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 May 06, 2015
Kenya is increasingly becoming a market for agriculture products from Uganda and Tanzania.
According to the 2015 Economic Survey, massive imports of unmilled maize and sugar from the pair boosted their trade with Kenya by 27.2 per cent in 2014 compared with the previous year.
This is good news for the two countries that are major destinations for Kenya’s industrial products.
Kenya faced a maize shortage for part of last year while the perennial sugar shortage of about 300,000 metric tonnes provides a ready market for members of the trading bloc.
The East African Community trade protocol allows countries unrestricted market access across the boundaries. Read more. Source | Daily Nation
Published on May 04, 2015
The East African Community countries recently signed a deal with the U.S. in which we committed to reducing trade barriers and to cooperate with the U.S. on customs issues, easing red tape and streamlining trade standards. The U.S. will help with training on food safety, and animal and plant health standards.
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said the agreement was “an important steppingstone for deepening what has already proven itself to be a promising and impactful partnership,” according to the Wall Street Journal. The trade initiative, he added, would be expanded to include other African countries.
The Obama administration has reached out to Africa through the Power Africa and Trade Africa initiatives to encourage trade and investment.
As U.S. ambassador to Uganda, Scott DeLisi has said: “As we look to the future, it is clear that Africa is more important than ever to the prosperity of the international community and to the United States. Africa’s economies are among the fastest growing in the world. Uganda, which has such tremendous potential, is of particular interest, with fertile soils, abundant water, a strategic location in the heart of East Africa, a university recognized across the continent for its excellence, and, most importantly, hardworking people with an entrepreneurial spirit.” Read more. Source | Star Tribune Business
Published on April 22, 2015
In a meeting held on 21st April 2015 at the Uganda Investment Authority offices, Ms Meg Jaguar (Jakana Foods), the Vice President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Uganda (AmCham), expressed her optimism about the growth and development of the agri business sector. Together with some officials from the Embassy of the United States of America, she had accompanied a delegation of 9 business men in varied areas of agribusiness. The group that said they were on a fact finding mission into the status of agribusiness and how their companies that engaged in modern agri technology could do business in the sector, comprised member companies from the USA, Kenya, India, and South Africa. Read more. Source | Uganda Investment Authority
Published on March 27, 2015
Ugandan traders will soon have an alternative and cheaper route to transport their goods once the projected improvement of the Central Corridor through Dar es Salaam Port is complete.Currently, Uganda uses the Northern Corridor that runs from the Kenyan port of Mombasa to the Great Lakes region which costs about $3,200 (Shs9.5 million) to transport a single container.However, once the Central Corridor’s multi-modal trade and transport passage which links Tanzania’s main port of Dar es Salaam with the neighbouring landlocked countries is complete; it will take the cost of ferrying the same cargo $1,650 (Shs4.9 million) thus making it a preferred choice. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
Published on March 13, 2015
Presidents of Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda have agreed to waive working permit fees for citizens within the regional bloc. “Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda professionals can now work within the member states freely. However, one should be a professional. If you are a riffraff, cleaner, sweeper, office messenger or serving tea, we don’t want you in Uganda. This waiver only applies to professionals,”Okello Oryem, the state minister for foreign affairs said. Read more. Source | New vision
Published on March 02, 2015
The clearance of cargo along the Uganda-Kenya Malaba border post is expected to be faster, relieving that point of the traffic congestion that had become a headache, after the opening of the one-stop-border post. Read more. Source | All Africa
Published on February 23, 2015
Uganda has scrapped work permit fees and visa requirements for Kenyans and Rwandans entering and leaving the country.The decision is in line with the ongoing implementation of the “free movement” system under the East African Community Common Market Protocol that was signed in 2009 by presidents Museveni (Uganda), Mwai Kibaki (Kenya), Jakaya Kikwete (Tanzania), Paul Kagame (Rwanda) and Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi. Read more. Source|The Citizen
Published on February 19, 2015
Ugandan service providers will soon be able to render professional services to more than 25 World Trade Organisation (WTO) member countries, information from the Trade ministry indicates so.This development was agreed upon in a high level meeting of the WTO Services Council on February 5, held in Geneva, Switzerland.The meeting was convened to discuss measures which would support the growth of service trade in Least Developed countries (LDCs) through granting services exports with preferential treatment. Read more. Source|Daily Monitor