US end-market analysis for Kenyan home decor and fashion accessories

East African Trade and Investment Hub
Publication Date
07 December 2017

This report provides market data at a product level for use by Kenyan exporters interested in the United States (U.S.) market and to support the National African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Strategy and Action Plan for Kenya.

The home décor and fashion accessories sector has the capacity to further the goals of increasing women and youth participation in manufacturing by providing greater access to economic opportunities. In 2016, the top preforming Kenyan product categories in this sector represented $5.2 million in exports to the U.S. The U.S. is the largest importer in the world in all categories, and the fourth largest in jewelry.

This report analyzes the top supply growth opportunities for Kenya based on the U.S. import demand. It also presents the current market trends in the U.S. for Kenya to better compete internationally. In addition, the Kenya Vision 2030 makes the recommendation for "a better and more inclusive wholesale and retail trade sector." Accomplishing the goal of increasing efficiency, lowering transaction costs and strengthening trade as well as linking trade to wider local and global markets requires:

  • Understanding the demands of the international market and the trends that influence the global exports to the U.S. market;
  • Understanding the advantages of the Kenyan market in key product categories, competitiveness in raw material sourcing, and the international competitors participating on the global stage;
  • Sharing a detailed explanation of U.S. brands supply management and distribution trends; and
  • Recommending several high-priority investments and opportunities that will best position Kenya
  • within this sector and help to build a strategic advantage in a competitive marketplace.

Within the market analysis, six Harmonized System (HS) product level categories are presented:

  • Articles of leather, harness, travel goods, etc.
  • Manufactures of plaiting material, basketwork, etc.
  • Other made textile articles, sets, etc.
  • Jewelry, precious stones, metals, coins, etc.
  • Works of art, collectors’ pieces and antiques.
  • Articles of wood.

These six product categories are also described in Section 1 and have demand in the U.S. market. The greatest opportunity for an export-import relationship between the U.S. and Kenya is demonstrated by:

  • The size of imports ($126 billion in 2016) as market potential in the U.S.;
  • Growth of imports to the U.S. from global export partners that ranges from zero for jewelry to 8
  • percent in works of art;
  • Growth of imports to the U.S. under AGOA specifically (5 percent to a total of $19 billion in 2016);
  • An existing import/export relationship between the U.S. and Kenya in all six categories;
  • A pattern of growth within the product categories in exports from Kenya to the U.S.

To direct current and future Kenya exporters to take advantage of these import opportunities to the U.S., the market analysis provides:

  • The historical import purchase volumes to the U.S. at the product level;
  • The global value of competitors for U.S. imports at the product level;
  • The global price competition of U.S. imports at the product level;


  • The AGOA export standards, certifications and Rules of Origin required to export to the U.S;
  • The various criteria, definitions and promotional landscape to supply the U.S. market;
  • The constraints and opportunities in Kenya as well as strategic recommendations to capture niche export market opportunities; and
  • Suggested buyers and trade fairs relevant to the sector.
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