Published on July 27, 2017
The African Fine Coffees Association (AFCA), a Hub grantee, recently trained 20 Tanzanian coffee producers and exporters on its protocols for the Taste of Harvest Portal. AFCA's Taste of Harvest Portal links African coffee sellers with buyers who are interested in "winning lots" of coffee at premium prices. Winning lots are determined by international industry standard grading criteria during regional cupping competitions. The Taste of Harvest Portal increases the visibility of winning African coffees to an international audience and provides a mechanism for sale to a wider range of buyers.
Published on July 26, 2017
From July 19 – 21, the Hub’s grantee COMESA LLPI held a stakeholder workshop to discuss implementation of a design training for SMEs in the leather sector. COMESA LLPI invited representatives from focal institutions in Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi. The Hub, through its work in the leather sector, has identified lack of design skills as a key impediment to SMEs accessing global markets. The Hub-supported design training will remove this impediment by helping East African SMEs produce better-designed products that adhere to international consumer trends.
Stakeholders left the workshop with a cleared understanding of the initiative’s goals and objectives and with an understanding of how they could contribute to the development and validation of the selection criteria for participating SMEs. Workshop participants also learned how to identify and classify defects in leather and leather products to guide them in reviewing the samples from SMEs during the screening process.
COMESA LLPI is honored to collaborate with the Hub on this one year initiative to impart the much needed design and export readiness skills to SMEs in the region. We believe that the work we do together will be impactful resulting in a more competitive and productive leather sector in the region and replicated to other neighboring countries which are not covered by this joint initiative. We also hope to build on the outcomes of this initiative as we develop our Regional Design Studio project,” said Executive Director, COMESA LLPI Prof. Mwinyihija Mwinyikione
Published on July 26, 2017
Uganda's Cabinet has endorsed the draft Investment Code Bill 2017, which seeks to align Uganda's investment policy stance with its commitments to the East Africa Community (EAC) Common Market Protocol. The bill also seeks to reform several provisions that would improve the entry, facilitation and protection experience of foreign investors doing business in Uganda.
The bill was prepared with input from Southern and Eastern African Trade Information and Negotiation Institute Uganda (SEATINI-U) with support from Hub investment policy experts. The Bill is now with Uganda’s Parliament for consideration.
Bill reforms include:
- Defining a local investor to include natural persons and companies where the controlling interest is held by persons from an EAC Partner State. It proceeds to accord them the same incentives as Ugandan investors.
- Shifting the approach of the code from regulatory and control-based to promotion and facilitation.
- Repealing several discriminatory provisions between domestic and foreign investors and incorporating international best practice in several measures.
- Providing better protection for foreign investors in several issues, including obtaining credit from domestic sources, and better intellectual property rights for use of foreign technology.
Published on July 25, 2017
Looking Beyond the Horizon: A Case Study of PVH’s Commitment in Ethiopia’s Hawassa Industrial Park. The story of how the PVH Corp. (referred to throughout this document as PVH) came to lead a group of its top suppliers to build factories and a fabric mill in Ethiopia’s Hawassa Industrial Park (HIP) is the study of a strong collaboration between a private company looking to optimize its business model and a government aiming to transform its economy through global strategic repositioning. The success of this story hinges upon the intersection of their goals and a shared vision of development that includes a strong commitment to social and environmental goals. PVH was motivated to invest in Ethiopia to respond to shifts in the global apparel sector, its growing desire to retool its business model and to address its concerns about compliance with
social and environmental standards in its traditional sourcing locations. PVH had decided to rethink its business model and to look beyond the horizon towards a new region in which to locate its manufacturing base. To have better oversight and enforcement, PVH moved to adopt a fully integrated vertical supply chain, including direct investment in one of the manufacturing facilities.
In selecting the location for its new vertically integrated and socially responsible supply chain, PVH looked for ample suitable land on which its supply chain partners could grow cotton, and sustainable sources of energy with competitive electricity rates for the production of yarn and fabric. The company required the country’s government to be committed to ensuring that relevant laws (worker rights, fire safety, building safety, etc.) would be enforced and that their manufacturers would meet international quality and production standards. Finally, PVH wanted to be an early-mover in this new sourcing market.
Published on July 20, 2017
More than 1200 farmers and 24 exhibitors from banks, seed companies, machinery and equipment companies, agro dealers, and technology companies attended the Hub-supported Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) Annual Pulses Trade Fair in Meru, Kenya. The trade fair promoted the pulses industry and provided attendees with a range of information on varieties and types of pulses. It also outlined quality standards and provided a market outlook for pulses.
