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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

Postharvest losses still major challenge in East Africa

Published on January 09, 2017
Small holder farmers can reduce post-harvest losses and improve income by adopting better storage management practices and technologies. According to Food and Agriculture Organisations (FAO) about one third of the food produced globally is lost or wasted representing a loss of 1.3 billion tonnes of food per year. In Tanzania, results from different research studies demonstrate that farmers lose up to 40 per cent of the harvest through post-harvest losses. It is from this backdrop that the Inter Region Economic Network (IREN) moved up to organise Post-harvest technology congress next year to address and reduce the level of loss that account for more than 30 per cent of the food produced for human consumption. IREN’s Chief Executive Officer Mr James Shikwati said, This competition will enable us to identify a range of technologies that have the potential to help the continent confront and counter the huge challenges in postharvest management. IREN is coordinating the congress in partnership with the USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub and Syngenta. Read more. Source | Daily News  
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Free zones body requires Shs400b to develop plan

Published on December 21, 2016
In order to acquire land and start actual work on the development of Free Trade Zones in Uganda, the authority responsible for the establishment could require funding of up to Shs400 billion. Established in 2014, the Uganda Free Zones Authority (UFZA) was meant to attract export-oriented investments to Uganda that would be given specific tax incentives. While launching the 2015/16 – 2019/20 Strategic Plan in Kampala on Tuesday, Mr Richard Jabo, the executive director UFZA, revealed that implementation will require funding of between Shs360 billion and Shs400 billion over the next five years. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
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Ugandan traders ask Tanzania to harmonise cargo transit fees

Published on December 15, 2016
The private sector in East Africa has asked Tanzania to harmonise the preferential treatments it offers to transit goods as a way of encouraging use of the central corridor . While Rwandan trucks transiting through the central corridor (Dar es Salaam Port) each pay $150 (Shs535,000); other East African member states such as Uganda are charged $500 (Shs1.7 million) per truck for goods in transit. Mr Kassim Omar, the chairman Uganda Clearing Industry and Forwarding Association, who is also East Africa Business Council (EABC) vice chair for Uganda, said: “Indeed, the Dar es Salaam Port has improved. But they need to harmonise the transit fees to make doing business in the region less costly.” Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
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Why Uganda needs to promote her exports

Published on December 07, 2016
Uganda targets to become a middle status income country with a projected export performance of more than $8,000 million by 2020.To achieve this, the contribution of exports to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is paramount. Available data demonstrates the high propensity for Ugandans to engage in import trade and in domestic commerce as opposed to export trade. Uganda’s export performance is still very low with export to import ratio of 51 per cent. Uganda imports more than what she exports, creating a negative trade balance. Uganda’s total merchandise exports were worth $2.73 billion 2015 while merchandise imports into Uganda reached $6.065 billion in 2015. Trade deficit reached $3.3 billion in 2015. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
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‘UIA needs a clear investment policy’

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
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Hub's first quarterly dissemination meeting on key EAC Common Market developments in Uganda

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.
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Uganda: Industry High On Government Agenda, Says Trade Minister

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...
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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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