On December 19, 2015, the Hub facilitated a Kenyan apparel factory visit for Assistant United States Trade Representative (USTR) for African Affairs Florizelle Liser and representatives from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and U.S. Embassy in Nairobi. The delegation toured United Aryan Limited (UAL), spoke with factory representatives and Government of Kenya representatives, and witnessed firsthand the manufacturing of African products destined for the U.S. market through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
UAL is a leading Kenyan exporter of apparel to the U.S. and has been certified by a number of large U.S. retail chains, including Levi Strauss & Co and VF Corporation. In 2004, the year before USAID sponsored UAL at its first American trade show, annual UAL sales were $13.4 million. Today, UAL annual sales are nearly $50 million.
In response to the 10-year extension of AGOA, UAL is investing in new machinery and increasing its production capacity for export. The expansion means more jobs for Kenyans. UAL currently employs 8,000 Kenyans. The average age is 25; 80 percent are women. By April 2016, UAL expects to employ nearly 10,000 Kenyans, which is a substantial number in a country that has an estimated 40 percent unemployment rate.