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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

Experts tip entrepreneurs on formalising businesses

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
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Three Ugandan companies picked to showcase innovations at the Angel Fair

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
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AGOA 101

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).  
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Regional farm talks set for Uganda

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 
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Comesa moves to boost exports

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
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How it all went at the Zimba Women Technology in Business Summit 2016

Published on October 07, 2016
Zimba Women, earlier last week officially launched their first annual Zimba Women Technology in Business Summit 2016 dubbed under the theme “Breaking Business Barriers” at a press conference at Sheraton Kampala Hotel. The launch gathered the sponsors of the summit including; the American Embassy; represented by the Cultural Affairs Officer, Niles Cole and Zimba Women partners, NSF III Project ITC; represented by  Richard Okuti. The two day Zimba Women Summit 2016 was scheduled to run from 28th to 29th September, 2016 at Sheraton Kampala Hotel. Zimba Women Technology in Business Summit aimed to help female entrepreneurs to use technology to grow their businesses and also encourage young girls to pursue science and technology courses and subjects. Read more. Source | PC Tech Magazine
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Improving data reporting for food security through enhanced trade

Published on October 06, 2016
One of the key constraints to regional trade in agricultural commodities and policy development is a lack of reliable data on food production, consumption and trade flows. In the absence of valid data, policy makers are often at a loss on how to develop sound policy interventions to support food security through trade. The private sector is also disadvantaged by not having an accurate indication of supply and demand data. To solve this, the Hub has embarked on an effort to bring together relevant East African Community (EAC) Partner State ministries to harmonize, and publish on a regular basis, production estimates of key staple foods - maize, dry beans, rice and sorghum - for the 2016/2017 season. The Hub held the first of these meetings this week at its Nairobi headquarters with participation from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
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Women to get training in technology

Published on September 21, 2016
Zimba Women, a women-led IT service provider, has organised a summit that aims at educating women on how to use technology in their daily business operations.  “The summit will provide a platform for women entrepreneurs to learn how to use e-commerce to exhibit and grow their businesses, interact with other business women, and build an entrepreneurial support network,” Ms Fadila Saad, the community outreach manager Zimba Women, told journalists at the launch of the summit at Sheraton Hotel Kampala yesterday. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
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