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 June 21, 2016
Ugandan shoe company Sseko Designs is a prime example of the difference the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) can make for African exporters. Sseko designs, makes and exports fashionable footwear and other accessories. It is also a social enterprise that supports girls in Uganda to raise funds for university. The company has grown from five employees to 35 full-time workers in the span of five years. Today, it exports an average of 3,000 pairs of sandals per month, making it the largest shoe exporter in Uganda.
We recently chatted with Ms. Agnes Netunze, Operations Manager at Sseko, about the company and the impact AGOA has had in helping them become more competitive. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sd3XYQdvo9g
Published on June 21, 2016
Agriculture secretary Willy Bett has said Kenya will ratify the regional food quality and safety pact in the latest effort to boost cross-border trade.
World Trade Organisation has recommended the pact — the East African Community (EAC) Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Protocol to guide handling of plant and animal materials.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett said,
The protocol will take care of food safety issues and standards that are currently affecting our animal and plant items. The key for ratification, however, is that it will enhance trade in and across the region hence a matter of urgency for Kenya.
Read more. Source | Business Daily
Published on June 21, 2016
From infestation to mold, inadequate storage facilities often lead to large grain losses in many countries, hampering efforts to improve national food security for the poorest families. Even efforts by national governments across Africa to store grain in large quantities have often yielded disappointing results.
These are some of the challenges that more than 100 experts from 15 countries discussed at the first Africa Strategic Grain Reserve conference held in Nairobi last week. The conference brought together governments, grain traders, researchers, international organisations and innovative storage technology companies whose primary concern is provision of safe storage solutions for national grain reserve agencies. Read more. Source | New Times
Published on June 20, 2016
The East African Community Competition Authority (EACCA) will be operational from July with a mandate to curb unfair trade practices in the region and protect consumers from substandard goods.
The authority will restrict trade practices and transactions that unduly limit fair competition.
Tanzania’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Co-operation Susan Kolimba said,
The EACCA will commence operations in the 2016/2017 financial year and will act as a one-stop-centre in the enforcement of its provisions.
Published on June 17, 2016
Rwanda’s East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) members will today meet hoteliers, tour operators and transporters to listen to their problems in regard to doing business in the region.
This comes as the Assembly works to get to the bottom of various issues affecting the regional economic bloc’s integration agenda.
The chairperson of EALA Rwanda Chapter, MP Patricia Hajabakiga, on Wednesday, told The New Times that they will hold a session with players in the three sectors to understand their problems under the context of the East African Community (EAC) Common Market Protocol and Customs Management Act.
MP Patricia Hajabakiga said
We also want to assess the severity of the remaining non tariff barriers. We want to engage people and understand how smooth or not things are moving. We want to know whether what we are usually told officially is the reality on the ground.
Read more. Source | New Times
Published on June 16, 2016
AGOA Preparedness Workshop Uganda Presentation - By Fred Kong'ong'o, Sector/Market Specialist. The East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (the Hub) is the one-stop shop in the East African region for businesses and national governments seeking to take advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
Published on June 13, 2016
African Potash, a company listed on the London Stock Market, has signed an agreement with Uganda that will see the UK firm establish its presence here to supply affordable fertilisers to farmers in the country, East Africa and beyond.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed last week was witnessed by Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) representatives and the Alliance for Commodity Trade in East and Southern Africa. The two blocs will ensure that quality of fertilisers is up to required standards as agreed in the deal. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
Published on June 13, 2016
A regional club of six countries, the EAC is now the most integrated trading bloc on the continent. Its members agreed on a customs union in 2005, and a common market in 2010. The region is richer and more peaceful as a result, argues a new paper* from the International Growth Centre, a research organisation.
Many things boost trade, from growth to international deals. The researchers use some fancy modelling to pick out the effect of the EAC. They find that bilateral trade between member countries was a whopping 213% higher in 2011 than it would otherwise have been. Trade gains from other regional blocs in the continent are smaller: around 110% in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and 80% in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). Read more. Source | The Economist