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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

Uganda tops with highest percentage of women business owners – Mastercard Index

Published on March 09, 2017
Following the release of the Mastercard Index of Women’s Entrepreneurship (MIWE) on International Women’s Day, it was revealed that 34.8 percent of businesses in Uganda are owned by women, making it one of the top performing African countries highlighted in the index. The MIWE is a weighted index that helps to better understand and identify factors and conditions that are most conducive to closing the gender gap among business owners in any given economy. The three factors include Women’s Advancement Outcomes, Access to Knowledge and Financial Services, and Supporting Entrepreneurial Factors. For the 2016 Index, Mastercard examined 54 different economies around the globe, including Botswana, Ethiopia, South Africa and Uganda. Read more. Source | PC Tech Magazine
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How use of identity cards has eased trade for border communities

Published on March 09, 2017
The use of identity cards among the Northern Corridor states has improved business opportunities for border communities, traders at Gatuna in Gicumbi District have said. According to Jane Bayera, the chairperson of Gatuna Crossborder Co-operative, border communities can now trade with their neighbours on the Uganda side without hindrance, which was not the same three years ago. The initiative by Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya, as well as new entrants South Sudan which came into force on January 1, 2014, is part of the Northern Corridor states integration projects that seek to fast-track the process. Read more. Source | New Times
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Government facilitates farmers to take up insurance

Published on March 09, 2017
Government has agreed to provide subsidies to farmers to enable them access insurance cover against losses incurred due to natural disasters. Under the new partnership with the National Union of Coffee Agribusiness and Farm Enterprises (Nucafe) and Agro- consortium, government will be paying 50 per cent of the insurance premiums for interested farmers to enable them insure their crops against calamities such as drought. The country manager Agriculture Re-insurance Consultants, Mr Robert Serwanga, one of the initiators of the programme, said this is a move which farmers should embrace. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
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Kenyan millers to take up lion’s share of EA Ethiopia maize sales

Published on March 09, 2017
Kenyan millers and traders are set to take up 87 per cent of the 275,000 metric tonnes of grain that East African regional countries have agreed to import from Ethiopia. The deal, which was facilitated by Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) and USAid’s East Africa Trade and Investment Hub will see traders import 240,000 metric tonnes of maize and pulses from Ethiopia, part of 51 contracts worth Sh5.5 billion that have been agreed with regional countries. The deal was inked during a regional grain trade facilitation forum co-hosted by Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (AACCSA) in Ethiopia this week. Read more. Source | Business Daily
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Rwanda and Uganda one stop border post reduces clearance time

Published on February 22, 2017
The newly operational One Stop Border Post (OSBP) facilities at the Rwanda-Ugandan border at Kagitumba, Nyagatare district has reduced clearance time by 25 percent, officials said. An OSBP is a "one stop" form of border crossing point jointly managed by neighboring countries, with officials from host and neighboring country sitting under one roof on either side of the border. This allows travelers to stop only once at the country of destination, where their travel or other documents are stamped both exit (from country of origin official) and entry (by country of destination official) at the same time, thus the "One Stop". Read more. Source | Coast Week
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Nairobi to host post-harvest technology competition

Published on February 13, 2017
Over 200 innovators, researchers and individuals from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi are expected to showcase technologies to curb post-harvest food losses in Nairobi, Kenya on May. The Inter Region Economic Network (IREN), Chief Executive Officer (CEO), James Shikwati said the exhibition has been organised to address challenges in the post-harvest management of food-crop commodities and enhance labor. The competition will enable organisers to identify a range of technologies to ultimately mitigate post-harvest losses in East Africa. Read more. Source | Daily News
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Coffee handlers’ training will maintain coffee quality – Uganda experts

Published on January 27, 2017
Uganda coffee experts have asked for regular training for coffee farmers in the line of trajectory to ensure the coffee quality standards are maintained to encourage the product’s consumption in the country’s regional markets.It’s estimated that Uganda exports around 4 million bags of coffee currently. In 2014 and 2015, Uganda exported 3.5 million 60kg bags and 3.45 million 60kg bags compared to Ethiopia’s 2.97 million and 2.21 million bags respectively.The government, however, is keen to expand the target to export about 20 million bags of coffee by 2040 which calls for more training for quality assurance to make sure that the coffee  is exported is of quality. This is according to Joseph Nkandu, the executive director of the National Union of Coffee Agribusiness and Farm Enterprises (NUCAFE), during a training session of people  handling coffee right from the farm to the shop, at the Omukago Café, on Buganda Road. Read more. Source | The Exchange
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Mak to build Shs70 billion innovations hub

Published on January 27, 2017
Makerere University Holdings Company has secured two acres of land within the university to construct the Emmanuel Mutebile Centre of Excellence to process and refine innovations and ideas. Speaking to pension managers around the country during a pension schemes’ symposium on Wednesday, Mr Patrick Bitature, the board chairman Private Sector Foundation Uganda, said the Mutebile Centre of Excellence is a partnership between the academia, government and the private sector to come together and process their ideas and innovations which can move the country forward. “We have many people with chunks of money but do not know how to move to the next level. There is no work in progress; there is dire need for this facility because the private sector is supposed to lead the economy but it is government leading,” he said. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
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