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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

Cross-border women traders call for friendly operating environment

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
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US bets on apparel sourcing in Africa with grant to create 2,000 new jobs

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
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Hub Partner FEAFFA Publishes Latest Magazine

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.
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Barriers add to cost of doing business

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
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South Africa joins new free trade pact

Published on July 11, 2017
South Africa, the second largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa, has joined Kenya and other regional countries in signing of the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) aimed at easing doing business on the continent. Johannesburg joined the FTA pact during the ministerial meeting that was held in Kampala, Uganda last week. TFTA brings together three business regional blocs of Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), East African Community (EAC) and Southern African Development Community (SADC). Kenya is a member of Comesa and EAC. Read more. Source | Business Daily
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New WTO trade facilitation deal will spur trade, experts say

Published on July 05, 2017
On February 22, the World Trade Organisation’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) finally came into force after being negotiated for nearly 10 years. The agreement which tasks 164 members of WTO to expedite the movement, release and clearance of goods across borders, launches a new phase for trade facilitation reforms globally and creates a significant boost for commerce and the multilateral trading system as a whole, according experts. Rosine Uwamariya, the customs operations manager at Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA), said the operationisation of the agreement is an opportunity for Rwanda to enhance its trade procedures and become more competitive. “TFA calls for implementation of simple, harmonised and modernised international border procedures, which is key for cross-border trade,” she noted. Read more. Source | New Times
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Border charter to protect informal female traders

Published on July 05, 2017
Cases of informal cross-border traders using dangerous methods and routes to move their goods across the regional borders are many. As a result, those involved in informal cross-border trade, many of whom are women, live a risky life. Despite the difficulties the informal cross-border traders go through, they barely make enough money as most of their proceeds end up being used in facilitating movements of their merchandises across the borders. And in many cases they fall prey to thugs and even unscrupulous border officials who intimidate and harass them before confiscating their produces on the flimsiest of reasons. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
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Towards the Comprehensive Review of the EAC CET

Published on June 28, 2017
Towards the Comprehensive Review of the EAC CET  is a policy brief published by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) and the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub. The publication contains key recommendations that will lead to successful establishment of a Common Externat Tarriff (CET) on goods imported into the partner states from foreign countries in the East Africa Community (EAC).
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