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 December 07, 2016
On average 300 companies each year are licensed at UIA. Of these, about 40 per cent are out here in the country doing business. When you license somebody for investment; that is the first step. The next is to look for the money. But that person might have talked to his banker who agrees to pay. But persuading them to release the money can take a very long or short time depending on the project and the amount of money. Then once he is assured of the money, he must design the project. Some of the plans in this country take months to be approved.
Then by law, you must do an environmental impact assessment. Now all these processes happen in the background. So if we say this year we licensed about 300, may be 200 of these are still working on that process and when they come it is difficult to link them on the year they were licenced. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
Published on December 06, 2016
Kampala, Uganda was the next stop in the series of quarterly East African Community (EAC) Common Market Protocol implementation update sessions. These events are designed to appraise private and public sector on the progress the EAC Partner States are making towards full implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol. The protocol creates a framework for economic integration among Partner States where there is free movement of goods, labor, services and capital.
The Hub works with legal experts in each of the Partner States to research country-level legislative developments and their impact on the integration process. The aim is to flag potentially retrogressive measures, such as discrimination against citizens of other Partner States from participating in the country's economy.
Below are some of the key highlights from the meeting. You can also download the presentation here.
Published on December 02, 2016
The minister of Trade Amelia Kyambadde has said government is putting efforts on how to raise awareness about the importance of mobilising finance to generate inclusive and sustainable industrialisation.Ms Kyambadde made the remarks at celebrations to mark 10 years of Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) and Africa Industrialisation Day in Kampala recently.The minister said this year's theme "Financing Industrialisation in Africa; Challenges and winning Strategies" is appropriate at this time when industrialisation is high on government development agenda."Without adequate and affordable finance, Uganda and Africa in general risk not having strong industries to create jobs hence adding value to raw materials thereby risk remaining shackled by joblessness and poverty," she said. Source: AllAfrica. Read more...
Published on November 02, 2016
Business experts have urged budding entrepreneurs to register their businesses, a move they say will enable them access external funding.
Mr Badru Ntege, chief executive officer NFT Consult, said when a business is registered, it is easy to receive finance from government or other organisations as opposed to one operating informally.
“Some funds require a company to be registered but some of us do not keep a company registered for a year or two, if it is registered, you are not paying taxes so there is inconsistence,” he said at the launch of the Global Entrepreneurship Week in Kampala last week. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
Published on October 31, 2016
Three Ugandan companies; one start-up and two scale-ups have been listed to showcase their innovations at the 4th Angel Fair Africa.
Angel Fair Africa is an event that brings together accelerators, incubators and emerging businesses from across the African continent and investors to do deals.
The three companies; YakaKo Ltd, Poketi Ltd and Akello Banker Ltd in the ICT sector, were submitted for rigorous competition for Angel funds by Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), which promotes a number of bankable projects for investment. Ms Sheila Mugyenzi Uganda Investment Authority’s Deputy Director Communications said: “We look forward to continue facilitating the three companies when they return.”She said that they hope for a breakthrough for all or any of the companies. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
Published on October 26, 2016
AGOA 101 is a publication of the USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (The Hub).It outlines the step by step process that Ugandan businesses should take to export to the U.S. duty free through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
Published on October 21, 2016
“Moving the Agribusiness Congress East Africa to Uganda will once again extend the opportunity to set the spotlight on the rapid expansion of the agriculture industries within East Africa,” Jon McLea, Director of Agricona said in the run-up to the event.
The fourth Agribusiness Congress East Africa conference will take place in Kampala from November 29-30. It is the first time that the event is being hosted in Uganda.
Global players in agriculture services are expected to make an appearance, including seeds and pesticide manufacturers, makers of agro-processing equipment, and a host of companies dealing in post-harvest storage infrastructure. Read more. Source | East African Business Week
Published on October 13, 2016
Inclusive and sustainable industrialisation is one way to help the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) countries to move away from relying on exportation of unprocessed primary commodities to processed products.
Although trade among Comesa member countries increased to $22 billion (Shs74.8 trillion) in 2015 up from $3 billion (Shs10.2 trillion) recorded in 2000, experts say this would be even better if member states complied with value addition.
In her message to the new board of Uganda Export Promotion Board, Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde said: “Export development should enable us to produce the required quantities and quality of goods and services on a sustainable basis and to add value to what we produce.” Adding, this will help Uganda get and keep her exports onto the markets among which is Comesa. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor