The East Africa Trade and Investment Hub
Boosting trade and investment with and within East Africa 
Monthly Newsletter
February 2015
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U.S. Apparel Companies Embrace East Africa as Sourcing Destination at Las Vegas Trade Show

 

More than 50 African companies traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada in mid-February to participate in the premier U.S. apparel trade show, Sourcing at MAGIC. The East Africa Trade and Investment Hub sponsored a strong contingent of African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)-eligible countries, including companies from Madagascar, which recently regained its AGOA status and is hoping to return to its position as a top AGOA exporter.      

 

 

"The quality of the U.S. buyers attending was excellent. Big box retailers and high-profile brands such as Target, J Crew, Perry Ellis, Ralph Lauren and Levi's visited the Africa Pavilion and expressed interest in sourcing from East Africa," said Finn Holm-Olsen, East Africa Trade and Investment Hub Director of Trade Promotion and AGOA.

 

To capitalize on the interest shown at MAGIC, the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub is planning a series of  buyers' missions  to allow U.S. companies to connect directly with the East African companies that can meet their demand for high-quality apparel. U.S companies are increasingly looking to East Africa to meet their sourcing needs, broadening their sourcing portfolio beyond traditional Far East markets.  

 

East African companies are enthusiastic for U.S. companies to visit and ready to produce. "There is a lot of promise and a lot work to do!" said Bill Hulburt, Sales Manager at Flexknit Madagascar.  

 

View our calendar to find out more about upcoming buyers missions and East Africa Trade and Investment Hub events, or drop us a line info@eatradehub.org.

African Fine Coffees Association Conference Showcases Improved Productivity and Gender Inclusivity
In February, the African Fine Coffees Association (AFCA) held its 12th annual regional coffee conference and exhibition in Nairobi, Kenya.
Regional and international coffee roasters, traders, producers, professionals and connoisseurs turned out to visit Kenyan coffee cooperatives, attend seminars, and network with coffee industry leaders from around the world. This year's theme was "Productivity - the key to sustainable resurgence of the African coffee industry."
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Field trip highlight:
 
The East Africa Trade and Investment Hub's gender and youth specialist traveled to Nyeri County, Kenya to meet the Mutheka Farmer's Cooperative and witness the "Coffee is Cool" initiative supported by the International Trade Center and Hivos. The initiative is based on a November 2013 gender and youth strategy for the AFCA  region. It strives to empower men, women and youth in coffee through inspirational education programs and capacity building.  The overall goal is to improve the livelihoods of coffee farmers through increased productivity and best business practices, and to attract younger generations to the coffee sector.

 

The strategy and initiative promotes a cohesive family approach, participatory decision making, shared income and responsibility, and participation of women, men and youth in the entire coffee value chain. It also promotes improved production practices for greater quantity, improved practices for coffee quality, and diversification of crops, i.e. intercropping to provide a continuous stable income.    

 

The Mutheka Farmer's Cooperative showcased increased productivity and upward mobility for women.    

 

With the help of AFCA stakeholders, coffee cooperatives across East Africa are learning best practices for increasing farm productivity and sustainability. Above, family cows provide fertilizer for new coffee plants and bio gas for the kitchen. The end result, better livelihoods for coffee farmers and great coffee.

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AFCA was a grant recipient and graduate under the previous USAID Trade Hub. The East Africa Trade and Investment Hub is  currently exploring ways to strengthen a memorandum of understanding between the Specialty Coffee Association of America and AFCA to ensure sustained market penetration of fine East African coffees into the U.S. market.   

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Trade Ministers from the East African Community (EAC) sign Cooperation Agreement to Increase Trade-Related Capacity in the EAC Region and Deepen Economic Ties
The Cooperation Agreement will build capacity in three key areas: Trade Facilitation, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, and Technical Barriers to Trade. Implementing critical customs reforms, harmonizing standards, and undertaking multilateral commitments will support greater EAC regional economic integration and strengthen its trade relationship with the United States and other global partners. 

Examples of how the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub is helping:
Trade Facilitation: The Hub will help the EAC develop a regional African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) strategy to better assist EAC Partner States take advantage of existing AGOA benefits. 
Technical Barriers to Trade: The Hub
is working with the Uganda Bureau of Standards and the American National Standards Institute  to support Uganda's participation in the WTO Triennial Review of the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement. This support is being piloted in Uganda and will be rolled out to the rest of the region.
Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures:
The Hub is currently working with the EAC Agriculture Division to support the implementation of the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Protocol for the EAC.


Read more about the Cooperation Agreement here
In This Issue
U.S. Apparel Companies Embrace East Africa as Sourcing Destination at Las Vegas Trade Show
African Fine Coffees Association Conference Showcases Improved Productivity and Gender Inclusivity
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Trade Ministers from the East African Community (EAC) sign Cooperation Agreement to Increase Trade-Related Capacity in the EAC Region and Deepen Economic Ties
Want to know more about our project?
Kenyan Business Leaders Discuss Investment with Rwanda President Paul Kagame
The East Africa Trade and Investment Hub supports two U.S. presidential initiatives
A partnership between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa to increase internal and regional trade within Africa, and expand trade and economic ties among Africa, the United States, and other global markets.
Feed the Future strives to increase agricultural production and the incomes of both men and women in rural areas who rely on agriculture for their livelihoods. Investments in inclusive agriculture-led growth encompass improving agricultural productivity, expanding markets and trade, and increasing the economic resilience of vulnerable rural communities.
Want to know more about our project? Click on our new infographic fact sheet.


Kenyan Business Leaders Discuss Investment with Rwanda President Paul Kagame
On February 27, the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry hosted Rwanda President Paul Kagame for a breakfast meeting in Nairobi.  The meeting was designed to foster greater, investor-led development between Kenya and Rwanda. Industrialist Chris Kirubi,  Kenya Commercial Bank Group CEO Joshua Oigara and CfC Stanbic Bank head of commercial banking Elizabeth Wassuna were all in attendance. President Kagame has committed to holding regular meetings with business leaders to discuss policy matters that will improve the region's business environment. Read more
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