The East Africa Trade and Investment Hub works to promote a more predictable, transparent and enabling business environment in East Africa, conducive to trade competitiveness and accelerated investment. Over the course of five years, activities under this component will achieve a 100 percent increase in the value of intra-regional trade in the EAC by advancing the implementation of the principles of regional integration, and enabling partner states to comply with intra-regional and international trade agreements and conformity to international standards.
The Hub team works closely with a network of private businesses, investment firms and trade associations, as well as other development partners, to gather, collate and assess evidence for trade policy and regulatory reform. It then initiates dialogue with policy makers and regulators.
Over the last two years, the Hub’s trade policy and regulatory reform activities helped achieve a 39% increase in intra-regional trade within the EAC. Hub activities supported the acceleration of the compliance by the EAC Partner States with the U.S.-EAC Cooperation Agreement, implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol (CMP) and enabling policies for an improved business ecosystem.
Under the U.S.-EAC Cooperation Agreement, the Hub has supported both regional and national level WTO TBT and SPS compliance. With Hub's support, all EAC Partner States adopted the ePing electronic notification system (ENS); ENS meets the obligation for notification under the Cooperation Agreement on Trade Facilitation, SPS and TBT (an agreement that requires EAC Partner States to establish an effective process to ensure that they notify proposed measures on TBT and SPS to other WTO members). ePing will also allow the Partner States to access other WTO members' TBT and SPS measure notifications, and facilitate dialogue among the public and private sector in addressing potential trade problems at an early stage. Currently, both Uganda and Rwanda have adopted the ePing system, with Tanzania and Kenya agreeing in principle to use the system. Watch the video below:
Related Blogs and Resources
Published on July 26, 2017
Uganda's Cabinet has endorsed the draft Investment Code Bill 2017, which seeks to align Uganda's investment policy stance with its commitments to the East Africa Community (EAC) Common Market Protocol. The bill also seeks to reform several provisions that would improve the entry, facilitation and protection experience of foreign investors doing business in Uganda.
The bill was prepared with input from Southern and Eastern African Trade Information and Negotiation Institute Uganda (SEATINI-U) with support from Hub investment policy experts. The Bill is now with Uganda’s Parliament for consideration.
Bill reforms include: - Defining a local investor to include natural persons and companies where the controlling interest is held by persons from an EAC Partner State. It proceeds to accord them the same incentives as Ugandan investors. - Shifting the approach of the code from regulatory and control-based to promotion and facilitation. - Repealing several discriminatory provisions between domestic and foreign investors and incorporating international best practice in several measures. - Providing better protection for foreign investors in several issues, including obtaining credit from domestic sources, and better intellectual property rights for use of foreign technology.
Published on July 25, 2017
As right-wing populism recedes, following the tragicomic reign of Trump in the West and the election of the pro-EU Emmanuel Macron in France, the developmental approach taken by the Tripartite (the Common Market for Eastern Africa – East African Community and the Southern Africa Development Community) might well be a best practice for the whole world in pursuing regional economic integration.The approach bases regional economic integration on at least three simultaneously critical pillars – building of large regional markets to support critical levels of investment, cross-border economic infrastructure including rural infrastructure and industrialisation, with a focus on small to medium scale enterprises, for social economic transformation. Read more. Source | New Vision
Published on July 24, 2017
Tanzania and Kenya have held successful talks that will see the lifting of restrictions on imports from either country.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Dr Augustine Mahiga, announced the decision in Nairobi yesterday following discussions between President John Magufuli and his Kenyan counterpart, Mr Uhuru Kenyatta.
As a result, Kenya will lift the ban on wheat flour and gas imports from Tanzania, which, in turn, will remove restrictions on milk and cigarettes from Kenya. Read more. Source | The Citizen
Published on July 19, 2017
The Kenya National Trade Policy is a publication by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives State Department for Trade. It seeks to unleash Kenya’s potential for targeting domestic, regional and global markets. The multilateral, regional integration and bilateral trade arrangements that currently define the space that Kenya’s international trade enjoys present an immense opportunity for pursuit of this policy objective.
