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The USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub works to boost trade and investment with and within East Africa. Find out more...

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  • Hub Facilitates Implementation of the WTO Notification System by EAC Partner States

    Published on June 22, 2017

    As part of the Hub’s work of facilitating implementation of the US-EAC Cooperation Agreement the Hub conducted a national stakeholder’s workshop on TBT/SPS online Notification Submission System (NSS) on June 19-20 in Nairobi, Kenya. The objective of the workshop was to train officials from ministries and government institutions responsible for implementation and administration of World Trade Organization (WTO) TBT and SPS Agreements. The twelve officials trained are directly involved in developing technical regulations, conformity assessment procedures and SPS measures,  

    “Enhancing skills, awareness and building capacity on the practicality of notifications brings harmony between the notifications from WTO NSS System and the National Notifications Authority (NNA),” said Phyllis Githaiga, Assistant Coordinator for Trading Standards at the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS).

     “Apart from building capacity of government ministries and agencies that formulate regulations to meet the transparency obligations to WTO, there is need to ensure that more agencies are brought on board in order to get more diverse submissions,” said George Opiyo, Training Facilitator.

    The Hub will conduct more national training workshops in Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania to ensure all EAC Partner States are able to easily submit these notifications using the NSS System, leading to a better regional and international trading and investment environment.

    Background

    The WTO TBT/SPS Notification Submission System (NSS) is an online notification system used by WTO member countries to submit TBT and SPS updates to the WTO Secretariat. The WTO Agreements on TBT and SPS contain provisions on transparency requirements and procedures. These transparency provisions aim to achieve a greater degree of clarity, predictability and information exchange about trade policies, rules and regulations of WTO members. Notifications is the main instrument for improved transparency. Currently, East African Community (EAC) Partner States share their TBT and SPS notifications with the WTO through the WTO TBT/SPS NSS,  as an e-mail attachment, fax or as regular mail. The notification is then processed by WTO Secretariat and finally disseminated to stakeholders within WTO members using different methods, including the ePing electronic alert system. However, these different methods lead to incomplete submissions.  The WTO TBT/SPS NSS system addresses these issues, making sure that a common template is used by all WTO member states, ensuring the complete submission of information.   The WTO TBT/SPS NSS system is complementary to the ePing system which has been successfully implemented in the EAC region with support from the Hub.

    The U.S.-EAC Cooperation Agreement requires EAC Partner States to establish an effective process to ensure that they notify proposed measures on TBT/SPS to other members of WTO. Compliance with the Agreement will ensure that EAC Partner States have an effective notification processes and that they comply with the requirements under WTO Agreements on TBT and SPS. In order to implement this, there is need to train national notification authorities, enquiry points and relevant regulatory authorities on how to submit domestic notifications to other WTO members using the WTO’s TBT/SPS online NSS system.

     

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    Save the Date: International Institute of Food Technologists Expo 2017

    Published on June 22, 2017

    Sourcing opportunities for niche processed foods (and beverages) exist in East Africa.  Products from the region such as nuts, dried fruits, fruit juices, jams and sauces have found access to export markets, including the U.S. To facilitate increased trade of processed foods by East African exporters into the U.S market, the Hub is supporting processed foods and beverages manufactures exhibit their products at the International Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Food Expo in Las Vegas on June 25-28.

    IFT is one of the leading food shows for ingredients suppliers in USA, attracting over 20,000 attendees representing food science professionals from over 90 countries across the globe. The expo provides exhibitors with the opportunity to meet with over 1,000 exhibiting companies on the forefront of the latest global food trends. It also provides exhibitors with an opportunity to experience the newest products, latest trends, and cutting-edge innovations.

    Check out this video to learn about one of the Hub sponsored companies exhibiting at IFT.

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    New on our Knowledge Center: Second Private Equity In East Africa Survey Report, 2017

    Published on June 22, 2017

    EAVCA_REPORT.JPGSecond Private Equity In East Africa Survey Report, 2017. This is the second Survey out of East Africa that authoritatively documents the private equity and venture capital activities in the region. The Survey builds upon the sector tracking in our first issue that covered the period 2007-2014. The KPMG/EAVCA Survey methodology was through questionnaires, supplemented by other information sources such as discussions and international reports. The results documented in the report represent the position of 28 private equity and venture capital funds that participated in this year’s Survey, a significant increase from the 18 respondents that participated in our first Survey. East Africa has demonstrated resilience against turbulent economic times to record above continental average GDP growths. This is attributed to improvement in governance, and the relative currency stability that many of East Africa’s economies enjoyed during the period 2015-2016. Furthermore, as a net importer of petroleum products, East Africa has a natural hedge that cushioned it from the turbulent commodity price crisis that rocked other parts of Africa.

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    U.S and Africa leaders discuss ways of fostering strong trade and investment ties

    Published on June 22, 2017

    Africa provides incredible investment opportunity however there are significant challenges that investors and businesses on the continent have to grapple with. From June 13 – 16, the Hub participated in the 11th Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) U.S.-Africa Business Summit in Washington, DC to discuss the challenges of doing business in Africa and to proffer actionable solutions for seizing opportunities.

    The Hub’s Investment Director participated in a women in business panel discussion focusing on the importance of capital, venture support and the role of blended finance in supporting female owned businesses. Rahama Wright, Founder and CEO, Shea Yeleen Health and Beauty, LLC a social enterprise that sources raw Shea from Ghanian village women one of the panelists described her start-up journey and the key requirements that she had to fulfill to successfully raise her first round of funding and was able to access private equity investment in her third year of operation.  Other panelists included Karen Henken, Vice President, Business Development at Kountable, Inc; Selena Cuffe, Co-Founder, President and CEO of Heritage Link Brands; Nena Stoiljkovic, Vice President Blended Finance & Partnerships International Finance Corporation.

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