Kenya has green-lit the importation of 43,000 metric tonnes of sugar by eight firms under the East Africa Community (EAC) tax scheme, aimed at fostering industrial production within the region.

The move, announced by Deng Alor Kuol, Chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers, allows these companies to utilize the sugar for various industrial purposes, spanning from beverage production to the manufacturing of confectionery and sauces.

Under the EAC-wide duty remission scheme, all sugar-based products manufactured in Kenya rely on imported industrial sugar, attracting a payable duty rate of 10 per cent.

Deng Alor Kuol highlighted, "A remission of import duty is approved for Kenya for the following manufacturers on the specified quantities of sugar for industrial use to apply a duty rate of ten percentum for 12 months."

Among the recipients of the clearance, Coca-Cola Beverages Kenya Limited leads with approval to import 20,000 tonnes of industrial sugar, earmarked for carbonated drinks and juice production.

Similarly, Equator Bottlers secures clearance for 10,000 tonnes for the production of similar beverages.

Furthermore, Trufoods Limited has been granted clearance to bring in 5,000 tonnes of industrial sugar for a range of products including jams, marmalades, sauces, spices, and chocolate.

The other firms given the green light for importation are Jetlak Foods Limited (3,000 tonnes), Devyani Food Industries Kenya (2,000), Bidco Africa Limited (1,000), Kenafric Beverages & Bottling Limited (1,200), and Tamtamz Limited (800).

These import clearances are expected to facilitate the uninterrupted production of various consumer goods, contributing to both the local economy and the broader East African market.

With a focus on industrial expansion and economic growth, such initiatives underscore the collaborative efforts within the East Africa Community towards mutual prosperity and development.