India Lifts Ban on Sugar Exports to Kenya After Ruto Visit

Kenya has been relying heavily on expensive sugar imports from neighbouring Uganda after India imposed export restrictions on July 27, 2023.

However, following President William Ruto’s visit to the country, India has now proposed exporting 20,000 tonnes of sugar to Kenya as one of its strategic partnerships with African countries.

The ban has been lifted under the Advanced Authorization Scheme (AAS), an Indian government official disclosed to one of its press outlets, livemint.

This marks the second lift on a ban, with the other one being on rice which was lifted last week. 

President William Ruto speaking at the Congress of the International Trade Union Confederation- Africa, Nairobi on November 28.


“Although India will have sufficient availability for domestic consumption, there may not be any surplus quantity for export due to anticipated lower production this year than the previous year,” one official of the AAS stated following the ban.

Therefore, it was established that the refineries that export refined sugar should stop to ensure enough domestic supply in the country.

With the new AAS directive, refineries can now import and export sugar to select African countries in regularised quantities.

Meanwhile, the latest November report by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) still shows that Kenya is reeling from high prices of sugar products.

To counter the high prices, Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Njunguna Ndungu proposed more imports to increase the availability of the product.

According to the reports, Ugandan sugar that is imported to the country is expensive by 43 per cent at Sh117,848 a tonne compared to India’s Sh66,324 a tonne.

Data from the Sugar Directorate shows that 68 per cent of the 21,887 tonnes of table sugar that Kenya imported in May came from Uganda.

Meanwhile, shipments from India, which was the previous month’s leading source for the commodity declined to 24 per cent.

A photo collage of different sugar brands at display.

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