The Hub recently joined Polucon Services Limited at the Mombasa Port to see its inspection and testing services in action. Polucon is one of the labs that the Hub and Eastern Africa Grain Council are collaborating with to assess sampling, grading, and testing procedures for grains and pulses. The end goal is to streamline and harmonize these procedures across the region to make trade easier. 
East Africa Trade and Investment Hub
Boosting trade and investment in East Africa        
Monthly Newsletter - April 2016 
                                                                             Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView our photos on flickr
 In this issue:
eacleadsThe East African Community Leads in Regional Trade Integration

The East African Community (EAC) garners highest marks for regional trade integration among African Regional Economic Communities (RECs).

This is according to the recently released Africa Regional Integration Index (ARII) Report. The ARII is a collaborative effort between the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) that collect data on the impacts of regional integration. The index benchmarks eight RECs, recognized by the African Union, on five dimensions: 1.) regional infrastructure, 2.) trade integration, 3.) productive integration, 4.) free movement of people and 5.) financial and microeconomic integration.

According to the index, the EAC, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Burundi (South Sudan has also recently joined), scored the highest in trade integration, scoring 0.78 out of the highest possible score of 1 on the index. The index measure trade integration with four indicators: 1.) level of customs duties on imports, 2.) share of intra-regional goods exports (% of GDP), 3.) share of intra-regional goods imports (% of GDP) and 4.) share of total intra-regional goods trade (% total of intra-REC trade).

Maximum value = 1 for all indicators

The Hub, through its Trade Policy and Regulatory Reform component, enhances regional trade in the EAC. The component supports the proper implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol, addresses Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and works to harmonize Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) measures across the region.

Harmonized standards simplifies trade.
The Hub is collaborating with the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat and Eastern Africa Grain Council to harmonize regional implementation guidelines for the sampling, testing and grading of cereals and pulses in the EAC. The partnership recently facilitated a meeting in Mombasa, Kenya to deliberate and address issues emanating from various sampling and grading procedures in cereals and pulses in the region. Representatives from all EAC Partner States attended.

"Harmonization of cereals and pulses standards is a key step in promoting regional trade, cuts compliance costs and simplifies the process hence promoting regional trade. If a product is tested in one country it will be accepted across the region. Harmonization of standards provides a common understanding in public and private labs with regards to sampling, testing and grading of cereals and pulses," - Ms. Sambwe Fundikira, Tanzania Bureau of Standards Quality Assurance Officer.

"The EAC Secretariat is committed to have the standards harmonized by mid-2016. There are capacity issues and technicalities and we are working hand in hand with Partner States to overcome the challenges," - Ms. Stella Apolot, EAC Secretariat Standards Expert.

Read more on our blog... 
The Mombasa Port

On March 30 - April 1, the Hub joined members of the National Monitoring Committees on Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) from the EAC Partner States and representative from the EAC Secretariat, East African Business Council Secretariat, TradeMark East Africa and the private sector for the 20th East African Community Regional Forum on NTBs, held in Arusha, Tanzania.

A Non-Tariff Barrier (NTB) restricts trade. Non-tariff barriers to trade include import quotas, special licenses, unreasonable standards for the quality of goods, bureaucratic delays at customs, export restrictions, technical barriers to trade, and inappropriate sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures, etc.

The purpose of the EAC Regional Forum on NTBs was to: review progress on the elimination of identified NTBs; receive reports from the Partner States on the activities of National Monitoring Committees, including new NTBs; and update the EAC Time Bound Program. The National Monitoring Committee reported that four NTBs have been resolved and seven new ones have been reported with evidence submitted.

The EAC Time Bound Program on Elimination of NTBs is a prioritized schedule of identified NTBs, affected countries and sectors with a time-frame for elimination by the responsible institution.

The Hub's Trade Policy team supports the private and public sector to enhance regional trade.
missionHub Facilitates Uniform Buyer's Mission to Ethiopia, Kenya, and Rwanda

An export-ready Ethiopian uniform factory
From April 19 - 23, the Hub hosted executives from the fourth largest uniform buyer in the U.S. market, Superior Uniform Group, on a buyer's mission to Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda. The Hub's AGOA team pre-selected viable producers of work wear, 12 firms in total, in the three countries and helped the firms prepare their product portfolios for the mission. The Hub also introduced Superior Uniform Group to government officials and USAID representatives in Rwanda.
Superior Uniform Group designs, manufactures and markets employee uniforms, image apparel, scrubs and patient apparel. The company is seeking to expand its sourcing capacity in East Africa. The Hub is actively seeking to connect East African producers with U.S. buyers through such missions.
The buyer's mission increased business linkages between a large U.S. buyer and East African exporters and should result in increased East African exports to the U.S. under African Growth and Opportunity Act.
kamThe Hub signs MoU with Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM)

