The East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (the Hub) is the one-stop shop in the East African region for businesses and national governments seeking to take advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The Hub supports Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda to increase their exports to the U.S. through AGOA.
By the end of the project, the Hub expects to increase non-oil exports to the U.S. by 40 percent. In its first two years of operation, the Hub supported more than $150 million in AGOA exports to the U.S.
In collaboration with key institutions, the Hub develops and tailors trade enhancing activities to specific countries and sectors, as informed by national AGOA strategies. It also identifies and works with private sector associations and companies to foster impactful trade and investment in the region.
The focuses its support in the following areas:
- Country-level strategy development and implementation
- Market-linkages support
- Firm-level technical assistance
- Information dissemination and training
Download the Hub's AGOA infographic
Download the Hub's AGOA flyer
Download the Hub's AGOA brochure
Textile and Apparel
Apparel accounts for the largest volume of African trade to the U.S. under AGOA (some 90% of non-oil exports) and is a key sector in East Africa in terms of employment and growth potential. East Africa has become a focal point for African sourcing, a trend that is expected to continue as global sourcing patterns change.
Watch our sourcing videos:
Home Decor & Fashion Accessories
This sector includes young fashion designers and entrepreneurs whose projects often have a social compliance component. African designers are continually wowing U.S. brands with their talent.
The cut flowers industry is an important sector for several countries in East Africa, chiefly Kenya and Ethiopia. Kenya is the top exporter of roses to the European market, and both Kenya and Ethiopia are eyeing expansion into new markets, including the U.S.
A developed leather industry in Ethiopia makes that country a significant shoe producer and the top African exporter of shoes to the U.S. under AGOA. Kenya is looking to revitalize its industry to competitively compete in export markets for footwear, handbags and other accessories.
Opportunities in niche processed foods (and beverages) exist in East Africa. Products from the region such as dried fruits, specialty coffees and teas, fruit juices, jams and sauces have found export markets, including the U.S.
Support national AGOA strategy/action plan development
The recent extension of the AGOA legislation until 2025 calls for all AGOA-eligible countries to develop National AGOA Strategies. The Hub is providing technical support to governments to develop national AGOA strategies and implementation of action plans. The strategy documents constitute road maps for countries to maximize their utilization of the benefits provided by AGOA. AGOA strategies are a crucial tool to allow countries to target key sectors and product categories for focus and support to increase trade with the U.S.
The Hub has facilitated the development of the following AGOA strategies
Rwanda AGOA Action Plan
Madagascar AGOA Strategy
Tanzania AGOA Strategy
The Hub will continue providing support to the Ministries of Trade to assist in the implementation of the AGOA strategies.
Trade shows, buyer missions and B2B forums
The Hub promotes direct business linkages by proactively organizing and supporting business to business events, trade shows, and buyer missions.
The Hub aims to increase the export volumes of individual firms by linking them with importers in foreign markets. The collective outcomes are reflected in Hub-facilitated trade. Trade shows, buyer missions and B2B events increase regional EAC exports and international exports. They also build economies of scale and create a foundation for integrated global supply chains.
Read about some of the buyer mission and trade shows:
Superior Uniform Group buyer mission
Source Africa trade fair
Sourcing at Magic Trade Show
Targeted Firm-level Technical Assistance
The Hub provides targeted firm-level technical assistance to enhance export competitiveness of eastern African firms. Firms engaging in linkages need to be export-ready with quality products that meet buyers’ needs and are compliant with technical standards. Firms need access to financial products to support the export cycles; should have capacity to handle export procedures and export logistics; and should be able to effectively engage with buyers.
Enhanced AGOA Export Preparedness and AGOA Information Dissemination
The purpose of AGOA export preparedness is to educate and to build the capacity of the public and private sectors on AGOA, leading to greater uptake of AGOA export opportunities.
The Hub has successfully organized several AGOA preparedness workshops in the region. Read about them below.
Kenya AGOA Preparedness Workshop
Rwanda AGOA Preparedness Workshop
Uganda AGOA Preparedness Workshop
Madagascar AGOA Preparedness Workshop
Build Capacity of Key Partners and Trade-Support Institutions
The Hub is working with the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Madagascar and the Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association to support an increase in exports to the U.S. under AGOA.
The Hub has provided a grant to AmCham Madagascar to assist in the development of an AGOA Resource Center. Among other services, the resource center provides Malagasy exporters with U.S. market requirements and information, and supports business linkages. Want to learn more? Watch AmCham Madagascar's new resource center video.
