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 July 06, 2016
Regional governments have been urged to invest in capacity building of technocrats involved in international trade negotiations to enhance their skills and ensure they bargain for deals that will benefit citizens.
According to Henry Kimera of Consumer Food Education Trust (Uganda), with commercial oil and gas deposits being confirmed in almost all the six East African Community (EAC) countries, government must sharpen negotiation skills of technocrats so that they are able to negotiate better deals to ensure maximum benefit for countries. Kimera added that most regional technocrats negotiate from a point of weakness since they are not well-versed with international trade negotiation. Read more. Source | New Times
Published on July 05, 2016
The EAC Common Market protocol is the second stage of the regional integration process that came into force on July 1, 2010, following ratification by all the partner states: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and now South Sudan – the newly admitted member state.
The protocol establishment is in line with the provisions of the EAC Treaty. It provides for “Four Freedoms”, namely the free movement of goods; labour; services; and capital, which will significantly boost trade and investments and make the region more productive and prosperous.
Contrary to what their counterparts who have raised their respective national flags high making use of the freedoms through investing into other member states, Uganda is taking baby steps. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
Published on July 05, 2016
Recruitment of extension workers is underway in Uganda to increase the advisory workforce and inject fresh vitality into the country’s agricultural sector.
There are about 1,250 agricultural extension workers for a total population of 34.6 million people, at least 70 per cent of whom live directly off various forms of farming.
The Ministry of Agriculture aims to raise the number of extension workers to at least 4,000 over the next three years. By the end of this financial year, the target is to have recruited 3,000 people. Read more. Source | Daily Nation
Published on July 05, 2016
Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda were the first to implement the EAC Treaty in 2000, which were then followed by Burundi and Rwanda in 2007. Similarly, each set of countries joined the customs union separately in 2005 and 2007 respectively. All five members received more than $2 million in USAID assistance in FY2014. Kenya is considered lower-middle-income, while the others are classified as low-income countries by the World Bank.
The EAC experienced significant growth in the past decade. Population rose by 35 percent or 40.65 million people from 2004 to 2014. Burundi’s population increased by 41 percent, which is the largest growth rate of the five member countries. The average Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita among the five member countries was $806.88 in 2014. Tanzania’s and Kenya’s GDP per capita exceeded this average. Burundi’s GDP per capita was the lowest at $286.00. Read more. Source | USAID
Published on July 01, 2016
The monthly 'Common Market Implementation Update' tracks legal and regulatory developments that have a bearing on Kenya’s compliance with commitments made towards the East African Community' Common Market Protocol (CMP).
This issue covers key milestones taken by the Republic of Kenya to advance implementation of the Protocol. On June 29 2016, Kenya approved the ratification of the EAC Protocol on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.
Download the report.
Published on June 30, 2016
World Bank Group has urged Uganda to develop and utilise her 800 tradable products properly to achieve broad economic diversification needed for long term and sustainable economic development.Diversification of the economy and broad-based economic development are critical for the long-term sustainable development in resource-rich developing countries (RRDCs). Evidence from around the world shows some countries with a strong resource base have managed to diversify their economies and exports, but many have not.
The Bank says though Uganda has expanded its export products to 60, there are still a lot of resources that need to be exploited to transform and diversify the economy. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
Published on June 30, 2016
Co-operatives of small traders involved in cross-border business at Gatuna on the Rwanda-Uganda border have intensified sensitisation campaigns among members and stakeholders to ensure they benefit more from the East African Community (EAC) integration.
According to Jane Bayera, the chairperson of Gatuna Crossborder Co-operative, some traders don’t know most of the opportunities presented by EAC integration and the bigger market that comes with it. Bayera said the sensitisation will also enable the traders and stakeholders to identify and report any non-tariff barriers (NTBs) that affect their operation with a view of improving the business environment to enhance trade and investment. Read more. Source | New Times
Published on June 29, 2016
In an effort to attract tangible investment both foreign and local investors, Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) will now be dealing more with well-developed bankable projects.
This is a shift from the previous strategy which solely focused on promotion of the country’s economic potential sectors.
Speaking at the ‘Investment Opportunities in Uganda and Networking’ conference, one of the events to mark UIA’s 25 years of existence at Hotel Africana last week, UIA executive director, Mr Frank Ssebowa said
The modern investor has become more sophisticated and the old investment sector profiles are no longer adequate. We used to have a lot of sector profiles churned out yet all our neighbors have almost the same resources, climate and friendly people. We must do something different.
Read more. Source | Daily Monitor