Hub Chief of Party Juan-Estrade Valle and KAM CEO Phyllis Wakiaga at the MoU signing ceremony
On April 26, the Hub signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) to support Kenyan businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, to increase their capacity to take advantage of duty-free trade with the U.S. through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

"AGOA offers great opportunities for our local businesses especially the SMEs. It is essential that we build their capacity to enable them leverage this partnership to realize financial sustainability for their businesses.  Beyond this we are also looking to diversify our exports through this partnership and increase competitiveness of various agricultural value chains," - Ms. Phyllis Wakiaga, KAM Chief Executive Officer.

In partnership, the Hub and KAM will host trade and investment delegations and support policy initiatives that attract investment to the region, particularly in the textile and garment, leather and leather products, agro processing, horticulture, ICT and cotton sectors.

leatherNew Leather Industrial Park in Kenya Expected to Create 50,000 Jobs

The Hub's leather adviser to the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Trade and Kenya Leather Development Council is assisting in the development of a leather industrial park to support finished leather products for export.

Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Industry, Investment and Trade Adan Mohamed said, "Kenya's first leather city will create 50,000 direct jobs for Kenyans...and once in operation, the total value of finished leather products for export is also expected to increase 12 times." As reported by the government's official website,

The Hub recently facilitated a leather production facility tour for SMEs looking to source high-quality leather in Kenya. 

The Ksh 17 billion, 500-acre park (once completed) is expected to propel the current Kenyan leather industry from a mere exporter of raw materials and semi-processed hides and skins to a major player in finished leather goods.The Hub's leather advisor will work with the ministry to ensure that project feasibility is undertaken appropriately, taking into consideration internationally acceptable standards and best practices.

Kenyan's President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to launch the Leather Industrial Park in May 2016. Potential investors have started forwarding their Expressions of Interest and all applications are being treated on a first-come first-served basis.

In 2015, the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Industry, Investment and Trade Adan Mohamed called upon the donor community to assist the ministry achieve its goals within the Kenya Industrial Transformation Program. The leather value chain, textile and apparel sectors are top priorities towards the achievement of the Kenya Industrial Transformation Program.

Do you want to take advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and start exporting to the largest consumer market in the world, the U.S.?

Then join our Eastern Africa AGOA Exporters Facebook group! 

The Facebook group will give you better access to technical advise from the Hub on AGOA and trade-related queries, and it will provide a forum to exchange ideas and tips with one another. Facebook group pages are searchable, providing you with easy access to past tips and advice threads. Join SMEs from across East Africa, Ethiopia, Madagascar and Mauritius to learn from one another and find out more about: 
  • AGOA benefitsProduct eligibility
  • Market linkages
  • Export procedures,
  • Customs requirements
  • the U.S. market

Did you know you can ask AGOA-related questions on our website and get expert answers?

Here are some recently answered questions:

Question: Are banana and soy flour products AGOA eligible?

Answer: Thank you for your enquiry regarding the Banana & soy flour USA market eligibility. I advise that both banana & soy flour are eligible to enter the U.S. market duty free. The banana flour can enter duty free under General System of Preference (GSP) and the soy flour under AGOA. Read the full response...

Question: Are chicken and pork meat exports AGOA eligible?

Answer: Thanks for your enquiry. I advise that some of the products can enter the U.S. duty free as stated below. Read the full response...

Join our Facebook group to get the latest and connect with other AGOA exporters.
rwandaRwanda Guidelines for AGOA Visa Application and Processing

Are you looking to export textile or apparel to the U.S. through AGOA?

Here's a step by step process for navigating the AGOA visa application and export process in Rwanda. Visit our knowledge center for more helpful documents.
soybeanIntroducing the Soybean Challenge Fund
FoodTrade East & Southern Africa (FoodTrade ESA) has launched the Soybean Challenge Fund. Through
the fund, FoodTrade ESA seeks to partner with private sector players and other development actors to unlock soy bean value chains and create opportunities for more farmers to participate in production and access better markets. Interested? Go here for more information.

FoodTrade ESA Challenge Funds stimulate innovative business models that deliver commercial benefits and solutions to market failures in regional staple food markets. Challenge Funds also promote jobs, greater income and market access for the poor and smallholder farmers. To find out more about the Soybean Challenge Fund and apply, please visit the FoodTrade East & Southern Africa website.
The East Africa Trade and Investment Hub supports two U.S. presidential initiatives:

Trade Africa
is 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.
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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