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 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
Published on July 08, 2016
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has taken over the issuing of Certificates of Origin to Ugandan exporters in order to do away with the bureaucracy that was delaying exportation of goods. The role was initially being played by the Uganda Exports Promotion Board (UEPB). In international trade, a Certificate of Origin is a document that confirms that goods in a particular export shipment are wholly obtained, produced, manufactured or processed in a particular country.
URA commissioner customs Dicksons Kateshumbwa said,
A directive issued by the Ministry of Finance decided that the role of issuance of these certificates moves to URA in order to facilitate exporters. There have been delays under the previous arrangement and this affects doing business.
Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
Published on July 08, 2016
People who want to visit Uganda for business or pleasure can now apply for visas and permits online, thanks to the introduction of e-visa system.
The new system, which started functioning this financial year, eliminates earlier bureaucratic procedures which were slow and tedious.
While sharing some of their achievements with ICT Minister Frank Tumwebaze and his junior Idah Nantaba early in the week in Kampala, Mr Peter Kahiigi, the National Information Technology Authority - Uganda (NITA-U) director e-government, said: “The e-visa system will not only save time but also reduce on the human contact which many times see people ask for kickbacks in order to help travellers.” Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
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