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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. 

Related Blogs and Resources

Kenya plans virtual weigh stations to boost efficiency

Published on June 28, 2017
Kenya is shifting to virtual weigh-bridges in a bid to boost speed and transparency in the clearance of cargo on its roads. The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) plans to set up 10 virtual weighbridges on key transport corridors amid ballooning costs of road maintenance and delays in the screening of vehicles. The electronic devices will be located at Archers Post on the Isiolo-Moyale road, Sagana Bridge on the Thika-Nyeri road, Yatta on the Thika-Garissa road, Kamulu on the Nairobi-Kangundo road and Eldama Ravine on the Eldama Ravine-Eldoret road. Read more. Source | Business Daily
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Agency eyes Voi for EPZ closer to Mombasa port

Published on June 27, 2017
The government has identified Voi as the next location for a publicly owned export processing zone (EPZ). Export Processing Zone Authority has issued a public notice seeking a parcel of land for EPZ enterprises keen on establishing bases closer to the Mombasa port. “The required land should be in parcels covering at least 200 acres and located no more than 20 kilometres from Voi town on the Mombasa-Nairobi highway or Voi-Mwatate Road and no more than 10 kilometres from a market centre or populated area,” it said. Read more. Source | Business Daily
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Kenya Airways gets first set of licences for direct US flights

Published on June 14, 2017
Kenya Airways has moved a step closer to operating direct flights to the United States after the Department of Transportation (DOT) granted it the first set of licences. The national carrier has received “exemption authority” from the DOT, allowing it to commence flights to the US provided it secures clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other applicable State agencies. The DOT has also tentatively granted Kenya Airways a Foreign Air Carrier Permit (FACP), which is again subject to clearance from several US security, aviation and border agencies. Read more. Source | Business Daily
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EAC countries 2017/18 budgets prioritise infrastructure, agric

Published on June 12, 2017
East African Community (EAC) member states have prioritised development expenditure as countries look to further strengthen the growth agenda of the regional economies. In the national budget estimates presented yesterday, Tanzania will be spending $14.21 billion and Uganda $8.09 billion in the fiscal year 2016/17. Rwanda plans to spend some Rwf2.09 trillion compared to the Rwf1.95 trillion spent this fiscal year. Kenya’s budget for the 2017/2018 fiscal year was presented in March to give room for the forthcoming general elections in August. The EAC states presented their 2017/18 budgets under the theme, ‘Industrialisation for job-creation and shared prosperity’. Read more. Source | New Times
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Sack Bett and Kiunjuri over 'man-made unga crisis', Raila tells Uhuru

Published on June 08, 2017
Opposition leader Raila Odinga has demanded that President Uhuru Kenyatta sacks three top government officials over the current food shortage. Raila said the officials should be relieved of their duties for misleading Kenyans about the food situation in the country. He called for the sacking of CSs Mwangi Kiunjuri (Devolution), his Agriculture counterpart Willy Bett and Agriculture PS Richard Lesiyampe. The NASA presidential flag bearer said the unga crisis in the country is man-made. "The hunger is spreading yet supermarkets are running dry of not just the subsidised unga but all sorts of maize flour. This is clearly manufactured." Read more. Source | The Star
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Bio-pesticide to curb weevils wins Sh1million

Published on May 22, 2017
A researcher has developed a bio-pesticide that can help the country reduce post-harvest losses of maize and other grains.Donatus Njoroge, an industrial chemist working at Mt Kenya University has developed Molepse bio-resource oil/powder that has been proven to have the ability to protect all types of grains from weevil attacks. The pesticide, available in liquid and powder forms, was last week selected among top innovations developed by participants during the inaugural East Africa Post-Harvest Technologies Competition. The competition was organised by the Inter Region Economic Network (IREN), through a grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) East Africa Trade and Investment Hub in partnership with Sygenta. Read more. Source | Daily Nation
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Do not sever ties with Kenya - CS pleads with US

Published on May 03, 2017
Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has urged the US to help Kenya improve its economic and security situation, arguing that it will be in the interest of both nations. In a series of meetings with top US officials last week, Ms Mohamed said that President Donald Trump’s ‘America-first’ policy can still be achieved with increased trade between Washington and Nairobi. "Kenya values the longstanding partnership and cooperation with United States and is keen to explore new avenues and possibilities of strengthening the relationship as the new ‘America first policy’ takes shape and crystallizes," she said in Washington. Read more. Source | Daily Nation
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EPZ firms’ local sales quota raised to 40pc

Published on May 02, 2017
The ailing textile sector has been handed a lifeline, with the proposed increase in the amount of goods that manufacturers based in the special economic zones can sell locally. President Uhuru Kenyatta said that the apparel manufacturers operating from the export processing zones (EPZs) will now be allowed to sell up to 40 per cent of their goods locally, a significant improvement over their current local market quota. “We want to increase the current quota of 20 per cent that is allowed for the local market up to 40 per cent so that the local apparel manufacturers can employ more Kenyans,” Mr Kenyatta said. Read more. Source | Business Daily
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