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
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.
Published on March 20, 2017
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga has said Parliament will next month invite Ugandans from different parts of the country to exhibit their traditional fashions.
Speaking to journalists at the Italian ambassador’s residence last week, Ms Kadaga said Ugandans need to be encouraged to start consuming locally made goods to support local manufacturers rather than spending money on foreign goods.She added that the US Agoa delegation will be in Parliament on April 10 and 11 to show Ugandans what they want and how they can enter the market because there are many good things in Uganda which Ugandans themselves are ignorant of. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
Published on March 16, 2017
On March 15, Uganda's Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of East African Affairs led her staff, public officials from other ministries, private sector and the Hub in updating Uganda's progress in implementing the EAC Common Market Protocol. Government ministries and regulators provided updates on the stage of reforms that they have achieved in relation to key commitments to the free movement of capital, services and goods. Of note is that the Investment Code Bill 2017 -- prepared with Hub input -- has now been endorsed by Uganda's cabinet and presented to parliament for adoption. The code removes several measures that constrain access to Uganda's markets for investment and improves its compliance to the movement of capital. You can view the Hub's complete presentation here.
The Hub holds regular country updates to appraise the private and public sector on the progress the EAC Partner States are making toward full implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol. The Hub’s supports these sessions to strengthen Uganda’s legal and regulatory environment for expanded trade and investment. The protocol creates a framework for economic integration among Partner States where there is free movement of goods, labor, services and capital.
In partnership with leading advocates of the High Court from all the East African Community Partner States, the Hub has collected and analyzed bills and Acts of Parliament, drafts and existing regulations and administrative notices from Uganda and the other EAC Partner States over the last three months, and has prepared presentations highlighting these efforts. The presentations assess progress towards implementing key trade and investment-facilitating commitments in respect to the EAC CMP.
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
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
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
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
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