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USAID grant signed to create 2,000 new jobs for youth in the apparel industry

Signed a new grant with Generation Program Kenya Limited, a local subsidiary of the McKinsey Social Initiative. Working hand-in-hand with Kenya’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers and apparel companies, the program will set up and equip seven training centers throughout Kenya, provide over 100,000 hours in skills development and train 2,000 Kenyan youth, preparing them for full-time sewing machine operator jobs in the industry.  The grant is a part of the Hub’s larger “East Africa Cotton, Textile and Apparel Workforce Development Initiative,” a collaboration between the Hub and the American Apparel and Footwear Association that will ensure U.S. brands and retailers’ goods are manufactured in accordance with best business practices and operations in East Africa, producing a win-win for trading partners.

Kenyan woman-owned home-décor company enters mainstream U.S. market

Supported a Kenyan home decor producer to ship her largest-to-date U.S. order. Valued at $200,000, the deal is as a result of the Hub-organized Cost Plus World Market Trade Mission. (see success story at the end of this report) The profit from this order will go to the nearly 400 artisans who contributed to each hand-carved piece and will help finance her next big export to the U.S., which shouldn’t be far off given her now proven capacity for high-volume supply.

Read more here

The Hub supports increased investments in the upcoming Kenya Leather Park

On June 30, the Hub’s leather advisor completed his contract, during which he facilitated $9 million in total investment commitments for the upcoming Kenya Leather Park and a trade deal between Bata Shoes Kenya, Kenya Defense Forces and the Kenya Prisons Services to supply a total of $1.9 million in new sales of officer’s boots and shoes. Also in the leather sector, the Hub supported an India-based ‘trainer of trainers’ session that provided new eco-friendly technologies for best practices in leather finishing and production for five Kenyan tanneries and leather companies.

The Hub facilitates $36M new private sector investments

The Hub has facilitated $30,633,968 new private sector investments in the ag and non ag sector in Kenya. The Hub offers transaction support services. Eligible investors include private equity funds, commercial banks, impact funds, and development finance institutions. The Hub’s transaction team acts as a neutral intermediary to provide: opportunity validation market intelligence, fundraising support, due diligence, deal structuring, financial analysis and modelling. 

The Hub has helped financially close $51m of investments over the life of the project, $33.9 million in the agricultural and food chain sector and $17.4 million in the non-ag sector. There are $165 million of deals under review in the Hub’s investment pipeline. Over 

Product development excellence training for SMEs

Facilitated training on product development excellence for selected SMEs in the sector, in collaboration with Kenya Leather Development Council (KLDC). The training covered a wide range of topics in product development, including: product development planning, product development process, managing cross-functional teams and how to generate superior value products.

Helped leather enterprises develop innovative products that can compete globally, with a focus on company owners and senior management – those who can implement the concepts on which they were trained.

Trade and export facilitation through “Buy Kenya Build Kenya” strategy

Facilitated Kenya’s leading player in the formal footwear sector and the largest buyer of raw leather, Bata Kenya, to access opportunities for supplying Kenya Defense Forces with military boots and shoes.

Linked Bata Kenya to SMEs who have since started sourcing specialized finished leather for manufacture of leather goods, resulting in approximately $1.9 million in new sales.

Introduced MAS Tannery, a company established in 2004 that specializes in tanning (wet blue), to new markets in Turkey, India and Egypt. This allowed the company to increase exports to new clients  by approximately $500,000 per month.

Investor mobilization for the Kenya Leather Park



Supported Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture to purchase 50,000 MT of maize from Ethiopia for the Kenyan Strategic Grain Reserve, bringing the total maize trade facilitated by the Hub between Ethiopia and the East African region to $100 million in the current season. 