AGOA FAQ ASK AN AGOA EXPERT AGOA - WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW AGOA GENERAL AGOA RULES OF ORIGIN VISIT OUR AGOA EXPORTER DIRECTORY AGOA PRODUCTS LIST
Related Blogs and Resources
Published on July 19, 2017
Rwanda continues to look for new export markets besides encouraging local consumption under the Made-in-Rwanda campaign initiated by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and East African Community Affairs and the Private Sector Federation (PSF).
These are some of the initiatives that seek to widen the country’s exports, support local manufacturers and help reduce the growing import bill, as well as give the Made-in-Rwanda products a competitive edge in the local, regional and global markets. This, however, challenges the private sector, particularly manufacturers to understand market trends and improve their production capacity and quality supported by the good investment and business environment in the country.
Manufacturers should have knowledge about the trading systems in target markets to promote their products effectively and also be able to negotiate better prices. Read more. Source | New Times
Published on July 14, 2017
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (the Hub) has signed a grant with Generation Program Kenya Limited, a local subsidiary of the McKinsey Social Initiative, to create 2,000 full-time jobs and provide over 100,000 hours in skills development for young people in the apparel industry.
Working hand-in-hand with Kenya’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers and apparel companies, the pilot program will set up and equip seven training centers throughout Kenya and screen 4,000 youth for participation.
The pilot activities include recruitment, training and job placement in the apparel industry. Read more. Source | Capital FM
Published on July 13, 2017
Ethiopia's relation with North American and European countries that has been largely characterized by assistance has transformed to business and development over the past few years, Ethiopian Investment Commission said.
Out of the total 25 billion Birr FDI came from Asian, European and North American countries between mid 2012 and mid 2017, the share of North American and European countries was close to 10 billion Birr, about 40 per cent of the total investment, according to data.
Over the past 10 years Chinese and Indian investment had the lion's share in Ethiopia. Now the situation is changed and flow of North American and European investment has become nearly equivalent to those came from Asia, Mekonnen Hailu, Public Relation Director with the Investment Commission told The Ethiopian Herald. Read more. Source | Ethiopian Herald
Published on July 10, 2017
About 2,000 Kenyan youth are set to be trained and be employed in the textile industry following the signing of a grant between the US government and a Kenyan firm.
In the deal signed on Friday between the USAid East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (the Hub) and Generation Program Kenya Limited, a local subsidiary of the McKinsey Social Initiative, the programme seeks to recruit, train and employ 2,000 Kenyan youth in the apparel industry.
In a press release sent to newsrooms, USAid Kenya and East Africa Acting Mission Director Tina Dooley-Jones said through the initiative to be piloted in collaboration with Ministry of Industry, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers and apparel companies, seven fully equipped training centres will be put up in the country. Read more. Source | Business Daily
Published on June 28, 2017
"We must change the lenses with which we look at Africa from the traditional development mindset to an investment mindset," Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), told last week's U.S.-Africa Business Summit.
"American companies come to Africa bringing their notebooks, while the Chinese companies come to the continent with their checkbooks," Adesina said in his keynote address in which he urged a reversal in the sharp drop in Africa's exports to the United States since 2014 and encouraged American firms "to take a closer look at the opportunities Africa has to offer."
Some 800 private-sector and government participants from Africa and the United States took part in the three-day gathering, a biennial event that CCA has hosted in various locations in the United States and Africa since 1997. Read more. Source | All Africa
Published on June 14, 2017
Kenya Airways has moved a step closer to operating direct flights to the United States after the Department of Transportation (DOT) granted it the first set of licences.
The national carrier has received “exemption authority” from the DOT, allowing it to commence flights to the US provided it secures clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other applicable State agencies.
The DOT has also tentatively granted Kenya Airways a Foreign Air Carrier Permit (FACP), which is again subject to clearance from several US security, aviation and border agencies. Read more. Source | Business Daily
Published on May 02, 2017
The ailing textile sector has been handed a lifeline, with the proposed increase in the amount of goods that manufacturers based in the special economic zones can sell locally.
President Uhuru Kenyatta said that the apparel manufacturers operating from the export processing zones (EPZs) will now be allowed to sell up to 40 per cent of their goods locally, a significant improvement over their current local market quota.
“We want to increase the current quota of 20 per cent that is allowed for the local market up to 40 per cent so that the local apparel manufacturers can employ more Kenyans,” Mr Kenyatta said. Read more. Source | Business Daily
Published on April 24, 2017
American roasters are expected to raise coffee purchases from Kenya by a quarter to Sh3.5 billion annually after the country showcased its produce in the ongoing symposium in Seattle, US.
Coffee Directorate made a pitch for Kenya’s specialty coffee during the exhibition to have the US, which pays a premium price for the commodity, increase its uptake 25 per cent. America buys seven per cent of Kenya’s annual export of 46,000 metric tonnes but it pays highly compared to the other top buyers. Read more. Source | Business Daily