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USAID EA Trade Hub FtF Update July 29 - August 9, 2013

Published on August 09, 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 July 29 – August 9, 2013 included:

Sanitary Phytosanitary Standards (SPS) Centre of Phytosanitary Excellence (COPE) e-learning Portal

The Trade Hub finalized the curriculum for an e-learning portal for the Centre of Phytosanitary Excellence (COPE).  This training course is designed as a supplementary program to the existing short-term in-service training program currently being offered by COPE.   This online course will be used to deepen the trainings offered to members of National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPOs), designed to make practitioners more aware of the structure of international trade, international organizations involved in phytosanitary matters, and to fully understand how to implement Pest Risk Assessments.

The e-Learning course is self-paced, but within a specified time frame by the course instructor. The participants are expected to have access to a computer with fast internet access to be able to complete these courses. In addition, participants will be invited to participate in chat forums with the tutors and other students to enhance their learning.

COPE was established by Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS) to provide training for SPS professionals in the region and to streamline and ease the SPS inspection process at borders, which will expedite cross-border movement of staples. The EA Trade Hub continues to work with its partners to build the capacity of NPPOs to consistently manage and monitor SPS issues for staple foods and disseminate critical information more widely and more effectively.

The Trade Hub and KEPHIS plan to launch the e-learning course and portal by the end of the month.

Launch of upcoming African Grain Trade Summit

The EA Trade Hub joined the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) and grain industry stakeholders on July 30, 2013 to celebrate the launch of the 5th annual African Grain Trade Summit. This year’s Summit will be held from October 1 – 3, 2013 in Mombasa, Kenya. The theme is “Africa: The Emerging Frontier for Global Investments in Grain Trade.” The objectives of the summit are as follows:

  • Highlight opportunities for grain sector investment in Africa with a focus on the Eastern and Southern Africa region
  • Provide a platform for the African and global grain community to discuss and recommend solutions to policy, regulatory and industry bottlenecks that impede trade in the grain chain
  • Afford grain processors, service providers and industry suppliers a unique opportunity to showcase their products for benchmarking and trade and to network and share knowledge and experiences
  • Expose African grain practitioners and suppliers to new technologies and ideas for better efficiencies and quality

The Trade Hub intends to be a major sponsor of the event and will present on a number of achievements in structured trade since 2009. The Trade Hub will share knowledge management products that outline and reinforce these achievements.

Kenya budget synopsis briefing

The EAGC used the launch of the African Grain Trade Summit as an opportunity to brief its industry stakeholders on its annual post budget synopsis. The EAGC hosts a budget synopsis every year in each of the five East African Community countries to discuss budget implications on the grain sector. EAGC members then have an opportunity to put forth areas in which they would like the EAGC to engage with the government – with the hopes of creating a more efficient grain trade industry.

The Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) hosted the 3rd annual Agribusiness Expo at Kabarak University in Nakuru, Kenya under the theme of “Future of Agribusiness; Knowledge, Technology and Commercialization,” August 1-2, 2013.  The event attracted nearly 90 exhibitors, including seed and fertilizer companies, farm equipment manufacturers, post-harvest management systems, industry associations and others.  Exhibitors operated booths and demonstration plots showcasing crops or livestock associated with their products, and were actively explaining their products and best practices to the several thousand large and small farmers in attendance.  In the past this expo had been supported with the financial assistance of donors and the East Africa Trade Hub (EATH), but this year’s edition was financially self-sustaining through costs raised from exhibitors and sold sponsorships.    EATH was in attendance as one of EAGC’s strategic partners supporting the organizing team and in order to network with exhibitors on the latest innovations in agricultural commercialization.

Building Partnerships for the KTA Driver Development Institute Sustainability

On July 31, 2013, the Senior Program Coordinator for the World Bank’s Global Road Safety Facility and a senior delegation from TOTAL visited the Kenya Transporters Association’s (KTA) Driver Development Institute in Mombasa, Kenya. The TOTAL delegation included the Deputy Vice President for Africa and the Middle East, the Vice President for Sustainable Development Africa the Executive Director of TOTAL Kenya Limited and a senior oil executive from TOTAL’s Paris headquarters. This meeting was a follow-up of an earlier meeting held at the East Africa Trade Hub offices in Nairobi. Representatives discussed strategies to strengthen collaboration between the World Bank, TOTAL, KTA and the Trade Hub to ensure the success of the Driver Development Institute. The Trade Hub plans to implement critical capacity building activities to enable a constructive partnership between the Institute and these partners. The Trade Hub will begin by preparing the driving school premises for TOTAL’s comprehensive branding campaign.

On August 08, 2013 the Trade Hub met with The International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Head of the Regional Health for East and Horn of Africa to discuss collaboration on the KTA driving school. The Trade Hub committed to work with IOM to revise the draft curriculum to include modules addressing important social issues  like HIV prevention, prevention of human trafficking, and prevention of movement of contraband. IOM agreed to provide training capacity in these specialized areas. IOM will also provide training materials such as videos targeted drivers on the northern corridor.  One of the goals of IOM’s East Africa regional office is to promote health initiatives targeted towards long-distance drivers with a focus on HIV prevention and stigma reduction and prevention of human trafficking by focusing on truck drivers.