Kenya’s tea exports to Afghanistan have remained steady despite the recent Taliban takeover of the country.
Tea accounts for 30 percent of the East African country’s exports to Afghanistan, with statistics indicating that Kabul purchased about $18 million worth of Kenyan tea in 2020.
Edward Mudibo, the Managing Director of the East Africa Tea Trade Association (EATTA), told CGTN he expects the exports to continue so long as Afghanistan’s financial services remain operational.
“If the financial services continue to operate, we don’t see any decline for tea, that’s the situation right now and even in a situation of turmoil still the citizens continue taking tea, that’s the consolation we have,” he said.
The Taliban made a fast takeover of Kabul last month as the U.S. and allied forces evacuated their troops to end a 20-year presence in the country.
The group on Tuesday announced the formation of an interim government for Afghanistan.
The developments raised fears of possible disruptions of most aspects, including trade.
Speaking to CGTN earlier however, a Taliban spokesperson, Mohammad Suhail Shaheen, said he expected the new administration to maintain cooperation with interested nations and regions, including Africa.
“We need (the cooperation) in all sectors. It is in the education sector, infrastructure, agriculture, industries, especially natural resources. We have huge (reserves) of natural resources in Afghanistan. There is a need for investment in those resources,” said Shaheen.
The formation of the new government now shifts focus to rebuilding the country and ensuring a return to complete calm and order, as well as building relations with foreign nations.
As normalcy returns, Kenya will be among many countries globally that will be looking to strengthen trade relations.