East African firms find enthusiastic buyers at New York trade show

Published on September 21, 2017



The Hub supported nine East African apparel, fashion accessories and footwear firms to exhibit at the Sourcing at Coterie trade show in New York. Four apparel and fashion accessory firms (from Madagascar and Kenya) reported 93 market linkages, which they expect could generate as much as $64,000 in test orders.

Coterie connects women's apparel, accessories, and footwear designers with international retailers, and encourages collaborative, sustainable relationships between designers and buyers. Coterie is a platform for generating revenue and inspiring trends.

 “We were the best kept secret out of Kenya. Sourcing at Coterie changed that,” said Edmond Chesneau, from Luxury Leather Africa (LULEA).

LULEA is a Kenyan company that designs and manufactures leather handbags. They reported 30 market linkages at the show.

"They [U.S. buyers] are all crazy for a roll-up tote from LULEA and have been showing it around, including upstairs in the branded section," said Hub advisor Mary Marino.

“Sourcing at Coterie is very well organized. It is a great show to discover the U.S market,” said Jean- Marie Parthenay from Kaloes in Madagascar.

Kaloes has found success at other Hub supported trade shows. View this photo story from their experience at the MAGIC trade show in Las Vegas.


New on our Knowledge Center: The USA Flower Market

Published on September 21, 2017

The_U.S.A_flower_Market.JPGThe USA Flower Market. An end-market analysis on the North American Market, collating useful information to assist the industry in making informed decisions and helping them to determine the potential for further growth and expansion.

The analysis will also inform the ongoing Kenya National AGOA Strategy and Action Plan development and will become part of the road map for the Government of Kenya to maximize the utilization of the benefits provided by the U.S. Government through AGOA.

Recommendations from the Boosting Intra-African Trade workshop

Published on September 20, 2017

DJr848BX0AAX_WX.jpgLast week, the Hub supported a “Boosting Intra-African Trade Workshop,” in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to strengthen knowledge exchange and networks among African trade practitioners. The focus was on best practices in trade information and trade finance. You can read last week’s blog here. By the end of the workshop, participants put forward a series of recommendations and best practices for the Commission of the African Union (AUC) to consider.

In trade finance, workshop participants stressed the need for financial institutions to find appropriate means of mitigating trade finance risks by allocating and pricing each type of risk to those better positioned to deal with them. Participants also suggested that financial institutions should leverage ICT tools to reach a larger sector of the African trading community.

On issues relating to trade information, particularly regulatory aspects, participants recommended that providers of trade information ensure that information is presented in a user-friendly manner that is accessible and understandable by all levels of the private sector.

To further pan-African uptake of recommendations on trade information and trade finance, workshop participants suggested that the AUC collaborate with pan-African business councils and chambers of commerce to develop proposals for implementation. These proposals could then be sent to partners for consideration, including USAID, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and development financial institutions.
Download the full document on recommendations and way forward here.

Two Kenyan innovators receive international attention for eco-friendly farming inputs

Published on September 20, 2017

Kenyan farmers are now able to protect their grain harvests from weevil attacks at a low cost thanks to Donatus Njoroge’s bio-pesticide innovation, the Molepse bio-resource. Donatus, who took second place in the Hub-sponsored East Africa Postharvest Technologies Competition 2017 (EAPTC2017), produced the innovative bio-pesticide, which has repellent and toxic capabilities to kills pests that come into contact with it in less than 5 minutes. It is produced from four different plant materials. 

Donatus first produced the pesticide technology in 2015. He has since tested it with over one hundred farmers and the results have been impressive. It has enabled them reduce pest infestation and take control of health issues associated with synthetic pesticides. The harvesting, drying and extraction of the oils takes approximately one week; effectiveness of the applied oils starts immediately.

Another innovator flying the Kenyan flag high is Samuel Rigua. Samuel, a finalist in the Hub-supported Young Innovators in Agribusiness Competition 2017 (YIAC2017), has developed a carbon-neutral fertilizer and soil conditioner using locally available rice husks. His technology, Safi Sarvi®, increases crop yields by 30% and annually removes at least 5.4 t of CO2 equivalent from the atmosphere for every hectare of land it is applied to. The fertilizer also lowers soil acidity and aids retention of soil nutrients and moisture, reducing irrigation by 15%.