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Private sector urged to adopt Kenya's mark of identity to boost global sales

Published on April 22, 2015
Private sector players have been urged to adopt Kenya's new mark of identity to help sell the country in the international market. The new mark, "A Touch of Kenya", developed by Brand Kenya, will be the sale statement replacing scattered tag lines selling the country's diverse products in the export market. Read more. Source | Standard Digital 
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East African leaders to attend US conference

Published on April 21, 2015
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame will be in the US next week to attend the annual Milken Global conference in Los Angeles, California. The conference is a premier gathering for world political and business leaders where they exchange ideas seeking to overcome some of the world’s toughest challenges. The two East African leaders are expected to be the only foreign heads of state attending the conference, which is scheduled to run from April 26 to 29. President Kenyatta will address the Milken Institute Corporate and Investor Roundtable, which will be by invitation only on Monday April 27, from 7.30am to 9.30am Read more. Source | Africa Review
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An extension of Agoa Is critical for Kenya

Published on April 17, 2015
As the expiry date for the African Growth and Opportunities Act approaches, there is consensus from many experts that more could be done to exploit the full potential of this window of opportunity. The trade deal provided an opportunity for sub-Saharan African countries to export specific products to the US duty-free for a period of 15 years from 2001. The benefits that have accrued to the participating countries are undeniable. Export figures have grown in many of the countries, including Kenya and jobs have been created. However, the AGOA was expected to not only grow exports, but to transform the sub-Saharan economies. To this end, AGOA has not yet achieved this objective, building a case to give it a longer time with an extension. An extension of another 15 years is under discussion, but equally important is how to ensure that this time round we are able to capitalise more on the opportunity. Read more. Source | AllAfrica
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Kenyan millers and State in blame game as unga price hits Sh100

Published on April 15, 2015
Kenya’s consumer market has once again produced its biggest puzzle with the rise to more than Sh100 in the price of a two-kilogramme packet of maize flour even as farmers struggle to find buyers for their low-priced produce at the farm gates. Maize flour prices have been rising since February even as a heavy market glut pushed down farm-gate prices to lows of about Sh2,000 for a 90 kilogramme bag of maize. Millers said the price escalation is mainly linked to massive hoarding of maize by the middlemen who buy the produce from farmers and supply the factories. Read more. Source| Business Daily
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Investors call for a trade-boosting environment in Kenya

Published on April 14, 2015
Business leaders want the government to come up with programmes that can support local innovators and young entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into profitable enterprises. Meeting in Nairobi over the weekend, the investors also sought incentives for local firms, as opposed to the current focus on their foreign counterparts, as well as give them preference when procuring goods and services. Read more. Source | Daily Nation
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Kenya attracting investments despite insecurity

Published on April 13, 2015
Cytonn Investments says the terrorist attacks will cause sporadic disruptions and uncertainty in the short-term. The firm in its latest report says in the long term the country has a positive investment potential as long as the government curbs the recurrence of the terror attacks. “However, we make the big assumption that the government will quickly, aggressively and, most important, appropriately, act to contain insecurity so that acts of terrorism such as those in Mandera and Garissa do not become the norm, ” the firm said. According to the report, Kenya is one of the last markets where investors can consistently access GDP growth of six percent to eight percent per annum over the next decade. Read more. Source | Capital Fm Kenya
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Kenya's tech scene ripe for exporting to the world says iHub founder

Published on April 13, 2015
The Nairobi-based hub has just celebrated five years. It serves as a central locus for the region's tech community, bringing together everyone from entrepreneurs and hackers to investors and advisors. In spite of iHub's expansion into research, incubation, and testing, Hersman maintains that the organization's core focus remains building a tech community. Is there a distinct tech culture in Kenya that can be exported? There are tech entrepreneurs here who are exporting their products and services not just in Africa but to the rest of the world. We have people at Craft Silicon, PesaPal and Cellulant who have been doing this for a number of years. Kenya is one of those places that is blessed with people who are really entrepreneurial. Tie the entrepreneurial spirit with the right technology and you get something that has very few physical barriers, where we can easily export our stuff around the world because of the Internet. Read more. Source | All Africa
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US firm launches platinum fuel saver in Kenyan market

Published on April 13, 2015
Local motorists and boda boda operators have something to smile about following introduction of Platinum fuel saving products in the Kenyan market by Platinum Marketing Group, a renowned US company. The Platinum tabs are expected to improve fuel economy and reduce air pollution. The firm said the first consignment of the product has already arrived in the country. Platinum Marketing Group Vice President Stanley Michuki said adoption of the product will avert environmental pollution since it reduces smoke in the motor engines. "Laboratory results establishes that Platinum fuel tab improves combustion efficiency and combustion of unburned carbon in the particulate emission. Read more. Source | The Standard Digital
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