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Rwanda

The Hub's accomplishments in Rwanda to Date:  

  • The Hub has supported 96 firms and associations to increase their export competitiveness
  • Eleven firms have been supported to participate in various trade shows resulting in 20 business linkages
  • Hub facilitated AGOA exports as at June 30 2017 stood at $396,000
  • Exports to other market destinations as a result of Hub support are $615,805
  • Due to the expanding export opportunities, 872 new full time equivalent jobs have been created, 82 percent of which are for women
  • Supported successful implementation of ePing electronic alert system
  • Supported the adoption of Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures (SPS) notification submission system
  • Supported use if ISOlutions which allows Rwanda to effectively participate in international standardization process.

The Hub's assistance to Rwanda

To increase the movement of goods, capital and services, the Hub’s trade policy and regulatory reform component improves the capacity of EAC Partner State actors to meet World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Agreements. The Hub has supported Rwanda to adopt a TBT and SPS notification submission system and an ePing electronic alert system. The ePing systems helps WTO members alert other members of proposed new measures that could affect international trade and allows members to comment on the new measures. It’s available on the Internet for anyone to use.

The Hub partners with Rwanda's Private Sector Federation (RPSF) to strengthen trade and regional integration, specifically through implementation of the East African Community (EAC) Common Market Protocol. Together the Hub and RPSF have:

  • Organized a public private dialogue, in collaboration with the Rwanda Transport and Logistics Platform, to identify and address the existing NTBs that undermine the transport and logistics sectors of Rwanda within the realm of the EAC.
  • Addressed the challenges faced by professions in negotiation and implementation of Mutual Recognition Agreements in Rwanda.
  • Conducted training in advocacy and dialogue for the public and private sector on financial integration and Mutual Recognition Agreements.
  • Led Container Deposit Guarantee Agreement. Following negotiations on the Container Deposit Guarantee Agreement with shipping lines in Nairobi and Mombasa, insurance companies have agreed to work through insurance for containers. The purpose of the negotiations is to replace existing cash deposit guarantees for containers by insurance guarantees, lowering the cost of doing business in the EAC. A draft contract template has been agreed upon and awaits signature.

The Hub partners with Rwanda Development Board to showcase Rwandan investment opportunities. In July 2016, the Hub and Rwanda Development Bank identified, prepared and showcased several promising investment opportunities to global investors during the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, World Investment Forum. There are currently three possible transactions awaiting closure in the Hub’s investment pipeline. One of the deals is in the financial service sector, the other two are within the agribusiness sector.

Rwandan entrepreneurs assess export readiness at Hub AGOA workshop

Nearly 50 entrepreneurs attended the Hub's March 2016 AGOA workshop in Kigali, Rwanda. From export-ready firms with considerable operations, such as C & H Garment, to startup home décor enterprises. The Hub's workshop seminars are designed to help alleviate export-ready challenges by detailing AGOA opportunities by sector, outlining the AGOA export process, and suggesting avenues for access to finance. All seminars include in-country specialists who are directly involved in trade facilitation or provide logistical or financial resources.

The Hub maintains a Rwanda AGOA Exporter Directory to encourage buyer/seller linkages, and ultimately, more Rwandan exports through AGOA.

On September 1 2016, the Hub hosted a specialty food workshop in Kigali, Rwanda. U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda Erica J. Bark-Ruggles opened the event alongside the Permanent Secretary Rwanda Ministry of Trade, Industry and EAC Affairs Emmanuel Hategeka. Both government representatives emphasized their support for growing Rwanda’s specialty food industry and encouraged attendees to take advantage of AGOA The Hub’s workshop lead addressed individual company products and suggested strategic approaches for marketing those products and finding interested buyers.

Hub facilitates uniform buyer mission to Rwanda

In April 2016, the Hub hosted the Vice President for Global Sourcing and Distribution of the fourth largest uniform buyer in the U.S. market, Superior Uniform Group (SUG), on a buyer mission to Rwanda. The Hub's AGOA team pre-selected viable producers of work wear and helped the firms prepare their product portfolios for the mission. The Hub also introduced SUG to government officials and USAID representatives in Rwanda.

SUG designs, manufactures and markets employee uniforms, image apparel, scrubs and patient apparel. The company is seeking to expand its sourcing capacity in East Africa. The General Manager of C&H (one of the Rwandan factories that SUG visited) wrote to the Hub in late June 2016 to report that they had already completed a trial order and are working on a future volume order. They noted that they had also recently become WRAP certified.

