AGOA.png

The East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (the Hub) is the one-stop shop in the East African region for businesses and national governments seeking to take advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The Hub supports Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda to increase their exports to the U.S. through AGOA.

By the end of the project, the Hub expects to increase non-oil exports to the U.S. by 40 percent. In its first two years of operation, the Hub supported more than $150 million in AGOA exports to the U.S.

In collaboration with key institutions, the Hub develops and tailors trade enhancing activities to specific countries and sectors, as informed by national AGOA strategies. It also identifies and works with private sector associations and companies to foster impactful trade and investment in the region.

The focuses its support in the following areas:

  • Country-level strategy development and implementation 
  • Market-linkages support
  • Firm-level technical assistance
  • Information dissemination and training

Download the Hub's AGOA infographic

Download the Hub's AGOA flyer

Download the Hub's AGOA brochure

Focus Areas:

Textile and Apparel

Apparel accounts for the largest volume of African trade to the U.S. under AGOA (some 90% of non-oil exports) and is a key sector in East Africa in terms of employment and growth potential.  East Africa has become a focal point for African sourcing, a trend that is expected to continue as global sourcing patterns change.

Watch our sourcing videos:

Home Decor & Fashion Accessories

This sector includes young fashion designers and entrepreneurs whose projects often have a social compliance component. African designers are continually wowing U.S. brands with their talent.

Floriculture

The cut flowers industry is an important sector for several countries in East Africa, chiefly Kenya and Ethiopia.  Kenya is the top exporter of roses to the European market, and both Kenya and Ethiopia are eyeing expansion into new markets, including the U.S.

Footwear

A developed leather industry in Ethiopia makes that country a significant shoe producer and the top African exporter of shoes to the U.S. under AGOA.  Kenya is looking to revitalize its industry to competitively compete in export markets for footwear, handbags and other accessories.

Specialty Foods

Opportunities in niche processed foods (and beverages) exist in East Africa.  Products from the region such as dried fruits, specialty coffees and teas, fruit juices, jams and sauces have found export markets, including the U.S.

Expected Outcomes

Support national AGOA strategy/action plan development

The recent extension of the AGOA legislation until 2025 calls for all AGOA-eligible countries to develop National AGOA Strategies. The Hub is providing technical support to governments to develop national AGOA strategies and implementation of action plans. The strategy documents constitute road maps for countries to maximize their utilization of the benefits provided by AGOA. AGOA strategies are a crucial tool to allow countries to target key sectors and product categories for focus and support to increase trade with the U.S. 

The Hub has facilitated the development of the following AGOA strategies

Rwanda AGOA Action Plan

Madagascar AGOA Strategy

Tanzania AGOA Strategy

The Hub will continue providing support to the Ministries of Trade to assist in the implementation of the AGOA strategies.

Trade shows, buyer missions and B2B forums

The Hub promotes direct business linkages by proactively organizing and supporting business to business events, trade shows, and buyer missions.

The Hub aims to increase the export volumes of individual firms by linking them with importers in foreign markets. The collective outcomes are reflected in Hub-facilitated trade. Trade shows, buyer missions and B2B events increase regional EAC exports and international exports. They also build economies of scale and create a foundation for integrated global supply chains. 

Read about some of the buyer mission and trade shows:

Superior Uniform Group buyer mission

Source Africa trade fair

Sourcing at Magic Trade Show

Targeted Firm-level Technical Assistance

The Hub provides targeted firm-level technical assistance to enhance export competitiveness of eastern African firms. Firms engaging in linkages need to be export-ready with quality products that meet buyers’ needs and are compliant with technical standards. Firms need access to financial products to support the export cycles; should have capacity to handle export procedures and export logistics; and should be able to effectively engage with buyers. 

Enhanced AGOA Export Preparedness and AGOA Information Dissemination

The purpose of AGOA export preparedness is to educate and to build the capacity of the public and private sectors on AGOA, leading to greater uptake of AGOA export opportunities.

The Hub has successfully organized several AGOA preparedness workshops in the region. Read about them below.

Kenya AGOA Preparedness Workshop

Rwanda AGOA Preparedness Workshop

Uganda AGOA Preparedness Workshop

Madagascar AGOA Preparedness Workshop

Build Capacity of Key Partners and Trade-Support Institutions

The Hub is working with the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Madagascar and the Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association to support an increase in exports to the U.S. under AGOA.

The Hub has provided a grant to AmCham Madagascar to assist in the development of an AGOA Resource Center. Among other services, the resource center provides Malagasy exporters with U.S. market requirements and information, and supports business linkages. Want to learn more? Watch AmCham Madagascar's new resource center video.

