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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. 

Related Blogs and Resources

Why leasing can play key role in growth of SMEs

Published on June 06, 2018
Kenya’s economic growth is pegged on its ability to create wealth and employment opportunities, while at the same time expanding access to public services. The country has over the last two decades invested heavily in infrastructure development with both the government and the private sector rolling out mega projects in roads, power generation and ramping up local assembly and production. Read more. Source | Business Daily
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Top 10 Reasons to invest in Kenya

Published on June 06, 2018
Kenya has been recognized for many things, among them tourism, infrastructure, agriculture exports and investments. International investors are eyeing the country for investments, with some taking time to run exhibitions displaying some of the possible investment opportunities that could be pursued. Read more. Source | The Exchange
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Cut flower exports defy poll jitters to hit Sh82bn in 2017

Published on June 05, 2018
Cut flower business last year shrugged off prolonged electioneering to post a record Sh82.2 billion export earnings representing a 20 per cent rise from Sh70.8 billion in 2016.The all-time high earnings were attributed to the sale of 159,961 metric tonnes compared to 133,668 tonnes shipped to European markets in 2016. Kenya Flower Council (KFC) said the labour-intensive subsector witnessed heavy investments in new farms and expansion driven by tax incentives for key imported inputs. Read more. Source | Daily Nation
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EAC tea consumption to increase in the next decade

Published on June 05, 2018
East African countries could lead the world in growth in consumption of tea during the next decade, even as they occupy top positions in exports of the commodity. Estimates by the Food and Agricultural Organisation show that Rwanda will lead in growth at nine per cent followed by Uganda at five per cent and Kenya at 4.4 per cent. Read more. Source | East African
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AGOA 101 Kenya

Published on June 02, 2018
AGOA 101 Kenya. The USAID Hub helps East African businesses take advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). AGOA allows for duty-free export of over 6,000 products. This guide outlines the step-by-step process that Kenyan businesses should take to export to the United States of America (U.S.A.) duty-free through AGOA and gives a general overview for the export of all AGOA products from Kenya. It provides additional information on the export of four high-demand, high-value sectors, namely textiles and apparel; coffee; nuts and oil crops; and cut flowers. Although exporting can be a challenging process, it can also be profitable for the individual or company that successfully complies with the steps. Exporters must follow two sets of requirements:1. Kenyan laws and regulations that govern the export process, and2. Laws and regulations that govern the destination country’s imports, in this case, the U.S.A.Regulations also vary according to the product being exported; exporters must research to ensure that their product meets the necessary requirements for export. This guide assumes that the exporter or potential exporter has already conducted the necessary market research, and is ready to export. Before proceeding, exporters must identify the correct tariff code and its eligibility for dutyfree export under AGOA. This status can be established by referring to Insert the product name, search for the correct tariff code, and confirm its AGOA status - denoted by the letter “D” in the AGOA indicator column. Exporters should familiarize themselves with U.S.A. industry standards and product specific regulations that may require additional documentation and procedures.
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Ugandans, Kenyans lead in tech initiative to fight armyworm

Published on May 30, 2018
Feed the Future, part of USAID has announced that 228 applications were received, mostly from Africa, for the global Fall Armyworm Tech Prize. The Prize aims to find digital solutions to identify, track and protect crops from the pest, which has devastated agricultural produce across the continent. Over 80% of the entries came from Africa with the five countries with the highest number of entries being Uganda 52, Nigeria 25, USA 23, Ghana 22 and Kenya 21. Read more. Source | The Exchange
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US firm Seaboard woos Unga investors in buyout bid

Published on May 23, 2018
US conglomerate Seaboard Corporation has embarked on an intensive campaign aimed at winning shareholders to unlock its quest to take control of Kenyan miller Unga Group #ticker:UNGA. Seaboard Corporation has placed a bid to buy the Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firm at the price of Sh40 per share and is required to win the support of investors controlling at least 75 per cent of Unga Group for the deal to sail through. Read more. Source | Daily Nation
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US firms scout for deals at city flower expo ahead of direct KQ flights

Published on May 23, 2018
US firms are among exhibitors set to debut in the seventh edition of the International Flower Trade Expo (Iftex) in Nairobi, thanks to the impending launch of direct flights to US in October.  Iftex says the merchants want to take advantage of the flights by Kenya Airways to New York to cut the long process of getting produce through Amsterdam.The expo to be held next month comes at a time Kenya is trying to diversify its market from Europe to Asian countries seen as a potential market for cut flowers. Read more. Source | Business Daily
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