The East Africa Trade and Investment Hub
Boosting trade and investment with and within East Africa 
Monthly Newsletter
April 2015
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Madagascar, more than just lemurs
Madagascar is Back

At the end of 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama reinstated Madagascar's eligibility for African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) benefits. The decision recognized the nation's return to democratic rule, as well as President Rajaonarimampianina's commitment to promote transparency, combat corruption, and begin rebuilding Madagascar's economy.


"We are pleased that Madagascar has returned to the family of AGOA nations.  We are hopeful that Madagascar will take advantage of AGOA's potential to create employment, expand bilateral trade, and contribute to the economic well-being, security, and health of its people," said United States Trade Representative Michael Froman. 


The Hub's JC Mazingue and AmCham Executive Director Scott Reid conduct a work shop on the many opportunities that AGOA provides.

The Hub is supporting Madagascar to take advantage of AGOA's potential. Since August 2014, the

Hub has been in and out of Madagascar helping the public and private sector prepare for AGOA reinstatement. In November 2014, the Hub conducted its first of several AGOA opportunity workshops and began preparing for a new Madagascar national AGOA strategy. This strategy is now finalized and with stakeholders for actualization.    


AGOA exports on the rise 


Madagascar has roared back to action since AGOA reinstatement. In the first two months of 2015, three companies exported nearly $2 million of apparel. In the third month, another three companies joined to bring the export total to more than $3 million*. These numbers will continue to rise, in part, thanks to training by the Hub and its partners. Seventeen companies are now ready for export, many of which already have confirmed orders from U.S. companies. 


Job creation


Groupement des Entreprises Malgaches Chairwoman Noro Andriamamoniarison announced that Malagasy companies have a plan to create 100,000 jobs in the apparel industry due to AGOA reinstatement. This is not a big surprise. Up until 2009, Madagascar was a top exporter to the U.S. under AGOA. 

"They have the existing capacity, labor and skills. Madagascar should make a great comeback," said East Africa Trade and Investment Hub AGOA expert JC Mazingue.   


It's clear from initial export numbers that Madagascar is making that comeback. To find out more about AGOA opportunities in Madagascar contact or visit our  Ask Our AGOA Expert web page.  


*Madagascar Customs Department via the U.S. Embassy in Madagascar 

New Bill to Eliminate Non-Tariff Barrier in East African Community (EAC)
The new NTBs bill will make EAC cross-border trade easier.
The East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) recently enacted a bill that will provide a legal mechanism for compelling EAC Partner States to eliminate barriers and end protectionism practices that have hindered smooth trade.

"Once implemented, the NTBs Bill will provide a new dimension to trade in East Africa, with additional transparency and predictability for the private sector. Ultimately, we would like to see this bill generating positive impact for East Africans. This could take place, for example, by seeing that the costs savings due to a reduction in NTBs are passed on to the consumer, particularly those located in the landlocked countries,"
said Jose Maciel, Regional Trade and Integration Director at TradeMark East Africa.


USAID partner TradeMark East Africa is supporting the EAC Secretariat and the Partner States to implement the EALA-enacted NTBs Bill. The bill now awaits assent by the region's five heads of state. 


For more insights on NTBs and trade policy and regulation in East Africa, read  The Policy and Regulatory Environment in East Africa: Nuts and Bolts, by the Hub's trade policy and regulatory reform expert. To see what the EAC has achieved thus far, read Status of Elimination of Non Tariff Barriers in the East African Community

Ethiopia Expands Resources to Capitalize on AGOA Opportunities
Ethiopia's new AGOA resource center hosted its first public workshop in late March/early April. AGOA-interested parties from across the public and private sector gathered  to formulate an action plan for greater export, based on the Ethiopian National AGOA Strategy

The new resource center is a one-stop-shop for companies looking to export to the United States through AGOA. The center works cooperatively with public and private organizations to design effective programs, make policy recommendations, and facilitate direct interventions that mitigate export constraints for priority sectors; namely, textiles and apparel, handicrafts, leather and leather products, horticulture and agro processing.   

The Hub encouraged Ethiopian AGOA stakeholders to become more visible to meet its AGOA potential, (i.e. travel to trade shows and meet with interested trading partners). Ethiopia is currently undertaking a massive program to build industrial zones. Now, they need to attract investment. 

Interested in sourcing from Ethiopia? The Ethiopian AGOA resource center has a new website full of helpful publications, news and contacts. For example, you can find a detailed report of the Ethiopian textile and garment industry, including company profiles and contacts.

You can also visit the Hub's website for more AGOA information and to ask a question of our AGOA expert.
Interested in partnering or working with the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub?
Check out our new opportunities webpage.

Positions to fill:

In This Issue
Madagascar is Back
New Bill to Eliminate Non-Tariff Barrier in East African Community
Ethiopia Expands Resources to Capitalize on AGOA Opportunities
Interested in partnering or working with the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub?
Food Trade ESA Opens 3rd Round of Challenge Fund
The Hub Signs MoU with Corporate Council on Africa
The Investor Toolbox - Private Capital Group for Africa
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.
Food Trade ESA Opens 3rd Round of Challenge Fund - ACT NOW, applications are due May 8
Calling all commercial companies that are active in the staple food value chains of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi. This round focuses on aggregation business services for grades and standards. Food Trade East and Southern Africa (Food Trade ESA) wants your innovative proposal for supporting large numbers of smallholder farmers. All project ideas should be able to show regional impact and use local partners.    


Interested? Go here for more information. 

Note, there will be a special consideration to women-owned companies whose solutions will be implemented in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

Applications are due no later than midnight East Africa time, May 8, 2015.


Food Trade ESA is a five-year trade enhancement and promotion program focusing on staple food crops. The program works with private sector and relevant institutions to improve storage, inputs and service markets, information and coordination mechanisms and policy and regulation with the aim to get more people trading in regional staple food markets. It is funded by the UK Government and managed by DAI. It operates in nine East and Southern African countries. Find out more here.
The Hub Signs MoU with Corporate Council on Africa
The East Africa Trade and Investment Hub is pleased  to announce its partnership with the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) to boost trade and investment in East Africa. The partnership will be bolstered by CCA's recent dedication of an East Africa Director to be housed, starting May 1, in the Kenya Private Sector Association (KEPSA) offices. Together, the Hub, CCA and KEPSA will provide businesses the resources they need to invest in East Africa.


Were you impressed by the export numbers and AGOA readiness of Madagascar? (see lead story)


CCA is leading a trade mission to Madagascar, Mozambique and Mauritius from May 10 - 19, 2015. Go here for more details.


CCA is a non-profit, membership based trade association focusing on strengthening commercial relationships between the United States and the African continent that has been in operation for over 20 years since 1993. The council runs various programs with a particular focus on the Agribusiness, Energy, Infrastructure, Security, Health, Trade, ICT and Finance sectors. CCA's membership includes among other notable companies: IBM, Boeing, Proctor & Gamble, ExxonMobil, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Citi, Caterpillar and many more.

The Investor Toolbox 
The United States Government has many agencies  which work to facilitate trade and investment domestically and abroad.

This month's highlight - USAID's Private Capital Group for Africa

USAID's Private Capital Group for Africa (PCGA) supports key development objectives of the United States and African governments and institutions by facilitating greater investment in Africa through private capital.

PCGA's activities generate engaged investors, accelerated deal closings, and more sustainable transactions that can be replicated and scaled across core sectors including the energy, health, and agricultural sectors throughout Africa.

To learn more about PCGA click here or contact

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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.