After five years, the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (the Hub), a USAID project, is coming to a close. This is an expected end as USAID projects typically run for five years.
Since the USAID Hub began in 2014, we have been fortunate to work with dedicated entrepreneurs, private sector organizations, governments and development partners. Together, we have supported eastern Africa’s private sector to access and leverage economic opportunities in this dynamic region. These efforts have provided businesses with the enabling environment and tools they need to take their businesses to the next level – and the results speak for themselves.
To date, the USAID Hub facilitated 75 financial transactions, mobilizing $173.6 million in new private sector investment and finance to eastern African firms. These funds allow businesses to expand their operations and improve services.
USAID Hub-supported countries’ exports under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) expanded by 38 percent during the project and are projected to top $1 billion in FY19 (October 2018-September 2019). These exports drive economic growth, providing people with jobs and incomes that build resiliency. USAID Hub-supported firms achieved $599.9 million in exports under AGOA, which contributed to the creation of 46,769 new jobs.
In addition to supporting international trade, the USAID Hub also encouraged intra-regional trade, specifically in staple foods. The USAID Hub facilitated trade commitments for 1.95 million MT of staple foods valued at $675.5 million and 27,957 livestock valued at $7.2 million. With the private sector moving grain from surplus to deficit regions, traders are contributing to the region’s food security and building its capacity to address food insecurity without relying on international assistance.
Finally, East African governments achieved 36 reforms with USAID Hub technical support that strengthen trade and investment-enabling environments and provide a foundation for continued economic development. The Hub also supported governments to develop or update eight AGOA strategies and actions plans which can be found on AGOA.info.
With technical activities ending, this will be the USAID Hub’s final newsletter. We encourage you to visit our website, www.eatradehub.org, to read about our past activities and lessons learned. We will also be available to put you in touch with USAID and our partners.
We are pleased to have served as a resource for public and private sector actors supporting eastern Africa's journey to self-reliance and hope that our project’s lessons will continue to contribute to the region’s development.