The Hub promotes trade and investment in East Africa at UNCTAD 14 World Investment Forum - 
Top and middle left - B2B networking event 
Left bottom - Financial services sector breakfast 
Middle - The Hub partnered with East African investment promotion agencies to create the East Africa Investment Pavilion, showcasing ten investment opportunities in the region. 
Right middle - USAID Kenya and East Africa Mission Director opens high-level roundtable on investment opportunities in East Africa. 
Right bottom - CEO breakfast
East Africa Trade and Investment Hub
Boosting trade and investment in East Africa        
Monthly Newsletter - July 2016 
                                                                             Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView our photos on flickr
 In this issue:
wifRound-up: The Hub Promotes Investment at UNCTAD 14 World Investment Forum
USAID East Africa Mission Director Karen Freeman opens high-level investment panel at the UNCTAD WIF.
From July 17 - 22, the United Nations held its 14th conference for trade and investment (UNCTAD14) in Nairobi, Kenya. The theme was, 'From decision to action: moving toward an inclusive and equitable global economic environment for trade and development'. The conference featured ministerial debates, high-level round tables, thematic events, a World Investment Forum, a Global Commodities Forum, a Youth Forum and a Civil Society Forum.The Hub was a prominent partner in the World Investment Forum (WIF), undertaking several initiatives to connect high-level public sector representatives with business people and investors. The goal - discuss solutions to investment constraints and seize opportunities for expanding investment in East Africa. 

Hub initiatives and partnerships:

The East Africa Investment Village
The Hub partnered with government investment promotion agencies from East Africa to identify, prepare and showcase several promising investment opportunities to global investors. Interested in learning more about the showcased investment opportunities? Click here.

Sector Breakfast
The Hub sponsored an investment-focused breakfast. Here are a couple of the take-aways:
  • Organizations that provide financial services in the region have experienced growth and challenges in equal measure, prompting some financial institutions to undertake mergers and acquisitions to tap into opportunities while others are doing so to cushion the risks.
  • Technology has played a significant role in shaping the financial services sector of eastern Africa. Financial services customers are keen to have banking service available on one platform.
B2B Networking Session
The Hub collaborated with Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) to host a B2B investor matchmaking session that brought together small and medium-sized enterprises, traders and potential investors from the East Africa region for one-on-one sessions and larger group discussions. Here, Hub Investment Director Kanini Mutooni provides a rundown of the B2B session.

CEOs Breakfast
The Hub partnered with Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), KenInvest, and UNCTAD to host a CEO breakfast meeting that included UNCTAD Secretary General Mukhisa Kituyi. Mr. Kituyi's keynote address called for greater local investment that will then attract foreign investment. Watch part of Mr. Kituyi's remarks here.

Round-table Discussion
The Hub hosted a high-level round table discussion entitled, "The New Economic Powerhouse - Exploring Investment Opportunities in Eastern Africa".  USAID Kenya and East Africa Mission Director Karen Freeman gave opening remarks where she highlighted the pivotal role of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in attracting investment to the region and consequently boosting production and exports to the U.S. East African leaders discussed strategies for promoting the East African region as a common destination for global investors. 

"We expect even greater things in the coming year on the AGOA front, given that some of the world's largest buyers of apparel, companies like Phillips-Van Heusen and Vanity Fair, have identified East Africa for new production," said Ms. Freeman.

Read the press release here.
hevaInvesting in East Africa's Creative Economies
"Entrepreneurs in the creative sector need much more than just capital. They especially need assistance with market intelligence and capacity to meet the export standards necessary to export to the U.S." - Ms. Margaret Waithaka. 

The Hub's Value Chain Development Specialist for the apparel, fashion accessories and home decor sectors, Ms. Margaret Waithaka
The Hub co-sponsored and participated in the Creative Economies Dialogues, organized by our partner HEVA Fund on June 19 and 20, alongside the ongoing UNCTAD 14 conference in Nairobi. Hub involvement focused on promoting exports through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). HEVA works to enable creative sector entrepreneurs secure investment for their enterprises.

"The creative industries hold great potential for job creation among the youth, particularly given the demographics of Africa"

The first session, themed 'Show me the money', focused on the need for innovative financing solutions for the creative sector and the need for a supportive regulatory framework. It was noted that while the creative sector holds significant potential for job creation in Africa, especially given the growing youth population, the sector has largely been considered a 'foot-note' in the economic development agenda. The session covered aspects concerning access to finance for creative industry businesses, supportive infrastructure, intellectual property and market access.

The Hub's Value Chain Development Specialist for apparel, fashion accessories and home decor, Ms. Margaret Waithaka, highlighted the opportunities available under AGOA. She further stressed the fact that in many cases entrepreneurs need a lot of assistance with market intelligence and capacity to meet export standards necessary to sell to the U.S.

The second session, themed 'The time is now', explored how stakeholders can build high-value, resilient and sustainable creative economy value chains and increasing the competitiveness of the industry both in the local and international market. This discussion involved key public sector stakeholders represented by the Cabinet Secretaries in charge of the ministries of sports, arts and culture, and ICT, in addition to a senior representative from the ministry of industrialization.

Watch videos of Sseko Designs from Uganda and Aprelle Duany from Kenyatwo creative industry entrepreneurs with whom the Hub has worked and continues to support.
Click on the above image to watch AmCham Madagascar's new AGOA resource center video.

Looking to take advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in Madagascar? The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Madagascar has a new AGOA Resource Center to help you. Among other services, the resource center provides Malagasy exporters with U.S. market requirements and information, and supports business linkages. Interested in learning more? Watch AmCham Madagascar's resource center video.

