On November 23, more than one hundred and fifty entrepreneurs participated in the Hub's African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Preparedness Workshop in Mbarara, Uganda, conducted in collaboration with the Uganda Ministry of Trade Industry and Cooperatives and the AGOA Response Office. The workshop provided participants with the practical knowledge and skills necessary to maximize export opportunities under AGOA and a firm understanding of the Uganda export process, with contacts for the regulatory bodies involved. The Hub led discussions on financing options for SMEs, how to best access the U.S. market and U.S. buyer and customer expectations.
Uganda AGOA Presidential Adviser, Susan Muhwezi, shows workshop attendees an example of a high-quality basket, which is being produced in Uganda and exported to the U.S.
“We need to produce quality and competitive products if we are to maximize on the AGOA opportunity. We will continue to conduct workshops like today’s in order to create more awareness about AGOA among Ugandans,” said Uganda AGOA Presidential Adviser Susan Muhwezi. Ms. Muhwezi added,” H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was among the first presidents in Africa to endorse AGOA, but very few Ugandans have utilized this opportunity. It is time more companies in this country started exporting to the U.S.”
The workshop provided an opportunity for entrepreneurs to learn from one another, government officials and industry specialists in their home country. The Hub clarified AGOA parameters and its duty-free advantages, and discussed the paperwork needed for certified export.
“I now have a better understanding of AGOA. I have learnt that for me to get U.S buyers, I need to produce quality products that can be competitive in the AGOA market. I also had the opportunity to interact with the different partners involved in the AGOA, said Byamukama Bruce of Excel Horton Consult.
The Hub, in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade Industry and Cooperatives Uganda and the AGOA Response Office, plan to conduct similar workshops throughout Uganda to create awareness about AGOA.