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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

At a Glance: Source East Africa Trade Fair

Published on September 30, 2016
The Hub, World Fair Trade Organization Africa, TradeMark East Africa and CBI joined forces to host a new professional trade fair, Source East Africa, on September 23-25 in Arusha, Tanzania. The trade fair connected 33 exhibitors in the crafts sector with buyers from the U.S, Australia, UK, Sweden and the East African region. Buyers discussed their market needs with the producers, ordered samples, and forged relationships for future business.  Below is a video of the trade fair at a glance :
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Making the best of AGOA through Export-Promotion policies

Published on September 28, 2016
For policymakers, this poses a difficult question: is it really worth spending scarce resources on helping firms to take advantage of AGOA, when the deal will end in 10 years? Those 10 years certainly hold immense opportunity, with the US being the world’s single largest consumer market, and seemingly leading the way in a global recovery that remains weak in Europe and is hurting emerging economies. While Africa - US trade has grown during the period of the deal, the growth has overwhelmingly been in commodities (particularly oil) that do not face serious trade barriers in the first place. And with the end of the commodity boom, even that limited success is in doubt, with oil exports in 2015 being only a tenth of what they were in 2008. Read more. Source | AfDB
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August 2016 edition

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The East Africa Trade and Investment Hub to showcase local independent fashion designers during the Nolcha Shows media lounge

Published on August 22, 2016
The USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub has partnered with the Nolcha Shows Fashion Media Lounge to showcase local accessory designers APRELLEDUANY, I AM I, Mafi and Sammy Handmade, at the Bryant Park Hotel. The USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub is the U.S. Government’s flagship project under the presidential Trade Africa initiative, launched in 2013 to boost trade and investment with and within Africa. Launched in 2014, APRELLEDUANY aim is to expand diversity in the luxury industry while elevating the images of Africa. The brand creates classic investment pieces with iconic silhouettes enhanced with pops of inspiring color and innovative features. Read more. Source | Fashion United
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Rwanda to support exporters to US market

Published on August 15, 2016
Rwanda has mobilised $10.5 million in export credit guarantees to subsidise production, market entry, financing and insurance costs for its exporters, especially to the US. In the 2016/17 budget, Finance Minister Claver Gatete announced a $1.2 million allocation to grow the export credit guarantee scheme. Last week, Trade and Industry Minister Francois Kanimba said that entering external markets is costly for small and medium enterprises if they bear all the costs. “We are looking for ways of sharing these costs,” he said while launching the Rwanda Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) Action Plan. The initial plan is to support 30 exporters to sell high-value products in the US market. Read more. Source | East African  
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Rwanda to increase exports to USA

Published on August 04, 2016
The US ambassador to Rwanda and Minicom officials yesterday held a press conference to address travel goods and luggage products that will receive duty-free treatment under generalized system of preferences (GSP). Reacting to the review, Gilbert Kubwimana, the country director of Songa designers ,a company which deals in handicrafts said,  The transport cost has been high. This is a chance for other enterprises in our country to increase production and boost exports which will enable them access this market. Read more. Source | Rwanda Focus
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Kenya’s Fashion and Textile Industry: The Role of Fashion Designers and Small Tailors in the Fibre to Fashion Value Chain

Published on June 23, 2016
Kenya’s Fashion and Textile Industry: The Role of Fashion Designers and Small Tailors in the Fibre to Fashion Value Chain is a report done by Equity Bank-Kenya in collaboration with Hivos and the Association of Fashion Designers of Kenya. The report offers a development strategy, and an action plan to develop and strengthen an inclusive and sustainable Fibre to Fashion value chain in which local fashion designers and small tailors can play a meaningful role on the domestic and global manufacturing and retail scene.      
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Video: Sseko Designs, Uganda - An AGOA Success Story:

Published on June 21, 2016
Ugandan shoe company Sseko Designs is a prime example of the difference the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) can make for African exporters. Sseko designs, makes and exports fashionable footwear and other accessories. It is also a social enterprise that supports girls in Uganda to raise funds for university. The company has grown from five employees to 35 full-time workers in the span of five years. Today, it exports an average of 3,000 pairs of sandals per month, making it the largest shoe exporter in Uganda. We recently chatted with Ms. Agnes Netunze, Operations Manager at Sseko, about the company and the impact AGOA has had in helping them become more competitive.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sd3XYQdvo9g
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