The Trade Policy articulates provisions that promote efficiency in the growth of domestic trade through transformational measures that address the constraints impeding against the development of the wholesale, retail and informal sectors. Strengthening the current supply chain is a priority for sustainable development of these trade sectors.
Published on July 19, 2017
Cross-border women traders have called on the government to support them and also improve the trading environment. The women traders operating between Rusizi-Bukavu and Rubavu-Goma border posts say corruption, sexual harassment and inadequate operating capital are affecting businesses.
Janet Mukamunana, a member of Icyerekezo Cyiza Cooperative that sells tomatoes and onions, said these challenges have affected business growth and their earnings. As a result, we cannot compete with traders from the DR Congo who deal in similar products, she said during a recent tour of the cooperative by the Rusizi District leaders.
According to their cooperatives, small-and-medium enterprise (SME) owners doing cross-border trade also face sexual harassment and lack facilities like early childhood development centres to support them while doing their businesses. Corruption and harassment are reportedly experienced while in the DRC. Read more. Source | New Times
Published on July 14, 2017
Companies may be on the fence about whether to commit to sourcing apparel in Africa, but the U.S. seems certain enough about the continent’s potential to keep investing in the sector there—and namely in Kenya.
Last week, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (the Hub) signed a grant with Kenya that will create 2,000 full-time jobs and provide more than 100,000 hours in skills development for young workers in the apparel industry.
While Africa ramps up as a region for more robust apparel sourcing, the biggest hindrance for those that haven’t taken their business there has been both a lack of sophisticated logistics and a lack of skills in the apparel sector. Read More. Source | Sourcing Journal
Published on July 13, 2017
Mombasa Port is busy and expected to get busier. The first two months of 2017 has put it on track to process even more transshipment business this year, exceeding last year’s levels by 87 percent . Read more about the busy Mombasa Port and other freight forwarding news in the Federation of East African Freight Forwarders Association’s (FEAFFA) just published quarterly magazine here.
The Hub partners with FEAFFA to improve the customs clearing and freight forwarding industry’s compliance with the East African Community’s (EAC) revised Rules of Origin. Rules of Origin are a set of laws and regulations to determine country of origin and tariff preferences. Adherence to a set of transparent Rules of Origin is a crucial component to reducing the cost and time to move cargo across borders.
The Hub is specifically supporting FEAFFA to disseminate accurate information through a booklet that highlights the key changes on the revised EAC Rules of Origin, and serves as a quick reference for clearing and forwarding agents and shippers.
BackgroundFEAFFA is a regional private sector apex body of the Customs Clearing and Freight Forwarding (CFA) industry in East Africa. Established in 2006, it is registered and domiciled in Tanzania with its Secretariat located in Nairobi, Kenya. Members of the Federation are national umbrella CFA industry associations in Burundi, Kenya, mainland Tanzania, Zanzibar, Rwanda and Uganda, which together represent over 2,500 firms.
FEAFFA is working toward the implementation of an efficient, professional and competitive regional freight logistics industry. The federation has developed and implemented a premier regional professional training course for the CFA industry (EACFFPC) in which nearly 6,000 agents have qualified, a regional industry Code of Conduct and Standard Trading Conditions, an electronic trade information portal, a mobile application on tariffs and a database of certified industry professionals. It also publishes a quarterly magazine (freight logistics) with a vibrant online version.
Published on July 12, 2017
Bureaucracy has been singled out as a major contributor to the high cost of doing business in Africa.
For instance, a container from South Africa takes three weeks, requires five sets of invoices, 28 Southern Africa Development Community certificates, 84 Customs stamps, 56 Customs signatures and 83 export documents before it can enter Angola.
Speakers at the annual general meeting of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in Kigali cited this and similar trade barriers by African countries as the cause of the ever increasing cost of doing business on the continent. Read more. Source | East African