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USAID EA TRADE HUB FTF UPDATE August 12 - 28, 2013

Published on September 05, 2013

Feed the Future Update

August 12 - 28, 2013

The East Africa Trade Hub (EATH) carries out a number of activities every week in support of bilateral and regional FtF efforts.  Activities from August 12 - 28, 2013 included:

Capacity building of cross-border traders and agencies through sensitization on trade facilitation arrangement

The Trade Hub sponsored the Kenya Ministry of East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism (formerly the Ministry of Trade) in four Joint Border Committee (JBC) capacity building workshops this month in Namanga (14-15 August), Malaba (19-20 August), Busia (21-22 August), and Isebania (26-27 August). JBC members reviewed progress and challenges at the borders and engaged Cross-Border Traders Association members in discussions about issues like RADDEx 2.0, Simplified Certificate of Origin and Rules of Origin. EATH also facilitated border operations assessments at both borders to track performance in border management activities. Representatives from key government border agencies attended and responded to issues and concerns expressed by private sector stakeholders.

The session also aimed to increase awareness of the Trade Hub’s structured trade initiatives including Regional Agriculture Trade Intelligence Network, (RATIN), harmonized staple food standards and the Trade Help Desk.  The Trade Hub introduced the tools available, and facilitated a discussion of how to use the staple foods standards from a trader's perspective.  The group's consensus was that any tools that could be more frequently used my policymakers to permit regional trade of staple crops and avoid import bans would be welcomed, and participants expressed an interest in increased use of RATIN for real-time price and storage information. Nearly 80 private and public sector representatives attended each meeting.

Sanitary Phytosanitary Standards Working Group

The East African Trade Hub (EATH) provided funding for the National Phytosanitary Working Group (NPWG) meeting held on August 28, 2013 at the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS) Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. The goal of the NPWG meeting was to bring together institutions that deal with phytosanitary issues to share information on activities and develop strategies for better collaboration. Institutions that attended included KEPHIS, East Africa Phytosanitary Information Committee (EAPIC), Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries (MOALF), National Museums of Kenya, CABI-Africa, University of Nairobi, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, and  the Kenya Flower Council.

The meeting was officially opened by the General Manager of Phytosanitary Services on behalf of the MD KEPHIS.  The GM reiterated the importance of having functional Phytosanitary Systems (PS) in the country to facilitate trade and access to markets. The EAPIC coordinator gave a brief background on EAPIC and its overall goal to have a functional and dynamic Pest Information Management System that shall facilitate the creation of pest risk assessments, leading to increased trade and food security in the region by 2015. EAPIC has grown with support from the East Africa Trade Hub.

After presentations from all institutions present, it was unanimously agreed that there is need for future collaboration. A major resolution was the involvement of Masters and Phd students in finalizing the pest lists already entered into PIMS (this approach has been tested in Tanzania and was very successful). KEPHIS was appointed as the driver/chair for this initiative. Key action points were outlined and timelines and persons responsible identified. The GM of Phytosanitary Services will finalize the NPWG terms of reference and present the same to the MOALF for funding consideration.

EAPIC will attempt to replicate this model of forming the NPWG in other East African countries. The various NPWG will be presented at the upcoming Regional SPS meeting later in September 2013.

KTA Driver Development Institute Partnership with IOM

EATH traveled to Mombasa on August 21-22, 2013 to discuss progress of the East Africa Heavy Commercial Vehicle Driving Institute and its partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM). In an effort to integrate health initiatives in the school’s curriculum, IOM is supporting the Institute by providing material and trainers on health services including HIV counseling and first aid training and increase awareness on human trafficking. EATH met with Kenya Transporters Association (KTA) CEO and Chairman of KTA’s Board of Directors as well as IOM’s Migration Health Program Officer. First aid trainings and HIV counseling is expected to start in the second week of October.