Free movement of persons. Joint-best performer in EAC with Rwanda (score: 0.8); Joint fourth in COMESA (score: 0.44).
  • Trade integration. 1st in EAC (score: 1), fourth in COMESA (score: 0.81).
  • Productive integration – first in EAC (score: 0.84). Second in COMESA (score: 0.75).
  • Infrastructure – third in EAC (score: 0.44). Best performer in EAC is Burundi at 0.84. Sixth in COMESA (score: 0.48).
  • Financial integration and macroeconomic policy convergence – second in EAC (score: 0.20). Tenth in COMESA (score: 0.38). Best performer in EAC is Rwanda (score: 0.5).