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East African trade and investment news

Regional lobby, USAid eye cheap Ethiopia maize to ease shortage

Published on February 20, 2017

A regional grain body and a US aid agency are working with millers and traders to import cheap maize from Ethiopia to ease the current shortage of the commodity that has hit the country.

Last week, EAGC executive director Gerald Masila was in Ethiopia to discuss the trade deal while the Ethiopian delegation will be in the country this week for negotiation with millers. Ethiopia has a surplus of 1.5 million bags that they are willing to sell to Kenya. Read more. Source | Business Daily

Sourcing at MAGIC to tackle trade, Africa and speed to market

Published on February 20, 2017

The impact of the new Trump administration on international trade, the potential border adjustment tax, and the shift to Africa as an apparel sourcing destination are some of the topics being discussed at the Sourcing at MAGIC trade show later this month.

Held at The Las Vegas Convention Center from 20-23 February, more than 50 seminars will take place over the four days, with over 40 countries represented.

President Trump will be the subject of a seminar on day two, discussing how the new administration may impact various free trade agreements and international trade relationships. Julia Hughes, president of the US Fashion Industry Association (USFIA), will moderate a panel analysing the cause and effect between the supply chain and recent challenges in the global economy, such as the elimination of TPP, rising costs in China and trade issues between the US and China. Read more. Source | Just Style 

Kenya sets up unit for marketing Maasai beads to US, Europe

Published on February 16, 2017

Kenya has created a unit that will market beads in foreign capitals in the quest to sell unique breast plates, earrings and bracelets to US and European consumers.

The Tourism ministry has established the Ushanga Kenya Initiative to be manned by an independent executive to research the bead-making industry and explore new markets for products.

The main market for the beads remains Kenya, but now beading is selling at higher prices to a small clique of European designers. Read more. Source | Business Daily

Over 50 to train in post-harvest handling

Published on February 15, 2017

More than 50 local agribusiness dealers and farmers will undergo post-harvest and storage handling and pitching training in Nairobi Kenya.

Under the theme, Supporting Innovative Technologies for Postharvest Loss Reduction the two-week training programme is expected to attract over 400 participants from across East Africa.

The training which will begin on April 4-5 will focus on how best to reduce post-harvest loss through better storage management practices and technologies, said James Shikwati, the chief executive officer of the Inter-Region Economic Network. Read more. Source | New Times

Sourcing at MAGIC to debut new African Pavilion, WWDMAGIC gets a revamp

Published on February 14, 2017

As the largest biannual U.S. trade show for the global retail fashion industry, MAGIC is known for staying ahead of trends, while continually revamping, expanding and refining its showfloor offerings.

Its upcoming event, set for Feb. 20-23 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, will be no exception as it unveils a new African Pavilion and a refreshed women’s fashion showcase.

Owned and produced by UBM Fashion Group, the massive show attracts tens of thousands of attendees from more than 80 countries to Las Vegas every February and August. In 2015 alone, the event boasted 72,651 attendees and 5,385 exhibitors occupying 998,845 net square feet of exhibition space. Read More. Source | Trade Show News Network

Experts educate farmers on increasing maize production

Published on February 14, 2017

Maize is a very important crop when it comes to Africa farming. It serves countries in feeding their people and also generation of revenue through exports. Nonetheless, with the current situation of climate change linked with global warming and “incessant” drought, the production of the grain has drastically reduced. In Africa, its production per hectare is 40 per cent below that in developed countries.

Due to this observation, experts have raised an alarm calling farmers to strategize on better farming techniques, such as intercropping to increase the production and fill in the gaps on the continent.

The experts were addressing the issue in Kigali, Rwanda, during a training workshop sustainably increasing maize production in Sub-Saharan Africa. Read more. Source | The Exchange

Govt seeks more youth engagement in agriculture

Published on February 14, 2017

Youth’s engagement in agriculture and livestock sector is critical for the transformation of the sector into a vibrant business, officials said.

The remarks were made in light of reports indicating that there is an ageing farmer population in the country.The average age of farmers in Rwanda is 55 years old.This was said during a one-day workshop on ways to engage youth in agriculture, last Friday.

The workshop in Kigali brought together officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI), 68 youths in agribusiness under Rwanda Youth in Agribusiness Forum (RYAF), and various institutions in agribusiness interventions. Read more. Source | New Times

EAC team to review taxes on key goods

Published on February 14, 2017

The East African Community has formed a 25-member taskforce to revise the region’s Common External Tariff (CET) and fine-tune the existing rules of origin to boost intra-regional trade and attract new investments to the bloc.

The taskforce comprises four experts on tariffs, fiscal policy, trade and statistics from each of the five member countries — Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi — plus one representatives from the private sector, notably associations of manufacturers or chambers of commerce from each of the member states.

The timelines for the completion of the exercise have also been revised from July to September 2017. Read more. Source | East African

New fortified food factory gives hope to over 10,000 grain and cereal farmers

Published on February 13, 2017

Grain and cereal farmers in the country have got a new lease of life following the coming on line of a multimillion processing plant Thursday. According to officials, the fortified foods factory will provide ready market for more than 10,000 large and small-scale grain and cereal farmers across the country.

Based in the Kigali Special Economic Zone in Nyandungu, Africa Improved Foods Rwanda, launched the production of fortified porridge flour last Thursday, opening a window for sustainable market opportunity for over 10,000 maize and soya bean farmers across the country, according to Prosper Ndayiragije, the firm’s country director. Read more. Source | New Times

USAID, BRD enter partnership to boost agriculture sector

Published on February 13, 2017

The Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) has entered into a partnership with a USAID project where the latter will provide technical assistance to employees of the bank and its clients.

The two-year project that will be implemented by Private Sector Driven Agricultural Growth Project is aimed at strengthening the agriculture lending practices in Rwanda as well as boost the entire agriculture sector.

An agreement to kick-start the project was signed last Friday at the BRD headquarters in downtown Kigali. Read more. Source | New Times