Trade policy reforms and poverty in Kenya: Processes and outcomes

Type Working Paper - Background Paper (Geneva: CUTS Geneva Resource Centre)
Title Trade policy reforms and poverty in Kenya: Processes and outcomes
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2006
This background paper reviews Kenya’s experience with the implementation of trade reforms and
their implications on sustainable development. The aim is to assist in understanding the role and
effects of policy reforms in achieving sustainable livelihoods in the country. The paper is
concerned with a number of critical questions. Did the government make the changes in order to
meet domestic political objectives or international requirement? How were trade reform policies
adopted and implemented in Kenya? How have previously implemented policies succeeded or
failed in promoting sustainable development? Have the changes improved access to international
markets? How should current policies be changed or reforms deepened for poverty reduction?
The review starts by presenting a brief conceptual framework on the trade poverty nexus. This is
followed by an assessment of the nature and processes of trade reforms in Kenya. Based on
research findings of different studies, the paper then reviews the impact of trade reforms on
poverty in Kenya. Finally, the paper draws lessons for the design of pro-poor trade policies in the

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