One hundred entrepreneurs participated in the Hub's recent Uganda AGOA Preparedness Workshop on May 26 in Kampala. Find out more below!
East Africa Trade and Investment Hub
Boosting trade and investment in East Africa        
Monthly Newsletter - May 2016 
                                                                             Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView our photos on flickr
 In this issue:
ugandaprepUgandan Entrepreneurs are Ready to Take Advantage of AGOA
One hundred entrepreneurs participated in the Hub's AGOA Preparedness Workshop on May 26 in Kampala, Uganda. The atmosphere was high energy and collaborative. Colorful baskets, designer sandals and specialty food products lined the room. Uganda's Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Amelia Kyambadde, visited every display. Hon. Kyambadde launched the workshop by congratulating the entrepreneurs for their contributions to Uganda's economic growth and by listing examples of what the Ugandan government is doing to make export easier.
Uganda AGOA Presidential Advisor Susan Muhwezi asked those who were already exporting to the U.S. through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) to stand up. The rest of the room clapped. "These are the people you want to network with," said Ms. Muhwezi.
Uganda has been slow to capitalize on AGOA. In 2015, the total value of AGOA exports from Uganda to the U.S. was less than $200,000. "Ugandan can and should benefit more from AGOA," said USAID Deputy Mission Director Mark Messick in his opening remarks. Based on workshop attendance, Ugandan entrepreneurs certainly seem eager to do so. "I want to take advantage of the ten year extension," said Sarah Nakisanze of Easy Afric Designs. Ms. Nakisanze currently exports her bark cloth and raffia wallets and handbags to Europe. She wants to figure out a way to get her costs down so she can be more competitive in the U.S.
The Hub's AGOA Preparedness Workshop provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs to learn from one another and from the government officials and industry specialists in their home country. The workshop also sets the record straight on AGOA - eligible products (nearly 7,000), duty-free advantages, and the paperwork needed for certified export.
Meg Hilbert Jaquay of Jakana Fruits, a workshop panelist and organic certified dried fruit exporter, stressed the need for collaboration. "We are not competitors. We are allies for Uganda business. If I do something to help my business; it's going to help your business." Ms. Hilbert Jaquay then showed a resealable stand up pouch that she now manufactures locally to reduce costs. The pouch ensures long shelf life and is crucial for maintaining quality and competitiveness for export. Jakana Fruits is already exporting to the U.S.
With help from the Hub, USAID, and committed local governments, expect to see more East African products entering the U.S. duty free through AGOA.

Kenyan leather workers prepare hides for cutting. The Hub is working with tanneries and SMEs to draw investment to the East African region's leather sector.
Wells Lamont, a Berkshire Hathaway Group-owned company established in 1907, is the world's largest glove manufacturer. The company produces gloves for men, women, and children, everything from work gloves and mittens to professional oven mitts. You can find its products in U.S. retail stores, such as Wal-Mart, Lowe's, and Sears, and through wholesale distributors.
The company cares about its craftsmanship and its reputation. Its motto is "stubborn about quality."
Wells Lamont is now looking to source its quality gloves from East Africa. The USAID East Africa Trade
and Investment Hub (the Hub) is going to help East African small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) deliver.

The Hub has partnered with the Leather Articles Entrepreneurs Association (LAEA) to identify export-ready SMEs and to build the capacity of those SMEs that are nearly ready for export. The Hub and LAEA are also identifying tanneries that could develop glove prototypes to be approved by Wells Lamont, and that can then consistently produce high-quality leather for glove orders. The Hub will facilitate export readiness workshops, including AGOA awareness seminars, for the selected SMEs. The Hub and LAEA will also help coordinate the consolidation of SME production to ensure conformance to quality and market standards before dispatching the shipment to Wells Lamont.
Wells Lamont anticipates sourcing ten, 40ft containers of gloves over the next three years. That's a value of $40 million in exports. This demand will create employment opportunities and significant export business for East African SMEs.
The Hub supports a leather advisor within the Kenyan Ministry of Industry, Investment and Trade to identify and facilitate new investments for the leather sector and provide technical assistance to the SMEs working in the leather value chain.
Hub Investment Director encourage investor-projects at World Investment Forum planning meeting
wifThe Hub and Partners Prep for Upcoming World Investment Forum

On May 19, the Hub, together with the East Africa Community (EAC) Secretariat and the East Africa Business Council (EABC), hosted investment promotion agencies from the East African region to collaborate on a common approach for the upcoming UNCTAD World Investment Forum, being held in Nairobi July 17 -21. The investment promotion agencies are eager to capitalize on the Forum by presenting a harmonized overview of East African investment projects and needed investment policies, with a goal of attracting and retaining investment in the region. 

The UNCTAD World Investment Forum is a high-level, biennial, multi-stakeholder gathering designed to facilitate dialogue and action on the world's key emerging investment-related challenges. Its mission is to provide a platform where a debate on "Investment in Sustainable Development" can take place and ultimately to promote investment flows that contribute to sustainable and inclusive development. With its ties to UN member States, the World Investment Forum is able to bring together a broad coalition of investment stakeholders at the highest level who can influence the global investment landscape.

