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New on our Knowledge Center: Discover East Africa the New Hub for Footwear Sourcing

Published on November 23, 2017

Footwear_catalogue.JPGDiscover East Africa the New Hub for Footwear Sourcing. This catalogue focuses on footwear, particularly sourcing opportunities in Kenya and Ethiopia. Ethiopia is a significant shoe producer and the top African exporter of shoes to the U.S. under AGOA. Kenya and other countries in the region are also revitalizing their leather and footwear industries to take advantage of export opportunities to the U.S., EU, and the region.

The Hub conducts Kenya National AGOA Strategy review workshops

Published on November 23, 2017

From November 22-23, the Hub collaborated with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives to conduct stakeholder workshops on home décor and fashion accessories, textile and apparel, and coffee. Participants discussed the supply constraints that can hinder exports and developed sector action plans to mitigate those constraints. They also refined the Hub-supported end-market analysis draft reports designed to help Kenyan businesses take advantage of U.S. market opportunities through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). 

In order to change the “handicraft” narrative of the past, we as a country and producers are responsible in telling the “made in Kenya” brand story behind the “artisanal” process of our products,” said Anthony Mulli from Katchy Kollections.

The Hub and Ministry of Trade will incorporate feedback from the workshops into the final Kenya National AGOA Strategy.

"Full implementation of the AGOA Strategy for the apparel market can absorb a lot of the workforce and create jobs across the board," said Wagura Kamwana, The Textile Loft

The AGOA Strategy will create a focused approach on how to enhance exports to the U.S, bridging the gap that has been identified in the past 17 years,” Abel Kamau, Kenya Association of Manufacturers.

The Hub is committed to supporting increased exports from Kenya to the U.S. under AGOA. As part of this support, and following a request from the Ministry of Trade Industry and Cooperatives, the Hub has completed supply-side and end-market analyses that will help Kenya position its products in the U.S. market.

The Hub and EAC Secretariat hold validation meetings in support of regional food security

Published on November 23, 2017

From October 30 to mid-November 2017, the Hub supported the EAC Secretariat to conduct national validation meetings in all five East African Community (EAC) Partner States on the draft EAC Food Security Action Plan (FSAP) and the draft Food and Nutrition Security Strategy (FNSS). The meetings were crucial for collecting stakeholder feedback to guide the revision of the draft reports in readiness for endorsement at a regional experts’ meeting to be convened by EAC Secretariat at a later date.

Among key stakeholders who participated in the national validation meetings were government officials, members of the private sector, agencies responsible for agriculture and livestock, representatives from the World Food Program and projects with a food and nutrition security scope.

Both the FSAP and the FNSS are key EAC instruments on food security. FNSS highlights activities and critical targets for the next 5 years, providing guidance on coordination and implementation of individual and joint programs and projects that promote food and nutrition security in the EAC region. The FSAP sets out priority areas for intervention and guides programming in the food security sector.

The draft EAC instruments are aligned with the U.S. Government’s Global Food Security Strategy 2017, which has the following objectives: inclusive and sustainable agricultural-led economic growth; strengthened resilience among people and systems; and a well-nourished population.

Hub supports efficient regional cross-border trade through completed training program

Published on November 22, 2017

Traders.JPGThe Hub recently concluded a seven-month training program, with partner Agricultural Market Development Trust (AGMARK), to build the capacity of rural cross-border traders, with an emphasis on women and youth. A total of 232 cross-border traders (73% of whom were women) participated in the program to improve their capacity in enterprise management, structured trade, East African Community grades and standards, cross-border trade regulations, market information and access to finance. Improving the capacity of these traders and helping them to embrace formal trade mechanisms reduces the transaction costs of staple foods trade in the region and supports more effective agricultural markets. The Hub’s support to cross-border trade efficiency contributes to economic growth and the attainment of the U.S. government's Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative, Feed the Future, objectives.

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New our Knowledge Center : EAC Industrial Competitiveness Report 2017

Published on November 16, 2017

EAC_Industrialization.JPGEAC Industrial Competitiveness Report 2017 is a publication by the East Africa Community (EAC) Secretariat. The report aims at positioning the region's industry in the international scene by bench-marking its performance and capability against other comparators; and providing a compass to policymakers, the private sector (in particular manufacturing associations), and generally a wider audience of stakeholders interested and/or involved in industry on the broad direction of the industrial development trajectory of the EAC as a whole and of the internal dynamics among Partner States.

It also analyses the progress towards the attainment of the goals set in the EAC Industrialisation Policy 2012-2032; and provides diagnostics of manufacturing sector performance in the EAC and individual Partner States.