On July 21, the Hub joined Malagasy public officials and business people to launch AmCham Madagascar's new AGOA resource center. The Malagasy Secretary of Commerce said, "Currently, and since the return of Madagascar into the AGOA agreement, exports are gradually rising. The Ministry of Commerce, and the Malagasy government in general, hopes that the AGOA market access training and knowledge management center will help increase those exports."

AmCham Madagascar is a grantee of the Hub. Under the grant, AmCham Madagascar is working with public and private sector stakeholders to increase awareness of export opportunities under AGOA, and to help Madagascar increase its value of exports.

The Hub supported Ugandan apparel company Southern Range to exhibit at the Texworld trade show in New York, July 12-14.  Texworld is the most important trade show for textiles and apparel on the East Coast. It is an ideal venue to create valuable trade linkages because it is visited by many of the New York-based brands and retailers. The Hub initiated discussions with Southern Range at its Uganda AGOA Preparedness Workshop and is working to connect the company with U.S. buyers.  Southern Range, a vertically integrated factory, has taken a renewed interest in exploring the U.S. market.  The company reports excellent connections made at Texworld, which it will be following up on in the coming months.   
rwandaThe Hub Presents its Rwanda AGOA Action Plan
The Hub's Chief of Party, Mr. Juan Estrada- Valle handing over Rwanda AGOA Action plan to MINICOM Director of Trade, Mr.Robert Opirah

The Hub submitted its Rwanda African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Action Plan to Rwanda's Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM) at the end of May. The Action Plan demonstrates that Rwanda can increase exports, just like other land-locked countries have done, and provides a critical roadmap to Rwanda's private, public and donor community stakeholders to expand exports to the U.S. in the most promising product sectors.

The report summarizes findings and recommends actions to take advantage of existing incentives, address constraints and seize available opportunities with a renewed market-driven mentality. It also presents the unique export opportunities for Rwanda to the U.S. market while also challenging all stakeholders to take firmer ownership of their role in engaging in export promotion activities. The report systematically describes how investments in three priority sectors can lead to increased annual sales and new jobs in urban and rural areas.

The Hub develops national AGOA strategies to help the public and private sector identify and then seize country-specific competitive advantages and take better advantage of AGOA.
"The Ministry is extremely pleased with the quality and the level in detail of the AGOA Action Plan, we look forward to working together with the Hub to implement the actions contained in the document," said MINICOM Director of Trade, Mr.Robert Opirah. 
egranaryThe Hub Partners with Eastern Africa Farmers Federation to Host East Africa Staples Trade Dialogue
Discussing grain quality at the East Africa Staples Foods Dialogue.

From July 12-14,the Hub and Eastern Africa Farmers Federation hosted eighty delegates from all over eastern Africa to attend the East Africa Staples Trade Dialogue in Nairobi.  The dialogue brought together key policymakers and private sector stakeholders from the staples value chain to discuss how to better engage farmer organizations in regional trade activities, and to how to expand cross-border trade financing instruments and the collection of reliable trade data, among other topics. Participants made recommendations and developed tangible, action plans that will be used to implement business and policy solutions for increased cross-border trade within the East African Community.

"There is need for action - action in the facilitation of trade, ensuring that food from surplus areas makes its way to regions in crisis.  This is at the very core of the Feed the Future Initiative, the U.S. Government's bold effort to combat food insecurity," said Mr. Steve Orr, Acting Office Chief Regional Economic Integration USAID Kenya and East Africa. 

During the event, Eastern Africa Farmers Federation also officially launched its eGranary, a platform for farmers by farmers that leverages technology to help farmers aggregate for reaching a larger market. eGranary also provides farmers with a system for tracing their produce and managing parts of their business.

On the final day of the event, farmer groups and traders showcased samples of their produce in an open marketplace setting. Several supply deals were struck during this session. For instance, one farmer group from Tanzania was able to connect with a trader from Rwanda requiring several thousand metric tonnes of grain. 

"There is a lot to be gained from aggregating farmers. They can have a strong bargaining voice in the market and better partnerships", said Eastern Africa Farmers Federation Chief Executive Office, Mr. Stephen Muchiri

seedBuilding the Capacity of Seed Authorities in the COMESA Region

On July 11-13, the Hub participated in, and sponsored key participants to attend, a three-day training
Strong testing and sampling techniques are integral to maintaining quality products for regional trade.
session in Lusaka, Zambia on the Seed Certification System for National Seed Authorities in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) region. This training session was the second of three COMESA seed systems training sessions that the Hub is supporting. It was attended by approximately 65 delegates from 13 COMESA countries, namely Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Egypt, Madagascar, Swaziland and Seychelles.

The overall objective of the Zambia training was to build the capacity and equip the National Seed Authorities, seed inspectors and samplers on the COMESA Seed Certification System. Specific objectives of the training included:
  • Expanding knowledge on the COMESA Seed Trade Harmonization Regulations
  • Expanding knowledge on the international organizations and procedures impacting on the COMESA certification methods and procedures 
  • Training on standardization of inspection and sampling procedures and methodology for COMESA
  • Use of standardized COMESA labelling and certificates
In-class sessions on the COMESA seed system certification and standards (e.g. seed quality and seed quality tests, seed multiplication principles, field inspection procedures and methodologies, seed analysis and COMESA certification process, and seed sampling) were augmented by a field trip to Zambia's Seed Certification and Control Unit. Participants were encouraged to ask questions and seek clarifications/feedback on all topics.

The Hub is supporting the implementation of Eastern and Southern Africa Seed System by working with COMESA, and other bodies, to build the capacity of National Seed Authorities and National Plant Protection Authorities in the EAC-COMESA countries.  
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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