Zanzibar National Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture (ZNCCIA) Executive Director, Ms. Munira Humoud, makes a point at the Zanzibar PPD
On May 26, the Hub, in conjunction with the Zanzibar National Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture (ZNCCIA), hosted public and private sector players from Zanzibar to a Public Private Dialogue on the implementation of the Common Market Protocol. Among those present were businesspeople, industry association representatives and representatives of government agencies with responsibilities related to the EAC Common Market Protocol.
"The level of awareness about the EAC common market is very low in Zanzibar. We really need to educate the private sector about it" - Ms. Munira Humoud, Executive Director, Zanzibar National Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (ZNNCIA)
Private sector and industry associations were clear that there is a dire need for more awareness and education about the common market and the rights, obligations and opportunities therein for Zanzibar businesses. A number of constraints were also raised that are inhibiting the growth of trade, such as imposition of several trade levies, lack of capacity to effectively administer technical regulations and sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures, and the high cost of transport. These issues significantly increase the cost of doing business and results in lost opportunities for entrepreneurs.
"The export industry is relatively under-developed in Zanzibar. The situation is especially critical for the smaller players. Without increasing our production capacity, we cannot benefit from the common market." - Mr. Khamis Issa Mohammed, Secretary General, Zanzibar Exporters Association & Managing Director, Tanzania Zanzibar Organic Producers LTD.
The Hub through its trade policy component is working closely with private sector associations across the EAC to enhance their ability to exercise their rights and opportunities under the EAC Common Market Protocol.
yiacSupporting Youth in Agribusiness through Competition and Training

The culmination of the Hub-supported Young Innovators in Agribusiness competition took place May 27 at the Agribusiness Innovation Trade Fair (AITF) 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya. The 60 finalists (30 in each of two categories - SME and Startup) competed for a total of $20,000 in seed funding.

"Our goal is to offer young innovators an opportunity to scale up agribusiness activities through training with a view of stimulating enterprises that are investible, sustainable and competitive" said James Shikwati, Director at Inter Region Economic Network (IREN).

In the SME category, first place went to Abrhame Endrias of Green Agro Mechanization from Ethiopia (USD 5000), followed by Murindahabi Edmond of PEBEC Limited from Rwanda (USD 3000), and then Anzazi Kiti of Taste Afrique Limited from Kenya (USD 2000).
In the start-up businesses category, Noah Ssempija of Youth Initiative for Community Empowerment(YICE) from Uganda won first place (USD 5000), followed by Mercy Kitomari of Nelwa's Gelato from Tanzania (USD 3000) and then Uwintwali Lilian of M-AHWIII Ltd from Rwanda (USD 2000).
All 120 participants completed business training sessions throughout the competition, which helped them improve their businesses strategies and their methods for to pitching investors.  
Young Innovators in Agribusiness was jointly supported by the Hub, Syngenta, the Inter-Region Economic Network(IREN) and Toyota Kenya Academy.
feaffaThe Hub Signs Grant with FEAFFA to Boost Regional Trade

Hub Chief of Party Juan-Estrade Valle and FEAFFA President Ms. Merian Sebunya at the signing ceremony
On May 24, the Hub signed a grant agreement with the Federation of East African Freight Forwarders Associations (FEAFFA) to support its capacity building efforts within the East African Community (EAC) freight forwarders industry, specifically in relation to implementation of the revised EAC Rules of Origin.The partnership will improve compliance with the EAC Rules of Origin and reduce the cost and time required for cargo to cross the border by diminishing rules of origin-related choke points.

The Federation is a private sector apex body of freight forwarders' associations in the East Africa region. It was established in 2006.

"FEAFFA represents the private sector who know and experience the real issues on the ground. We are confident that this partnership will result in making regional trade more fluid and benefit the entire East Africa region", said Hub Chief of Party, Mr. Juan Estrada-Valle

"The key word is transparency. FEAFFA wants to professionalize the industry and cut the cost of doing business thereby boosting regional trade", said FEAFFA President Ms. Merian Sebunya.

CNN'S Eleni Giokos visits one of Rwanda's textiles manufacturing businesses that is exporting to the U.S. and talks to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair about trade in Africa. Watch the video here.
agoafbJoin our Eastern Africa AGOA Exporters Facebook Group

Are you looking to export your product to the U.S. under the duty-free Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)?

Join our Facebook group and interact with fellow business-people that are already benefiting from AGOA and interact with our in-house AGOA-experts. Ask questions and get direction on how to tap into the U.S. market through AGOA.
  • Source Africa. June 8-9. Cape Town, South Africa. More information... 
  • Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) 2016. June 20-24. San Fransisco, USA. More information... 
  • International Floriculture Expo. June 21-22. Chicago, USA. More information... 
  • Kampala Private Equity and Venture Capital Conference. June 21-22. Kampala, Uganda. More information...
  • East Africa Venture Capital Association (EAVCA) Annual Private Equity in East Africa Conference. June 28. Nairobi, Kenya. More information...
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.
East Africa Trade and Investment Hub | |