Policy makers meet to discuss the implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol

Published on November 16, 2017

eals_pic.jpgThis week the Hub is participating in the EAC-themed 22nd East African Law Society (EALS) Annual Conference in Entebbe, Uganda. This annual event brings together lawyers, judges, magistrates, and selected Members of Parliament to advance issues of interest to the legal profession and regionalism. The conference presents the opportunity for the Hub to build capacity of EALS's members on regional integration matters and support implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol.

During the Leading Law Firms’ Forum, one of the side events at the conference, at least 100 leading private practitioners met to discuss potential reforms for the region’s investment policy stance, with a view to improving the laws and regulations that influence the investment environment. The conference will wind up with a panel on the EAC Common Market Protocol. This will provide an opportunity for sensitization on matters regarding the EAC Common Market; increase awareness on the Hub’s efforts towards its implementation within the region; capacity building of members of the EALS in regional integration matters and an opportunity to create partnerships for advocacy on EAC integration matters.

One of the key focus areas of the Hub's policy work is supporting the implementation of the East African Community (EAC) Common Market Protocol. Through the protocol, EAC Partner States have committed to liberalize the movement of goods, services and capital, in addition to other factors of production, thus enhancing trade and investment in an increasingly competitive region. Over the last two years, the Hub’s trade policy and regulatory reform activities helped achieve a 39% increase in intra-regional trade within the EAC. Watch the video below to find out more about the EAC Common Market Protocol:

Video: Hub-supported East African companies to pitch at upcoming investment fair in South Africa

Published on November 16, 2017

From November 20 - 22, the Hub is supporting five East African companies to attend and pitch to potential investors at the African AGRI Investment Indaba 2017. Watch the below video to hear about how linkage events like the African AGRI Investment Indaba help lay the groundwork for more deal closures. The Hub has supported the closure of $57 million in investments over the life of the project, with $155 million of deals under review in its investment pipeline. The African Agri Council is hosting the African Agri Investment Indaba 2017 as part of its 2017 strategic vision to promote and facilitate investment into African agriculture.

The 2017 African AGRI Investment Indaba focuses on Investment Discovery Sessions that link accredited investors (African and International), agri executives and entrepreneurs from the entire agriculture value chain with new investment opportunities. The Investment Discovery Sessions will feature opportunities in inputs, primary agriculture, agro-processing, technology and aquaculture. All sessions will be divided into ticket size ranging from $5 million to $95 million. The sessions will take place in a private setting with a pre-selected panel of investors. Investors will receive access to detailed briefings on companies and projects aligned to their specific interests.  

As a lead up to the Indaba, the African Agri Council held three African Agri Investment Discovery Forums in London, Hong Kong and New York between April and June 2017. These outward missions focused on investment in the most innovative and competitive sectors in agriculture across the African continent and were designed to help investors, businesses and governments explore African investment climates and international trade. 

Hub promotes sourcing from East Africa at Destination Africa trade show

Published on November 16, 2017

Destination Africa trade show participants now have a better idea of East African sourcing opportunities because of the Hub. The Hub maintained a booth at the recent Egyptian trade show and sponsored high-capacity Ethiopian apparel manufacturer Velocity to attend. 

Destination Africa organizers made a strong effort to attract key U.S. buyers to the show, the Hub's primary audience for market linkages. The Hub had very productive discussions with U.S. companies the Children's Place, Jack & Jones and Li & Fung about sourcing from East Africa. Since project start, the Hub has helped facilitate nearly $300 million of exports to the U.S. through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Creating market linkages at trade shows like Destination Africa contributes to growing that number.

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New on our Knowledge Center: The African Economic Outlook 2017

Published on November 09, 2017

Cover_page.JPGThe African Economic Outlook 2017 is a publication by the African Development Bank, the OECD Development Center and the United Nations Development Programme.

This report examines Africa’s macroeconomic performance, financing, trade policies and regional integration, human development,and governance. It explains how improving entrepreneurship contributes to Africa’s industrialization and offers policies to do so.

Policy reforms improve the business environment in East Africa

Published on November 09, 2017

Last week, the WorldBank published the Doing Business 2018 report characterizing commendable improvements in the East African region. Improvements in global rankings are intended to increase the level of efficiency for businesses and increase the level of both local and Foreign Direct Investment which have a positive impact on Job creation. The Hub’s Trade Policy and Regulatory Reform team focuses on supporting the implementation of the East African Community (EAC) Common Market Protocol. Through the protocol, EAC Partner States have committed to liberalizing the movement of goods, services and capital, in addition to other factors of production, with goal of enhancing trade and investment in an increasingly competitive region.

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