The USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (the Hub) boosts trade and investment with - and within - East Africa. It does this by promoting two-way trade with the United States (U.S.) under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), facilitating investment, deepening regional integration and increasing the competitiveness of select agricultural value chains. The Hub is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Read more under our ABOUT tab and please subscribe to our newsletter by clicking below.Subscribe to our newsletter
February 21, 2019
The USAID Hub signed a grant with Akorion Company Limited to drive agricultural transformation in Uganda by supporting the country’s new pluralistic approach to extension systems involving multiple providers from both the public and private sectors. One of the successful models is the Village Agent Model (VAM) through which Village Agents – local intermediaries – provide services to farmers such as agricultural advisory, input supply, linkages to markets and financial services. By creating stronger relationships along the value chain, between farmers, traders, processors, and cooperatives, Uganda is creating a more productive, resilient and inclusive system. The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) intends to upscale the VAM program to all districts in the country and needs to boost the current extension workforce. This new grant with Akorion will support MAAIF to build the capacity of Village Agents at the sub-county level to implement the program.
“Challenges of poor quality inputs, poor farming methods and few commercial farmers are some of the major concerns in Uganda’s agricultural sector. Village Agents will help farmers improve on productivity so as to help farmers graduate to commercial farming,” said Andrew Kaggwa, the Hub’s Country Representative in Uganda.
Under the Hub grant, Akorion will train Village Agents and frontline extension staff on how to enforce the VAM model at the sub-county level. This will improve the current extension system which is characterized by a low ratio of extension worker to farmers (1:5,000), high costs for delivering services, poor extension worker motivation, little trust among actors in the value chains, insufficient supply, a lack of markets and inadequate sustainability measures (when subsidies and external assistance end, farmers return to old ways of doing farming). The Hub’s grant to Akorion will complement the efforts of other stakeholders supporting MAAIF, including the USAID-funded Enabling Environment for Agriculture Activity (EEA) and International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) who will conduct various regional and district sensitization meetings and training of trainers.
Agricultural extension services are one of the major drivers of agricultural transformation in Uganda, and there is a great need to transform extension services from a system of parallel, institutionally fragmented public and non-state actors to a well-coordinated, harmonized and regulated pluralistic service with multiple providers addressing the diverse needs of farmers. This grant will enable the Hub to achieve its objectives to improve access to, availability and utilization of African-grown staple foods in the region.February 21, 2019
The Hub supported the participation of ten East African exhibitors at Ambiente 2019, an international consumer goods fair, in Frankfurt, Germany, from February 8-12. The companies connected with 169 buyers, which generated potential orders valued at $1,510,538.
“Customer response at Ambiente 2019 has been good. We have identified serious buyers and engaged with customers who can do volume business. The collaboration between exhibitors has been great; it displayed East Africa together and our products complemented one another. The Hub's financial support helped us participate this year. We plan to be back next year," said Andrew Mutisya of Bawa Hope, a Kenyan producer of handmade jewelry.
The companies displayed a range of home textiles and personal accessories, such as throws, rugs, hammocks, shawls, baskets and bags using natural fibers, soap stone décor pieces, functional up-scale glass items and handmade jewelry.February 20, 2019
AGOA Frequently Asked Questions by the Trade Law Centre answers common questions about the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). It explains AGOA, the U.S. legislation that provides highly preferential access to the U.S. market for thousands of products produced in, and exported by, qualifying countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The resource also describes AGOA's benefits, eligibility criteria and rules, helping East African exporters to take full advantage of the trade preference.February 20, 2019
The Feed the Future Enabling Environment for Food Security Project recently launched a series of Intra-African Agriculture Trade Improvement Scorecards that provide comparative agriculture trade performance evaluation data at the national and regional levels across sub-Saharan Africa. The Scorecards examine key elements that support a functioning trade system, including production capacity, the cost of trade, institutional efficiency, and trade policies.
The East Africa regional trade scorecard compiles publicly available and regularly updated data related to four key trade determinants that are actionable at the national level, including: (1) production capacity, (2) the cost of trade, (3) institutional efficiency, and (4) trade policies. Scores are individually evaluated and compared to sub-Saharan African country peers. The indicators align with determinants identified in the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System’s (ReSAKSS) 2018 Africa Agriculture Trade Monitor report and are described in the Intra-African Agriculture Trade Improvement Scorecards Indicator Summary.
Countries covered in the East Africa regional trade scorecard include Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.