Related Blogs and Resources

Shs400m initiative to boost innovation

Published on August 24, 2017
Brainchild Burson-Marsteller has announced its Shs400m project to stimulate innovation in business and service delivery. The project dubbed “innovation series” is a pack of leadership events to be held in Kampala three times a year.  “Through the innovation series, we seek to bridge the current innovation gap in the country by inspiring business owners to invent and seek new solutions to their challenges and those of their customers,” Brainchild Burson-Marsteller business unit head Walter Wafula told guests on Monday in Kampala. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
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Uganda moves to tap regional food market

Published on August 21, 2017
Uganda has outlined strategies geared at enabling the country tap into the growing the regional food market. According to the country’s Ministry of Agriculture, food crops where Uganda has a comparative advantage over others and can be marketed in the East African Community (EAC) will be prioritised. Okasaai Opolot, the director crop resources at the country’s Ministry of Agriculture, the move will help position Uganda as a regional food basket. Food crops, including maize, rice, beans, bananas, and cassava, which are mainly consumed in the region, have so far been identified under this strategy. “We are looking at staple foods because Uganda is privileged to be having two rainy seasons that favour the production of the selected crops which makes it a regional food basket,” Opolot said. Read more. Source | New Times
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New UCDA board tasked to improve coffee exports

Published on August 08, 2017
The new boards of directors for the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) has been tasked to improve coffee exports so as to enable the country achieve its target of exporting 20 million bags of coffee by 2020. While officiating at the inauguration ceremony of the 8th UCDA board of directors in Kampala on Wednesday, state minister for agriculture Christopher Kibanzanga urged them to promote production across the value chain since it is one of the priority crops meant to spur the country to middle income status. “In the financial year 2016/17, Uganda earned more than $489m from only 4.2 million bags of coffee exported which we last earned in 1979. This shows that with more efforts invested, we shall hit the 2020 target,” he said.  Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
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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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AGOA: US firms to partner with Ugandans

Published on June 12, 2017
In a bid to benefit from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) extension, US companies will now partner with Ugandan companies especially in agribusiness.  The business partnerships are expected to step up Uganda’s production and capacity of the agricultural sector, levels of trade and investment between the two countries. This was one of the outcomes during the meeting between the US agricultural trade mission and the Private Sector Foundation Uganda stakeholders in Kampala last week. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
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Flower farms licensed as Free Zones

Published on June 07, 2017
Uganda Free Zones Authority (UFZA) has issued two developer’s Licences to M/s Fiduga Limited and M/s Royal Van Zanten Limited.The companies are meant to develop Free Zones in Mukono and Mpigi Districts in Uganda. A Free Zone is a special designated area where goods introduced into the area are generally regarded, so far as import duties are concerned, as being outside the Customs territory. These include Export Processing Zones or Free Port Zones. Ms Evelyn Anite, the minister of State for Privatisation and Investment, speaking during a field tour at Nsimbe estates recently, said the two companies that are already in the business of exporting, will further contribute to towards addressing the export gap by investing up to a tune of US$ 365 million (about Shs1.3 trillion) by 2021. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
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Customs organisation pushes for more intra-African trade

Published on May 17, 2017
The secretary general of World Customs Organisation Kunio Mirukiya has called for combined efforts towards boosting intra-African trade, proposing a number of reforms to ensure customs facilitate trade within the region.  “First is infrastructure at borders because what is lacking is systems that can facilitate movement of goods and people. Customs should coordinate border management, have one stop border post or a single window and more security by collaboration is what Africa should be looking at,” Mr Mirukiya said at the 22nd World Customs Organisation East and South Africa council governing meeting in Kampala last Thursday.  The meeting that attracted 22 countries from East and South Africa was aimed at looking at how best customs can facilitate trade and creating a platform for countries to collaborate and fight mutual challenges within the region. According to Mr Tom Moyane, the commissioner of South African Revenue Service, intra-African trade is an opportunity for the continent to look at the comparative advantage and economies of scale it can enjoy. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
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Forty-Six Postharvest Technology Innovators from East Africa to Compete for USD 30,000 in Seed Capital

Published on March 22, 2017
Panelists for the East Africa Postharvest Technologies Competition 2017 have selected 46 innovators, from over 200 applicants, to undergo accelerator training on how to package and pitch their technologies to investors. The training will help the innovators expand their opportunities for scaling up and disseminating their technologies to a wider market. The training will take place in Tanzania on April 4-6, 2017. Applicants are competing for the best technological solutions to address post-harvest losses. They hail from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. The Inter Region Economic Network (IREN) is conducting the inaugural East Africa Postharvest Technologies Competition 2017 through a grant from the Hub. The objective is to spur the development of innovative technologies that reduce food loss and waste in Africa.
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