The fair included a business-to-business (B2B) platform that attracted 58 participants - 45 farmers and 13 traders. The platform facilitated the exchange of contracts for 990 MT of grain (sorghum, maize, beans, green grams, millet, soya beans, pigeon peas and chick peas) valued at $53,425 and 3,051 MT of non-grain food commodities i.e. (cassava, ground nuts, sweet potatoes, avocadoes and mangoes).
Published on July 20, 2017
Coffee is a relationship industry. Buyers want to meet producers in person and there's huge support for East African coffee. That's a couple of the reasons why the Hub supported East African companies to travel to the Specialty Coffee Association of America's annual trade show in Seattle. Americans also pay more for coffee than other importing countries and import large volumes.
Furthermore, Americans want to drink East African coffee! It consistently scores the highest marks on specialty coffee tastings. The Seattle trade show provided U.S. buyers with direct access to East African coffee producers.
Published on July 19, 2017
The Kenya National Trade Policy is a publication by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives State Department for Trade. It seeks to unleash Kenya’s potential for targeting domestic, regional and global markets. The multilateral, regional integration and bilateral trade arrangements that currently define the space that Kenya’s international trade enjoys present an immense opportunity for pursuit of this policy objective.
The Trade Policy articulates provisions that promote efficiency in the growth of domestic trade through transformational measures that address the constraints impeding against the development of the wholesale, retail and informal sectors. Strengthening the current supply chain is a priority for sustainable development of these trade sectors.
Published on July 19, 2017
The Hub conference room has been full of shoes this past week -- mostly leather sandals and usually beaded. Yesterday Michael Nzuki, Director of Anzuki Recycle Designers, rode a bus for eight hours from Malindi, Kenya to visit the Hub in Nairobi. He came to meet with Hub footwear advisor Jordie Saliman to seek advice on how to increase his exports to the U.S. While at the Hub, he also spoke with our investment team. If he secures more U.S. trade deals with Jordie’s help, he’s going to need to expand his operations and inputs with financing.
Published on July 13, 2017
Mombasa Port is busy and expected to get busier. The first two months of 2017 has put it on track to process even more transshipment business this year, exceeding last year’s levels by 87 percent . Read more about the busy Mombasa Port and other freight forwarding news in the Federation of East African Freight Forwarders Association’s (FEAFFA) just published quarterly magazine here.
The Hub partners with FEAFFA to improve the customs clearing and freight forwarding industry’s compliance with the East African Community’s (EAC) revised Rules of Origin. Rules of Origin are a set of laws and regulations to determine country of origin and tariff preferences. Adherence to a set of transparent Rules of Origin is a crucial component to reducing the cost and time to move cargo across borders.
The Hub is specifically supporting FEAFFA to disseminate accurate information through a booklet that highlights the key changes on the revised EAC Rules of Origin, and serves as a quick reference for clearing and forwarding agents and shippers.
FEAFFA is a regional private sector apex body of the Customs Clearing and Freight Forwarding (CFA) industry in East Africa. Established in 2006, it is registered and domiciled in Tanzania with its Secretariat located in Nairobi, Kenya. Members of the Federation are national umbrella CFA industry associations in Burundi, Kenya, mainland Tanzania, Zanzibar, Rwanda and Uganda, which together represent over 2,500 firms.
FEAFFA is working toward the implementation of an efficient, professional and competitive regional freight logistics industry. The federation has developed and implemented a premier regional professional training course for the CFA industry (EACFFPC) in which nearly 6,000 agents have qualified, a regional industry Code of Conduct and Standard Trading Conditions, an electronic trade information portal, a mobile application on tariffs and a database of certified industry professionals. It also publishes a quarterly magazine (freight logistics) with a vibrant online version.
Published on July 13, 2017
Zohra Baraka stands in a sea of hand-carved home décor items. Her bright taffeta Swahili-style dress is especially vivid against the wooden items drying at her feet: 20,000 pieces in 62 variations. Big Five African safari animals feature prominently in the bowls, stools and figurines. Once the wooden items reach the proper moisture level, they’ll be boxed for shipment to U.S. retailer HomeGoods, which has hundreds of stores scattered throughout the states. It’s her largest U.S. order to date and a game changer for her Kenyan-based home décor company called Mohazo.