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USAID Hub supports safe, efficient EAC trade through sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) capacity building

Published on February 13, 2018

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The USAID Hub, in partnership with the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), held a five-day workshop on plant health, animal health and food safety in Nairobi, Kenya. The workshop promoted the application of sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) inspections, supporting 35 senior staff from Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda with fulfilling their role in ensuring safe intra-regional and international trade. It also created a loose network of SPS inspectors who can assist one another with inquiries on SPS requirements and best practices moving forward.

The primary objective of the East African Community (EAC) SPS Protocol is to operationalize aspects of the EAC Protocol dealing with cooperation among Partner States in trade of agricultural commodities. The ratification and full implementation of the EAC SPS Protocol will enable harmonization of food health standards and enhance safe trade of agricultural commodities in the EAC. Harmonizing standards will also enhance the EAC's capacity to access international markets by having the region adhere to a common set of rules that enable them to pool produce from multiple Partner States to meet external demand.

The Hub is supporting CABI to conduct risk assessment training workshops covering plant health, animal health and food safety at the EAC partner-state level in an effort to implement the EAC SPS Protocol, an initiative that will facilitate safe intra-regional and international trade

USAID Hub partners with EAGC to boost food security in East Africa

Published on February 13, 2018

The USAID Hub partnered with Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) to facilitate 201,688 metric tons (MT) of grain and staples contracts worth US$ 61,527,121 at a Ugandan-based regional trade forum on February 8. This was the fourth largest business-to-business (B2B) forum that the USAID Hub has hosted to connect the private sector across East Africa and to ensure grain is moving from surplus countries to deficit countries which in turn leads to sustainable trade and food security. With the Uganda forum, the USAID Hub has cumulatively facilitated over 1.26 million MT in regional trade of grains and pulses. Once contract delivery is complete, grain traded through the USAID Hub's B2B forums will have contributed to the food security of 14.9 million East Africans.

The USAID Hub partner EAGC was integral to the success of the forum. EAGC connected numerous local Ugandan sellers who signed contracts with regional buyers for their surplus grains with Maize being the main commodity traded comprising of 157,282 MT valued at US$ 35,533,346. Other organizations that participated included Farm Africa who sponsored 10 participants to the regional trade forum. The participants signed commitments to sell 4,600 MT of maize, green grams and beans with an estimated value of USD 2,820,000.

In November last year, the Hub’s partnership with EAGC, the USAID Rwanda Private Sector Driven Agriculture Growth (PSDAG) program and the East Africa Exchange facilitated 175,616 metric tons of grain contracts at a Rwandan-based regional trade forum.

The USAID Hub supports intra-regional trade in staple foods in the East African region in line with the U.S. Government's Global Food Security Strategy. The efficient movement of staple foods from surplus producing to deficit regions is one way to improve regional food balance and support the region's ability to achieve food security.  

Ambiente Trade Show Day 2 – U.S. buyers seek product samples

Published on February 10, 2018

IMG_1592.JPGBed, Bath and Beyond wants nine different product samples and World Market wants ten. Interest from these big U.S. buyers is one of the reasons that the USAID Hub supported Ivahona, a company based on the island nation of Madagascar, to attend Ambiente, the largest sourcing platform for consumer goods outside of Asia.

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Ambiente Trade Show Day 1 – CRACODE draws visitors with its newest line of scarves and blankets

Published on February 09, 2018

CRACODE_Ambiente.jpgThe Ambiente trade show grounds are the size of a small village. Two of Frankfurt’s subway stops are devoted to the shuttling of buyers, sellers and visitors to and from the exposition halls. Approximately 140,000 visitors will discover new product and sourcing opportunities by the end of the four-day show. The USAID Hub is working to ensure that some of that discovered new product comes from East Africa.

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U.S coffee buyers explore sourcing opportunities in Kenya and Ethiopia

Published on February 08, 2018

The USAID Hub and its grantee African Fine Coffees Association (AFCA) supported a U.S buyer mission to Kenya and Ethiopia in early February. The buyers experienced the Kenyan and Ethiopian coffee-supply chain firsthand, cupped prize-winning coffee and established relationships with the coffee producers and exporters. As a result of the mission, U.S. coffee buyers linked with coffee producers from four Ethiopian companies and nine Kenyan companies for a potential sales value of $437,300.

