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 August 11, 2016
The US Ambassador to Uganda H.E Deborah Malac said Ugandan firms have not taken as much advantage of the US governments African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) to grow. This is mainly a result of the negative perception Ugandans have towards it.
She made the remarks during a press briefing at the US Embassy ahead of the 2016 AGOA forum scheduled to take place on 26th September, in Washington DC.
AGOA provides duty-free access to the US Market for eligible products giving beneficiary countries an upper hand over non AGOA countries.
Ambassador Malac says AGOA provides benefits to Ugandan companies and one of the tools to help the country achieve middle income status. Read more. Source | KFM Uganda
Published on August 08, 2016
Farmers will now have a chance to hedge against losses due to bad harvests by taking out an insurance policy to protect them against losses and damages.
While speaking during the launch, Ms Miriam Magala, the chief executive officer Uganda Insurers Association (UIA) and chairperson of the National Scheme, said the arrangement “will provide the much needed support to both small and large small farmers across the country by making insurance premiums affordable and in turn the insurance coverage will cushion the farmers against production risk losses.” Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
Published on August 08, 2016
The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has advised the Karimojong to get organised and start producing beads and other cultural jewellery in bulk to be exported to the United States of America.
While opening the annual national cultural exhibition on Sunday at the Uganda Museum in Kampala, Ms Kadaga who represented the President, said the Karimojong are gifted with the talent of making beads and jewels that summarise Uganda’s cultural heritage. This, she said, Ugandans should be proud of because Kenyans are doing it, so are Nigerians and other African countries.
The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga said,
I am going to promote and sell the Kaiamojong beads to the AGOA market but the problem may be the quantities. The problem we have as Ugandans is that we never treasure our cultures. We are not proud of our country and even when we are singing the national anthem, we do not seem to be proud of it.
Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
Published on August 01, 2016
The Driving Youth-led New Agribusiness and Microenterprise (DYNAMIC) program and results of participatory research undertaken on youths and agriculture in Northern Uganda found that many are eager to move into the sector but are hampered by initial funding costs.
Jane Lowicki-Zucca, DYNAMIC Program Director said,
Both male and female youth in Northern Uganda are highly enthusiastic about undertaking agriculture as a business, both on and off farms – they see the income and growth potential, and most are already involved in some way.
According to Lowicki-Zucca, DYNAMIC five year program will facilitate links between private and public sector actors, youth and parents to overcome barriers to employment and self-employment for youth in agricultural markets in eight districts. Read more. Source | East African Business Week
Published on August 01, 2016
Working in collaboration with Uganda Seed Traders Association (USTA) and Integrated Seed Sector Development (ISSD), the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) launched a nationwide campaign to create awareness and influence adoption of quality seed by both subsistence and commercial farmers.
The campaign dubbed “Golden Harvest” has been designed with a promise to farmers to “Celebrate greater yields” only if they plant quality seed.
The Director for Crop Resources in the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries Okaasai Opolot said quality seeds that have been certified by the Ministry are clearly labeled. Read more. Source | East African Business Week
Published on July 27, 2016
Regional governments have been urged to give more support to women in business to enhance entrepreneurship and ensure equitable and sustainable development.
Mary Muthoni, the chairperson of Women in Business Committee at Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), said women entrepreneurs have limited access to affordable credit, and lack skills required to provide innovative products or services.
Muthoni said these challenges are hindering efforts by women to engage in cross-border trade. Read more. Source | New Times
Published on July 14, 2016
Uganda’s Minister of State for Agriculture, Christopher Kibanzanga has said for farmers to shift into middle income status as anticipated, they should be helped to adopt and embrace modern ways of farming which he said require the adaptation of Biotechnology in the Agricultural sector.
Kibanzanga said over depending on traditional approaches of agricultural production has exposed many Ugandans to food Insecurity because the yields from their gardens cannot synchronies with demand for food at their homesteads thus exposing many to starvation. Citing Ruwenzori region as an example to drive his point home, Kibanzanga said Ruwenzori region used to be the leading producer of cotton and maize but currently there’s not much production taking place in the region. Read more. Source | East African Business Week
Published on July 08, 2016
Ugandan scientists in the animal sector now have privilege to use an internet based application for tracking various animal diseases dairy farmers are faced with.
The App designed to collect data about a particular animal disease outbreak in a specific geographical area is an initiative by Food and Agriculture Organisation which was initially piloted in 10 districts covering the cattle corridor but it is now intended to cover the entire country.
Mr Edward Okori National Livestock Programme officer, FAO Uganda in explaining how the tool works, noted that the application referred to as EMPRES-i event mobile Application (EMA) is an Android software web based for those in veterinary service to communicate and report disease surveillance to a platform housed at Animal Disease Diagnostics and Epidemiology Centre (NADDEC) Entebbe through an email. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor