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USAID grant signed to create 2,000 new jobs for youth in the apparel industry

Signed a new grant with Generation Program Kenya Limited, a local subsidiary of the McKinsey Social Initiative. Working hand-in-hand with Kenya’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers and apparel companies, the program will set up and equip seven training centers throughout Kenya, provide over 100,000 hours in skills development and train 2,000 Kenyan youth, preparing them for full-time sewing machine operator jobs in the industry.  The grant is a part of the Hub’s larger “East Africa Cotton, Textile and Apparel Workforce Development Initiative,” a collaboration between the Hub and the American Apparel and Footwear Association that will ensure U.S. brands and retailers’ goods are manufactured in accordance with best business practices and operations in East Africa, producing a win-win for trading partners.

Kenyan woman-owned home-décor company enters mainstream U.S. market

Supported a Kenyan home decor producer to ship her largest-to-date U.S. order. Valued at $200,000, the deal is as a result of the Hub-organized Cost Plus World Market Trade Mission. (see success story at the end of this report) The profit from this order will go to the nearly 400 artisans who contributed to each hand-carved piece and will help finance her next big export to the U.S., which shouldn’t be far off given her now proven capacity for high-volume supply.

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The Hub supports increased investments in the upcoming Kenya Leather Park

On June 30, the Hub’s leather advisor completed his contract, during which he facilitated $9 million in total investment commitments for the upcoming Kenya Leather Park and a trade deal between Bata Shoes Kenya, Kenya Defense Forces and the Kenya Prisons Services to supply a total of $1.9 million in new sales of officer’s boots and shoes. Also in the leather sector, the Hub supported an India-based ‘trainer of trainers’ session that provided new eco-friendly technologies for best practices in leather finishing and production for five Kenyan tanneries and leather companies.

The Hub facilitates $36M new private sector investments

The Hub has facilitated $30,633,968 new private sector investments in the ag and non ag sector in Kenya. The Hub offers transaction support services. Eligible investors include private equity funds, commercial banks, impact funds, and development finance institutions. The Hub’s transaction team acts as a neutral intermediary to provide: opportunity validation market intelligence, fundraising support, due diligence, deal structuring, financial analysis and modelling. 

The Hub has helped financially close $51m of investments over the life of the project, $33.9 million in the agricultural and food chain sector and $17.4 million in the non-ag sector. There are $165 million of deals under review in the Hub’s investment pipeline. Over 

Product development excellence training for SMEs

Facilitated training on product development excellence for selected SMEs in the sector, in collaboration with Kenya Leather Development Council (KLDC). The training covered a wide range of topics in product development, including: product development planning, product development process, managing cross-functional teams and how to generate superior value products.

Helped leather enterprises develop innovative products that can compete globally, with a focus on company owners and senior management – those who can implement the concepts on which they were trained.

Trade and export facilitation through “Buy Kenya Build Kenya” strategy

Facilitated Kenya’s leading player in the formal footwear sector and the largest buyer of raw leather, Bata Kenya, to access opportunities for supplying Kenya Defense Forces with military boots and shoes.

Linked Bata Kenya to SMEs who have since started sourcing specialized finished leather for manufacture of leather goods, resulting in approximately $1.9 million in new sales.

Introduced MAS Tannery, a company established in 2004 that specializes in tanning (wet blue), to new markets in Turkey, India and Egypt. This allowed the company to increase exports to new clients  by approximately $500,000 per month.

Investor mobilization for the Kenya Leather Park



Supported Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture to purchase 50,000 MT of maize from Ethiopia for the Kenyan Strategic Grain Reserve, bringing the total maize trade facilitated by the Hub between Ethiopia and the East African region to $100 million in the current season. 

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Kenyans can now use shilling on Amazon

Published on February 13, 2019
Cross-border currency movement company Western Union and US tech giant Amazon have entered into a partnership that will allow Kenyans to use local currency to pay for products sold on the e-commerce platform. The deal is aimed at widening Amazon’s customer base in the country by bringing on board clients who were locked out by hitches on the payment platform, which do not allow transactions in local currencies. Read more. Source | East African
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Private equity firms in East Africa

Published on February 13, 2019
Fifty three offices established by private equity and venture capital companies in the East African Community (EAC) countries which comprises a cumulative minimum value of at least $5.8 billion USD under management for investments throughout the world including in East Africa.  This is according to “The Map of Private Equity Firms” based in Sub-Saharan Africa by Africa’s leading private company research firm, Asoko Insight from December 2018. Read more. Source | The Exchange
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Improving Early Stage Investor Engagement in East Africa

Published on February 13, 2019
Africa is the youngest continent in the world with almost 200 million people aged 15-24, and this number is expected to double by 2045. However, unemployment among East African youth is already high, at an estimated 51-57%. With a rising youth population and unemployment rate, young people are turning to entrepreneurship as both a means to generating income and jobs. 79 of every 100 jobs created by young entrepreneurs in East Africa have been for youth aged 18-34, however only 17% of entrepreneurs on the continent believe they will create a medium to high number of jobs over the next five years. Read more. Source| The Exchange
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Little-known Kenyan firm buys $180m cashewnuts from Tanzania

Published on February 05, 2019
A little-known Kenyan firm will buy at least 100,000 tonnes of raw cashewnuts for Tsh418 billion ($180 million), Tanzania Trade minister said. The sale deal was signed on Wednesday at the Arusha-based East African Community headquarters between Tanzania's Director of Cereals and Produce Board, Dr Hussein Mansour and Indopower Solutions CEO Mr Brian Mutembei. Read more. Source | East African
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PSF urges regional MPs to back business friendly policies

Published on February 05, 2019
Rwanda’s Private Sector Federation (PSF) has challenged regional legislators to increase their advocacy for policies designated to eliminate trade barriers, which continue to undermine regional integration. Officials from the umbrella of Rwandan business community were yesterday meeting members of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) who are undertaking an outreach programme in partner states. Read more. Source | New Times
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Oserian only African grower nominated for AIPH Awards

Published on January 30, 2019
The Oserian Development Company has cemented its place on the continent by winning a coveted prize at this year’s International Grower of the Year (IGOTY) Awards held in Germany. As one of Kenya’s largest grower and exporter of cut flowers, Oserian was the only African grower nominated for recognition at this year’s awards ceremony. Read more. Source | The Exchange
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Our new models will help regional businesses grow their networks

Published on January 30, 2019
The chief executive of the East African Business Council Peter Mathuki spoke with Patty Magubira on the region’s economic prospects for 2019. With regards to challenges the East Africa Community faced in 2018, he outlined that most of them were  compounded by protectionist approaches that hindered trade within the East African Community. "EAC intra-trade stood at only 20 per cent of the total, compared with 46 per cent in the Southern African Development Community, and 67 per cent in the European Union. We have partly implemented the Common Market Protocol, which helped the EAC become the fastest growing regional economic bloc," he said. Read more. Source | East African
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How Kenya’s economy will perform in 2019

Published on January 24, 2019
Stanbic Bank has projected a six per cent ( 6%) GDP growth rate for Kenya in 2019 with headline inflation set to average 4.9 per cent. This comes after a slow 2018, a year characterized by recovery of the Kenyan economy after a fraught 2017 marked by the spectre of drought and of course the political uncertainty fostered by protracted elections. Not surprisingly, GDP growth expanded by an estimated 6.0 per cent year-on-year in 2018. Complimentary base effects underpinned GDP growth in 2018; however the diversity of growth drivers and endurance of the economy should not be discounted according to Stanbic. Read more. Source | The Exchange
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