AGOA FAQ ASK AN AGOA EXPERT AGOA - WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW AGOA GENERAL AGOA RULES OF ORIGIN VISIT OUR AGOA EXPORTER DIRECTORY AGOA PRODUCTS LIST

 

Related Blogs and Resources

How Tosheka Designs Is pushing Kenya into forward - Thinking fashion production

Published on August 29, 2017
t’s not every day you meet business owners that are profoundly connected to the international fashion community. Lucy and Herman Bigham of Tosheka Designs are shaping what it means to be sustainable in Kenya one eri silk worm at a time. Tosheka Designs is a fabric and textile company based in Philadelphia that manufactures home goods, accessories and purses by using sustainable resources and techniques in Nairobi, Kenya. Since early 2011, the duo have been working diligently to patent a unique process of producing cotton through the era silk worm. It is one of the only worms that you can extract silk from without killing it. On the days leading up to the Kenyan election, I exchanged emails with the East Africa - based power couple about the ins and outs of their business and if the effect of the election would have any indication on their organization. It turns out that the Kenyan government supports their efforts despite all the unrest in their country currently taking place. Go inside our conversation. Read more. Source | Huff Post
read more

US assures Africa Agoa pact is here to stay

Published on August 17, 2017
The United States is determined to deepen trade with sub-Sahara Africa following assurances that the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) deal is safe under the Trump administration. While a dark cloud has been hanging over Agoa since Donald Trump became US president over six months ago, a top US trade representative has assured African countries that the US is committed to a stronger and more sustainable relationship with Africa through free, fair and reciprocal trade. Soon after taking over, Trump sent shock waves across Africa when he said that Agoa was benefiting corrupt regimes because most imports under the trade pact are petroleum products. Read more. Source | The East Africa 
read more

U.S. and African partners to work for deeper commercial engagement

Published on August 10, 2017
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Wednesday affirmed the commitment of his country to Africa and saw "great potential to grow and deepen trade relationship." Robert E. Lighthizer expressed this in opening speech of the ministerial plenary as part of the 16th Forum of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), on Wednesday here in Togolese capital Lome. "The United States is committed to Africa. We see great potential to grow and deepen our trade relationship, with the goal of establishing a true partnership for the future", Lighthizer said. Read more. Source | Xinhua.Net
read more

Trade forum in Togo to showcase Trump’s Africa policy

Published on August 10, 2017
US President Donald Trump barely mentioned Africa or trade with the continent during his whirlwind campaign and has been mostly silent about the region since taking office. But the annual African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) forum being held in the Togolese capital Lome this week will bring together top US officials and African ministers. The gathering will finally shine a light on Trump’s policies toward the region of 1.2 billion people. Read more. Source | The Independent
read more

USTR leading delegation at 2017 AGOA Forum in Togo

Published on August 10, 2017
United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is leading the US delegation at the 2017 African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum, being held August 8 to 10 in Lomé, Togo. Established by AGOA legislation, the annual forum provides a platform for promoting stronger economic ties between the United States and qualifying sub-Saharan African countries that receive enhanced US market access under AGOA. AGOA, a 2000 law, provides non-reciprocal trade preferences for eligible countries in sub-Saharan Africa. It has been a cornerstone of US policy toward the continent for the last three administrations. The premise behind AGOA is that Africa has opportunities worth US attention and investment. Read more. Source | Global Trade 101
read more

U.S. delegation at 2017 AGOA forum in Togo

Published on August 08, 2017
Senior Bureau Official for African Affairs Peter Barlerin will travel to Togo from August 7 – August 10 as part of the delegation led by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to attend the 2017 African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum, held August 8-10 in Lomé, Togo. Established by AGOA law, the annual forum provides a platform for promoting stronger economic ties between the United States and qualifying sub-Saharan African countries that receive enhanced U.S. market access under AGOA. The theme of this year’s Forum is “The United States and Africa: Partnering for Prosperity through Trade.” The Forum begins with events incorporating private sector, civil society, and U.S.-sponsored African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP) participants, followed by two days of ministerial plenaries with representatives from the United States and the 38 African beneficiary countries. Read more. Source | US Department of State
read more

New UCDA board tasked to improve coffee exports

Published on August 08, 2017
The new boards of directors for the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) has been tasked to improve coffee exports so as to enable the country achieve its target of exporting 20 million bags of coffee by 2020. While officiating at the inauguration ceremony of the 8th UCDA board of directors in Kampala on Wednesday, state minister for agriculture Christopher Kibanzanga urged them to promote production across the value chain since it is one of the priority crops meant to spur the country to middle income status. “In the financial year 2016/17, Uganda earned more than $489m from only 4.2 million bags of coffee exported which we last earned in 1979. This shows that with more efforts invested, we shall hit the 2020 target,” he said.  Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
read more

New programme to sharpen textile skills for 2,000 youth

Published on July 24, 2017
About 2,000 youth are set to get jobs in the apparel industry following the signing of a deal to be spearheaded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (the Hub). The programme signed with Generation Program Kenya Limited — a local subsidiary of the McKinsey Social Initiative — will equip young people with skills needed in the apparel industry. The pilot programme, to be implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Industrialisation, will see seven training centres set up and equipped across the country. The pilot plan, that will also involve the Kenya Association of Manufacturers, will include screening of 4000 youth for training and job placement in the apparel industry. Read more. Source | Business Daily
read more