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East African trade and investment news

Floriculture land to reach 2,000 ha by 2018 as horticulture exports rise to $10m

Published on July 25, 2017

Rwanda has set its eyes on the prize of flower production with customary changes and enhancement already taking place to scale the industry higher on another above par atmosphere, as it were.

In relation to this, the East African state’s flower sector has already made a great deal of signing, partnering with its neighbouring Kenyan investor, Florammat Limited, and Terimberemukoto Farming Cooperative.

The dual ship accord will ensure that the flower industry has its necessities taken care of in a bid to expand its territorial regional influence as well as stir up growth in the industry. Read more. Source | The Exchange 

Tripartite model is best for industrialisation in Africa

Published on July 25, 2017

As right-wing populism recedes, following the tragicomic reign of Trump in the West and the election of the pro-EU Emmanuel Macron in France, the developmental approach taken by the Tripartite (the Common Market for Eastern Africa – East African Community and the Southern Africa Development Community) might well be a best practice for the whole world in pursuing regional economic integration.

The approach bases regional economic integration on at least three simultaneously critical pillars – building of large regional markets to support critical levels of investment, cross-border economic infrastructure including rural infrastructure and industrialisation, with a focus on small to medium scale enterprises, for social economic transformation. Read more. Source | New Vision

Hope for traders as four cross-border markets near completion

Published on July 25, 2017

Contractors are putting final touches on four cross-border markets expected to be inaugurated by the end of this month.

In a recent interview with The New Times, François Kanimba, the Minister for Trade, Industry and EAC Affairs (MINEACOM) said that three markets; namely Cyanika (in Burera District) along the Ugandan border, Karongi and Rusizi I markets along the DR Congo border are in the final stages of completion.

Also Construction works on (Rubavu) cross-border market is at 70 per cent and will be completed by the end of this year, according to Kanimba. Read more. Source | New Times

Ethiopia aims to generate 30 bln USD from textile sector by 2030

Published on July 25, 2017

Ethiopia has a target to generate 30 billion U.S. dollars in foreign exchange earnings from the textile and garment sector by 2030, according to Bogale Feleke, Ethiopian Deputy Minister of Industry.

The deputy minister made the remarks while addressing a workshop organized to promote Ethiopia's textile industry sector held in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa on Monday.

"We intend to increase our area of cotton production. At present, only 20 percent of the three million hectares are used for cotton production while we aim to increase to around 80 percent," local media FBC quoted Feleke as saying. Read more. Source | Xinhua Net

Kenya, Tanzania remove trade restrictions

Published on July 24, 2017

Tanzania and Kenya have held successful talks that will see the lifting of restrictions on imports from either country.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Dr Augustine Mahiga, announced the decision in Nairobi yesterday following discussions between President John Magufuli and his Kenyan counterpart, Mr Uhuru Kenyatta.

As a result, Kenya will lift the ban on wheat flour and gas imports from Tanzania, which, in turn, will remove restrictions on milk and cigarettes from Kenya. Read more. Source | The Citizen

Drive to improve farmer participation in agric programmes

Published on July 24, 2017

Transparency International Rwanda and its partners has initiated a project aimed at increasing participation of farmers in planning, implementation and monitoring of agriculture projects using district performance contracts (Imihigo).

Launched in Kigali, on Friday, the project will be implemented in Kayonza District in the Eastern Province and Nyanza in the Southern and is expected to directly benefit 1300 members of farmers’ associations as well as thousands of farmers in the two districts. Read more. Source | New Times

New initiative to fund smallholder farmers launched

Published on July 24, 2017

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP) are going to launch smallholder farmer financing programmes with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to improve food security among vulnerable people in Rwanda and Tanzania.

The initiatives with KCB Bank Rwanda and CRDB Bank in Tanzania are part of the Farm to Market Alliance, a multi-stakeholder platform established in 2016, of which IFC and WFP are global members, to create agriculture value chains that secure sizeable local and international demand for produce from smallholder farmers, according to a statement from the two organisations. Read more. Source | New Times

Duty-free window for maize extended

Published on July 24, 2017

The Treasury has extended duty waiver on imported yellow and white maize in a move aimed at increasing supply of the staple.

The extension, contained in a special issue of the gazette notice signed by Treasury Cabinet secretary Henry Rotich, will see millers enjoy the duty waiver on white maize for three more months. Yellow maize window will be open for one year. The waiver on white maize was supposed to end on July 31 but it has now been extended to September 30.

The exemption on yellow maize was supposed to expire on August 31 but this has been pushed to June 30, 2018. Read more. Source | Business Daily

New programme to sharpen textile skills for 2,000 youth

Published on July 24, 2017

About 2,000 youth are set to get jobs in the apparel industry following the signing of a deal to be spearheaded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (the Hub).

The programme signed with Generation Program Kenya Limited — a local subsidiary of the McKinsey Social Initiative — will equip young people with skills needed in the apparel industry. The pilot programme, to be implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Industrialisation, will see seven training centres set up and equipped across the country.

The pilot plan, that will also involve the Kenya Association of Manufacturers, will include screening of 4000 youth for training and job placement in the apparel industry. Read more. Source | Business Daily

Madagascar signs Tripartite Trade Agreement

Published on July 20, 2017

The Republic of Madagascar has become the 20th country to sign the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement. The agreement brings together three regional economic communities-COMESA, EAC and SADC- into a single free trade area. The Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) constitutes 57% of Africa’s population with a combined GDP of US$1.3 trillion as of 2015, making it one of the largest free trade areas in the world.

The Tripartite Agreement was signed on Thursday 13th July 2017 by His Excellency Mahafaly Solonandrasana Olivier, Prime Minister of the Republic of Madagascar, on behalf of the Government, in Antananarivo, Madagascar.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Mr. Sindiso Ngwenya, the Secretary General of COMESA, who represented the Secretary General of the East African Community and the current Chairperson of the Tripartite Task Force, Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko, and the Secretary General of SADC, Dr. Stergomena. Read more. Source | East African Community