Kenya’s fishing sector gained a milestone after the country exported its first batch of anchovies, locally known as ‘omena,’ to China in June.
This was made possible by a bilateral agreement signed between the two countries in January 2022.
The 52-tonne shipment of omena was delivered under an agreement that benefits both countries.
Wu Peng, Director-General, Department of African Affairs, MFA, China, announced on X.com that more shipments are on the way.
“The FOCAC Green Channel for African agricultural exports is bringing tangible benefits to African and Chinese people.”
Glad to see the first 52-tonne shipment of 🇰🇪 #omena exported to 🇨🇳 has been delivered recently. More is on the way. The FOCAC #Green Channel for African agricultural exports to 🇨🇳 is bringing tangible benefits to African and Chinese people. pic.twitter.com/LbhyG2C28c
— 吴鹏 Wu Peng (@WuPeng_MFAChina) September 11, 2023
The first batch of Kenyan wild anchovy products debuted at the third China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo in late June.
The omena export was handled by Huawen Food, a local Kenyan subsidiary of the Jinzai Food Group.
The company operates out of Kwale on Kenya’s coast and relies on hundreds of local fishermen to supply its processing plant with locally caught ‘omena’ for drying and packaging.
Liu Zhiyong, managing director of Huawen Food, stated that the company’s Kenyan operation is a high-margin venture.
The FOCAC Green Channel is an initiative by the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) to facilitate African agricultural exports to China. This initiative is part of the FOCAC Dakar Action Plan (2022-2024).
“China will continue to strengthen cooperation and exchanges with Africa in fishery and support promoting the development of the fishery industry of Africa to the best of its ability,” reads part of the plan.
“The African side will introduce policies that are more conducive to China-Africa fishery cooperation to attract more investment from China and deliver mutually beneficial outcomes through cooperation.”
In August, at the China-Africa Leaders’ Roundtable Dialogue that was co-chaired by Chinese President Xi Jinping and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, China pledged to allocate more resources for Africa’s industrialisation and agricultural production.
The dialogue was convened to consider the role of China-Africa relations in supporting the goal of regional integration in Africa as outlined in the African Union’s Agenda 2063 at the end of the BRICS summit in Johannesburg.
Two new initiatives were announced during the dialogue.
The first is the “Initiative on Supporting Africa’s Industrialization”, which aims to utilize existing structures of FOCAC, the Belt and Road Initiatives, and the new Global Development Initiative (GDI) to channel resources for assistance, investment, and financing programs of manufacturing and value-addition.
The second is the “Plan for China Supporting Africa’s Agricultural Modernization”, which looks to expand grain cultivation, provide emergency food assistance, and encourage Chinese companies to boost agricultural investment in Africa.