East Africa Trade and Investment Hub
Newsletter                                                                                                                      November 2014
Welcome to the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub newsletter, a monthly update of what USAID, through the presidential Trade Africa initiative, is doing to boost trade and investment in East Africa.

The New East Africa Trade and Investment Hub is on the Ground!

On Monday, November 11, 2014 Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta (center) and U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Robert F. Godec (behind President Kenyatta) officially opened the Nairobi Origin Africa Trade Expo and launched the USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub.
More than 400 buyers, investors, and exhibitors traveled to Nairobi, Kenya to attend the Origin Africa Trade Expo, hosted by ACTIF (African Cotton and Textile Industries Federation), the USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub, and the Export Processing Zones Authority of Kenya.  Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta provided opening remarks, stating that his Government "was keen to position Kenya as the continent's manufacturing and technology hub." Buyers are equally keen for such a hub. "We are looking to Africa for trusted suppliers who can deliver big volumes and take advantage of AGOA," said Globetex India buyer, Ashwajeet Garg.
What's AGOA?
AGOA is the African Growth and Opportunity Act, a U.S. Government trade preference program that offers African producers the opportunity to export thousands of types of goods, including apparel, to the U.S. without paying import duties. AGOA is one way that the U.S. is helping to link American and African business. The new $65 million USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub is another way. Part of the U.S. presidential Trade Africa initiative, the new Trade and Investment Hub is designed to boost trade and investment with and within East Africa. One of its goals is to double East African exports to the United States under AGOA.
"As one American business owner put it, no one was asking whether to invest in the continent, but rather when and how," said Ambassador Godec, providing an anecdote from the U.S.-Africa Leaders' Summit regarding the enthusiasm for investment in Africa.

The USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub is helping to facilitate the "how." Through events like the Origin Africa Trade Expo, U.S. buyer trade missions, and business to business meetings, the Trade and Investment Hub is helping American and global business people understand the African market so that they can start investing.

"Origin Africa was THE expo for me to come to. I found exactly what I was looking for in terms of high-level contacts in the industry. Origin Africa helped me to understand the dynamics of doing business in Africa," Christopher Griffin, President of Sourcing at MAGIC (one of the largest trade expos in the U.S.)

Origin Africa is a long-standing campaign and initiative dedicated to improving African trade. It is comprised of producers, designers, small businesses, exporters, buyers and retailers who are working to develop, guide and promote African trade in the following sectors: textiles/apparel, footwear, home décor, design, and fashion accessories. The Origin Africa campaign is an essential component of  the U.S presidential Trade Africa initiative. Learn More

Origin Africa Fashion Show Celebrates African Designers 
Kenya First Lady Margaret Kenyatta kicks off the Origin Africa Fashion Show with a stroll down the catwalk.
More than 200 people attended the Origin Africa Designer
Muhoho Kenyatta (center) won emerging designer award. He now has the opportunity to participate in an internship at Panah, a high-end garment manufacturer in Karen, Kenya.
Showcase, hosted by Kenya First Lady Margaret Kenyatta.

Models showcased East African creative talent while retailers, buyers, and government officials discussed trade and established connections. The fashion show demonstrated what Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta and U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Robert F. Godec both detailed in their speeches, East Africa has talent.

Kenya Strives for a Better Business and Investment Environment 

 

Kenya held an investment conference in November with the theme, "Invest in Kenya, the hub of East and Central Africa." The Kenya International Investment Conference brought together international, regional and national investors with Kenya government leaders to discuss and exchange ideas for increased private investment. To learn more, contact the Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest).

USAID Trade Africa Deputy Coordinator Matt Rees discusses how Trade Africa is helping to facilitate trade and investment in East Africa with textile buyer Ashwajeet Garg.
USAID Trade Africa Deputy Coordinator Matt Rees discusses how Trade Africa is helping to facilitate trade and investment in East Africa with textile buyer Ashwajeet Garg.
The Origin Africa Trade Show facilitated a business and investment meeting between Cabinet Secretary for the Kenyan Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Adan Mohammed, the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub, and Trade Expo buyers. CS Mohammed outlined the Government of Kenya's plan for attracting investment in the textile and apparel industry, including the development of a future textile "city" in Nairobi. Buyers were invited to ask questions and CS Mohammed invited comments and suggestions on how to make doing business in Kenya easier. Participating buyers included H&M, Otto Group, PVH, and Vanity Fair. Substantive discussions like these help the public sector create a more pro-business environment for private sector investment.

AGOA-Export Company Mombasa Apparel Adds 3,000 New Kenyan Jobs with Launch of Fourth Factory
 
On November 8, 2014, Mombasa Apparel launched its fourth textile factory on the coast of Kenya. Its output is apparel destined for the U.S. through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The larger Mombasa Apparel investor group employs more Kenyans than Standard Charter, Barclays, East African Breweries, and Safaricom combined (Kenya's most visible companies). Over the past few years, the USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub has introduced six U.S. apparel buyers to Mombasa Apparel, helping to create the demand for more investment in factories. Mombasa Apparel will employ 14,000 Kenyans in the coastal region by the end of 2015, positively impacting the livelihoods of nearly 100,000 Kenyans. Read More 
Haller Launches New Mobile App. for Farmers

Check o
ut the new Haller Farmer App. A free, educational web-based smartphone app to help farmers increase their yields and income streams.
    
Interested in learning more about doing business or investing in East Africa? Contact us: info@eatradehub.org


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The author's views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Agency for International Development or the United States Government.
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