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Kenyan flower exporters prepare to seize U.S market opportunities

Published on September 14, 2017


On September 14, the Hub held a Kenya Flower Stakeholders Workshop in Nairobi, Kenya to discuss U.S. market opportunities for Kenyan floriculture exporters. A total of 50 floriculture value chain stakeholders attended the meeting. Stakeholder comments from the meeting will inform the ongoing Kenya National AGOA Strategy review and the Kenya Flower Council USA market promotion action plan. The Senior Deputy Permanent Secretary for Kenya’s Department of Trade, Mr. Samson Wangusi, opened the meeting and emphasized Kenyan’s commitment to ensuring full utilization of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

“As Kenyans we are grateful to the U.S government for renewing AGOA for another ten years. The extension of the AGOA program until 30th September 2025 provides the business community with an opportunity to plan and execute their export plans properly  to increase AGOA utilization and reap maximum benefit by 2025,” said Senior Deputy Permanent Secretary Wangusi pictured above.


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New on our Knowledge Center: Africa Agriculture Status Report 2017

Published on September 14, 2017

Report_cover.JPGAfrica Agriculture Status Report 2017. The Report acknowledges that not all of Africa’s smallholders will succeed in farming on a commercial basis. Many are already diversifying into non-agricultural activities that are more lucrative than farming, while others are trapped in subsistence farming under conditions that make it difficult to compete in markets. The business agenda covered in the Report calls for segmenting smallholders into those with prospects and capabilities to transition to commercial farming who need business assistance, and those who need different types of support in transitioning out of farming if resources are not to be wasted, or farm households misled into unsustainable livelihood strategies.

Deepening Market Integration for Greater Intra-African Trade

Published on September 14, 2017

AUBIAT.jpgOn September 13, the Commission for the African Union (AUC) and USAID kicked off a three-day workshop to strengthen knowledge exchange and networks among African trade practitioners, with a focus on best practices in trade information and trade finance. The discussed best practices and recommendations will inform AUC initiatives designed to boost intra-African trade and solidify integration, such as the establishment of an African Trade Observatory, as envisioned under the policy of Boosting Intra-African Trade (BIAT) and Continental Free Trade Area architecture. The objective of the BIAT initiative is anchored in the aspirations of Agenda 2063 -- the Africa we want -- the continent’s transformation agenda

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East African farmers organize for increased productivity and integration

Published on September 14, 2017


(Ambassador Malac discusses post harvest technology solutions with Hub-supported young innovators at the East African Farmers Federation Congress in Kampala, Uganda.)

On September 14, U.S. Ambassador to Uganda Deborah R. Malac welcomed East African farmers and agricultural stakeholders to the 4th East African Farmers Federation (EAFF) Congress in Kampala, Uganda. Congress participants discussed new investments in agriculture, partnerships and innovations, regional market integration, and the future role of farmer organizations. Ambassador Malac highlighted the major role that agriculture plays in the lives of East Africans, providing employment for nearly 80 percent of the East African Community and contributing to a quarter or more of each country’s gross domestic product. She also met with Hub-supported young innovators who have solutions for reducing food loss post harvest. Poor post-harvest practices currently result in the loss of 60 percent of all food that is produced in Africa. Through events like the EAFF Congress, young innovators are connecting to the investors and networks they need for scaling up their products for regional impact.

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New on our Knowledge Center:Investment Facilitation: A Review of Policy Practices

Published on September 07, 2017

Investment_Report.JPGThe review captures the extent to which investment facilitation practices, as set out in UNCTAD's Global Action Menu for Investment Facilitation, can be found in national and international investment policies.

UNCTAD’s database on national investment policies shows that between 2010 and 2016,1 at least 194 new investment promotion and facilitation policies were introduced around the world. Some 80% of these measures relate to investment promotion in a narrow sense, such as new investment incentives, the creation of special economic zones, and the setting up of investment promotion agencies. Only about 20% of national policy measures were specifically aimed at facilitating investment through, for example, the setting up of one-stop shops or online registration systems for investors

Burundi is ready for investment

Published on September 07, 2017

From August 30 – September 7, the Hub conducted an Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) capacity building workshop in Bujumbura, Burundi. Burundi Investment Promotion Agency staff learned international best practices for showcasing potential Burundi investments, with the goal of attracting high-quality foreign direct investment to the country.

The workshop curriculum was aligned with Burundi’s development agenda and investment promotion policies.

“The capacity building training is changing the mindset of staff on how be pro-active in promoting Burundi to investors.  It will help us improve the content on our website by providing useful data,” said Esaie Ntidendereza, Burundi Investment Promotion Agency , Head of Investment Promotion.

The workshop covered the following topics:

  • An overview of foreign direct investment (FDI); its importance to Burundi, and the current trends observed regionally and globally.
  • IPA best practices in attracting FDI as highlighted in the World Bank’s Global Investment Promotion Best Practices report, using Board of Investment Mauritius as a case study. According to the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness report 2016, Board of Investment Mauritius was named as the best performing agency in Africa.
  • Bench marking IPA Burundi against best practices to identify gaps, and then developing action plans to address these gaps.
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