“We have been buying coffee from Kenya for many years, although it has only been in the past three years that we have been able to source our first Kenyan coffee directly from a visit. After this visit I am even more optimistic my company will be able to establish even deeper direct linkages between us and Kenyan coffee growers, which is something I'm very excited for, as the coffees from Kenya are among my and my customer's most memorable cups of coffee. We want to forge long-term relationships from quality farmers, which is much easier to do thanks to the opportunity USAID has provided,” said Aaron Blanco, Owner of The Brown Coffee Co.

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New on our Knowledge Center : Global Economic Prospects - January 2018 edition

Published on February 08, 2018

Global_Outlook.JPGThe January 2018 edition of Global Economic Prospects (GEP) is a publication by the World Bank. It points out that, for the first time since the global financial crisis, all major regions of the world are experiencing an uptick in economic growth. The current, broad-based growth acceleration is a welcome trend and could be self-reinforcing.

On the other hand, stepping outside the frame of short-term forecasting, the GEP observes that growth in investment and in total factor productivity (TFP) has been declining over the past five years. Thanks to demographic trends, labor force growth has also been slowing in many parts of the world. This means that potential output (the amount the economy can produce if labor and capital were fully employed) would grow at a subdued pace in the future. The current demand-led recovery is likely to run up against supply constraints. The decline in TFP growth is particularly troubling since this has been a key source of rising living standards in many countries in the past.

USAID Hub supports ease of trade by raising awareness of revised EAC standards

Published on February 08, 2018

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Key grain stakeholders in Uganda are now well informed regarding nine revised East African Community (EAC) standards for cereals and pulses and two new standards on sampling & test methods that will improve the flow of intraregional trade in grains. On February 7, the USAID Hub and the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) conducted an introduction event in Kampala, Uganda to build awareness of the gazetted standards among stakeholders and to provide a platform to facilitate discussion on the roadmap to domesticate and implement the standards in Uganda. The nine revised standards and two new standards for sampling and test methods were approved by the EAC Council of Ministers in November 2017 and subsequently gazetted under EAC Legal Notice Number EAC/149/2017, dated 7th December 2017.

Uganda was the second stop for the USAID Hub and EAGC awareness raising events. The partnership held a similar workshop on the revised standard in Kenya in December 2017, and will continue to hold similar forums in all five EAC Partner States. The goal is to sensitize industry stakeholders and the general public of the gazette standards and to highlight their importance in intra-regional food trade, food security, food quality and safety.

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Hub partners with EAC Secretariat to conduct regional validation workshop on key EAC food security instruments

Published on February 07, 2018

DLW4rggXUAACeMg.jpgThe Hub supported the East Africa Community (EAC) Secretariat to conduct a regional stakeholders’ validation workshop on the draft EAC Food and Nutrition Security Strategy (FNSS) and Food and Nutrition Security Action Plan (FNSAP).  Upon incorporation of stakeholder input, the EAC will next submit the draft reports to the Sectoral Council on Agriculture and Food Security (SCAFS) for consideration and adoption.

Stakeholders at the January 30 – February 3 workshop recommended the establishment of a multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder Regional Technical Working Group on Food and Nutrition Security (REWG-FNS) to support implementation of the EAC Food and Nutrition Security Action Plan.

Among key stakeholders who participated in the workshop were government officials, private sector representatives, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization Sub-Regional Office for Eastern Africa with a food and nutrition security scope, East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC) and consultants engaged by the Hub to assist in drafting of the two reports.

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New on our Knowledge Center: Microlinks Webinar Presentation

Published on February 01, 2018

presentation_cover.JPGMicrolinks Webinar Presentation is a presentation prepared by the USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (the Hub) for a webinar organized by USAID knowledge management platforms Microlinks and Agrilinks. It highlights the food crisis in East and southern Africa, but also stresses that the region has the ability to feed itself if food were allowed to move freely from surplus to deficit regions. It also provides information on The Hub and the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC)  trade facilitation forums that have been successful in promoting food security. In 2017, the USAID Hub and EAGC facilitated contracts for 1.2 million MT of staple grains for cross-border trade, supporting the food security of an estimated 14.4 million people.

Hub/Gro Fin partnership closes $1.7 million

Published on February 01, 2018

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The Hub, through its partner GroFin, has closed two investment deals valued at $1.7 million, bringing the total Hub-facilitated closed investment deals to $59.3 million. The closures will provide debt capital for an agricultural company in Tanzania and a packaging and manufacturing agribusiness in Uganda. (Photo caption: The Hub and partner GroFin are helping to attract investment to the perennially underserved sector of agriculture.)

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