East Africa Trade and Investment Hub
Newsletter                                                                                                                      December 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.

Happy New Year from the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub! 
Initiatives to get excited about for 2015
Investment

More Financing Opportunities for East African Trade

The Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (PTA Bank) will offer a new trade finance fund to support and facilitate trade flows between trading partners in the new year. The fund is looking to raise up to $1 billion to provide trade finance support to exporters and importers in the private sector. Find out more here.

The East Africa Trade and Investment Hub also supports investors looking to expand their footprint in Africa. In December, the East Africa Trade and Investment team joined a 15-company business delegation on a Corporate Council on Africa (CCA)-organized East Africa trade mission. The goal of the trade mission was to promote commercial opportunities throughout Africa and to foster partnerships between African and American businesses.

"CCA's role in mobilization of private capital in the East African region is unparalleled," said Rwanda President Paul Kagame.

East Africa Trade and Investment Hub Investment and Technology Director Kanini Mutooni briefs Rwanda President Paul Kagame on the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub's and CCA's plan to increase trade and investment in the region.  Photo credit: Paul Kagame flickr page.

ICT (Information and Communications Technology)

Anticipating Strong ICT Growth in East African Countries

International Data Corporation (IDC) singled out East African countries Kenya and Rwanda as key countries in which ICT growth will be a strong driver of GDP growth in 2015.

"Technologies like mobile, cloud, big data and social media are driving new business models and added value across the continent," said the IDC report.

The East Africa Trade and Investment Hub plans to engage with iHub in the near year, East Africa's first innovation and technology hub based in Nairobi, Kenya. The goal is to boost innovation and technology development in the region to attract further investment and job opportunities. Learn more about iHub here.
Agriculture

New Facilities to Reduce Contamination in Staple Crops

Kenya recently celebrated the opening and breaking ground of two new facilities that will help reduce mycotoxin contamination in staple crops. Aflatoxins are among the most common types of mycotoxins, poisonous substances produced by toxic fungi that frequently colonize crops in the field and during storage. (Feed the Future website)

Controlling Aflatoxin will remove a major barrier to Kenya's food security and regional and international trade.  Find out more about Kenya's new mycotoxin control by reading the U.S.Government's Feed the Future's December field story.
Kenyan farmers examine their new, more drought resistant maize crop.
Photo credit: USAID/Siegfried Modola.

Check out USAID Kenya's Facebook feed and flickr page for more photos and stories from the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future.

East African Community (EAC) Integration

 

Revised Rules of Origin Ease Trade in EAC

 

On November 30, 2014, the EAC Council approved revised EAC Rules of Origin. The revised Rules of Origin promotes further integration and trade between EAC countries by removing overly burdensome restrictions regarding raw materials sourced from outside the EAC.  

Atraco Group, or Mombasa Apparel, is an African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)-export textile company that plans to employ 14,000 Kenyans in the coastal region by the end of 2015.

The USAID East Africa Trade Hub supported the African Cotton & Textile Industries Federation to provide an industry position on the cotton, textile and apparel value chain. This position was adopted in the revised Rules of Origin and should lead to increased investments and intra-regional trade in textile and apparel.   

To find out more about the revised Rules of Origin, and the greater business and trade opportunities they provide, contact the EAC secretariat  
eac@eachq.org.  

African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Strategies

New AGOA Strategies for Madagascar and Rwanda

In June 2014, President Obama reinstated Madagascar as an AGOA-eligible country, recognizing the nation's return to democratic rule and its commitment to promote transparency and the rebuilding of Madagascar's economy. In November, the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub's Trade Promotion team traveled to Madagascar to re-engage the Malagasy public and private sector on AGOA. The team led a technical workshop on, "Preparing Madagascar for the Return of Trade Benefits under AGOA." Attendees learned about opportunities for export to the U.S. under AGOA, with a particular emphasis on the apparel, specialty foods, and home décor and fashion accessories sectors.

 

In the new year, the Hub's Trade Promotion team will complete an AGOA strategy for Madagascar and work with Rwanda to revise their AGOA strategy.
AGOA is 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.
To learn more about AGOA and the benefits it provides, contact info@eatradehub.org.
African Infrastructure 

Improving the Ease of Doing Business with Better Infrastructure

"For the second year running, there was a significant rise in total commitments for energy, transport, water and information and communications technology."

In December 2014, the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa released its Infrastructure Financing Trends In Africa annual report. The good news, "a trend of growing support for Africa's infrastructure."

Africa got a major boost from external financiers, including $7 billion in commitments by the U.S. government through President Barack Obama's Power Africa initiative. The report also indicated sustained growth in African national governments' spending on infrastructure. Read the complete report here.
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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