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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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  • USAID Hub and AGMARK launch the East African Cross-Border Traders Association

    Published on December 07, 2017

    Launch_pic_1.JPGAgricultural Market Development Trust (AGMARK), in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) East Africa Trade and Investment Hub, supported the launch of a regional East African Cross-Border Traders Association on December 7 in Nairobi. The new regional association will provide cross-border traders with a stronger voice in the East African Community and a platform to participate in the formulation of trade policies.

    “The association will take a lead role in advocating for a conducive trading environment for it members in the East African Community. It is well aligned with the common market protocols. Through the association, small-scale cross-border grain traders throughout the region will have a voice of their own,” said James Mutonyi, Managing Director, AGMARK.

    The association will expand and grow business in the region through partnerships and networks that build market linkages and create efficiencies among regional traders.

    “The efficiency of cross-border grain trade in the region will depend on the existence of the association and its effectiveness in addressing issues around non-tariff barriers and building networks for enhanced food insecurity in the region,” said Allan Mukisira, project manager, AGMARK.

    The association constitutes membership from cross-border traders of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan. The association’s interim chairperson, Miria Akankwasa noted, “We, as small-scale cross-border grain traders, see the association as an opportunity for us to network with grain buyers from areas of deficit and traders from areas of surplus.”

    The formation of the association is an accomplishment of the Regional Traders Association Development Project, which AGMARK implemented with the support of the USAID East Africa and Investment Hub.

    Over the past few months, the project linked cross-border traders to financial institutions and markets; built the capacity of cross-border traders by training them on enterprise management and structured marketing systems; and laid the groundwork for the trader’s association. USAID’s support to cross-border trade efficiency contributes to economic growth and the attainment of the U.S. government's Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative objectives.

    In East Africa, cross-border trade is characterized by inefficiencies, high transaction costs and low competitiveness. Studies have shown that cross-border traders lack business management skills and knowledge on the requirements to trade across borders. Traders also confront high storage costs and handling loses through spillage, pest damage and contamination, which lower the quality and quantity of grains and diminish profits. 

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    New on our Knowledge Center: Global Investment Competitiveness Report 2017/2018 : Foreign Investor Perspectives and Policy Implications

    Published on December 07, 2017

    Global_Investment.jpgGlobal Investment Competitiveness Report 2017/2018 : Foreign Investor Perspectives and Policy Implications. This inaugural issue of the World Bank Group’s Global Investment Competitiveness Report presents novel analytical insights and empirical evidence on foreign direct investment’s (FDI) drivers and contributions to economic transformation. Three key features distinguish this report from other leading FDI studies. Firstly, its insights come from a variety of sources, including a new survey of investor perspectives, extensive analysis of available data and evidence, and a thorough review of international best practices in investment policy design and implementation. Secondly, the report provides targeted, in-depth analysis of FDI differentiated by motivation, sector, and geographic origin and destination of investment. Thirdly, the report offers practical and actionable recommendations to developing country governments. The report’s groundbreaking survey of more than 750 executives of multinational corporations investing in developing countries finds that—in addition to political stability, security, and macroeconomic conditions—a business-friendly legal and regulatory environment is the key driver of investment decisions. The report also explores the potential of FDI to create new growth opportunities for local firms, assesses the effectiveness of fiscal incentives in attracting FDI, analyzes the characteristics of FDI originating in developing countries—so-called South–South and South–North FDI—and examines the experience of foreign investors in countries afflicted by conflict and fragility.

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    USAID supports NTV Uganda Economic Summit 17, reaching 7 million viewers with economic growth solutions

    Published on December 07, 2017

    Seven million viewers tuned into the NTV broadcast of Economic Summit 17 to hear solutions for transforming Uganda’s economy. USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub Chief of Party Juan Estrada-Valle provided the keynote speech, outlining a three-priority approach to implementing Uganda Vision 2040 for sustained economic growth.  He based his suggestions – export-led industrialization, attracting investment, and market-led agriculture – on four country case studies and on USAID’s successes in boosting trade and investment in the East African region, particularly through the African Growth and Opportunity Act, grain trade platforms and investment facilitation. 

    NTV furthered its audience reach by maintaining an active Twitter dialogue throughout the speeches and panel discussion. #NTVSummit17 

    NTV twitter followers were able to add questions to the debate and proffer their own ideas for jumpstarting Uganda's economic summit. The Ugandan Prime Minister closed the event by suggesting that it should certainly happen again next year and that he was quite pleased with the discussions and solutions put forward. 

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    USAID Hub supports Kenyan "origin trip" for direct coffee sales to the U.S.

    Published on December 06, 2017

    The USAID Hub supported six U.S. buyers and roasters to connect with 16 Kenyan coffee producers for potential trade of $225,000. The mission came a month after the Kenyan Agriculture and Food Authority – Coffee Directorate reported the U.S as the top buyer of Kenyan coffee, with KSh7bn purchase as a result of USAID Hub support at the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA)-Global Specialty Coffee Expo in Seattle, Washington.

    The November 30 – December 2 buyer's mission, conducted by Hub grantee African Fine Coffee Association, brought U.S buyers --  Yuni Coffee Company, Black Rifle Company, Genuine Origin, Good Folks Coffee, Emissary Sourcing LLC, Victoria Coffee and Yuni Coffee Company -- directly to Kenyan coffee fields to meet the producers, cup the latest harvest and forge trade relationships.  

    I would like to thank USAID for the opportunity to “travel to origin” with AFCA. We had a remarkable trip. This was a once in a lifetime experience that will constantly bring to the table in my job as a coffee importer working directly with coffee roasters in the U.S,” said Richard Futrell.

    Participating U.S. buyers also met with the Kenya Cooperative Coffee Exporters (KCCE), a coffee exporting organization that links smallholder Kenyan coffee producers with the international market. 

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