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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.

Read more here

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

Kenya to lobby for direct US flights during Obama visit

Published on July 21, 2015
President Uhuru Kenyatta told a news conference at State House Tuesday direct flights will go a long way towards easing international business, promoting exports, enhancing movement of business people and tourists in both countries. President Kenyatta says that he is hopeful that the pending issues will be resolved so that direct flights can begin. “We have been working very strongly with and in close collaboration with relevant US authorities and we are very keen and hopeful that some of the few pending issues that remain outstanding will be resolved so that we can get the category one status that is necessary for us to be able to have direct flights between Kenya and the US,” he said. Insecurity is one of the key challenges that has seen the US Federal Aviation Administration deny Kenya the status. Read more. Source | Capital Fm Kenya  
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Obama’s trip to Kenya: Economic highlights

Published on July 20, 2015
In advance of President Obama’s trip to East Africa on July 23, the Africa Growth Initiative has prepared short travel companions on the economic environments in both Ethiopia and Kenya. The president’s visit to Kenya, one of the larger economies on the continent and a major driver of growth in the East Africa region, underlies the United States’ commitment to trade and investment on the continent. Below are key facts on Kenya’s economy to consider as President Obama travels to the region. Facts on Ethiopia can be found here. Kenya enjoys middle-income status. Earlier this month the World Bank confirmed Kenya’slower-middle-income country status according to their latest estimates of the gross national income per capita. This followed from the statistical reassessment of GDP figures that increased the size of its economy by 25 percent  ($53.3 billion up from $42.6 billion) last September, making it the continent’s ninth-biggest economy, accounting for over 2 percent of the continent’s GDP. Read more. Source | Brookings
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Horticulture sector to face higher standards

Published on July 20, 2015
The horticulture sector players will now be expected to comply with new standards that spell out code of practice in the horticulture industry, following the revision of standards. The revised horticulture code of practice will apply to all players in the industry ranging from growers, propagators, breeders, consolidators, shippers, and cargo handlers. According to the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs), Managing Director, Charles Ongwae the standards require the operators in the sector to observe hygienic and safety requirements during the production, handling, and marketing of flowers and ornamentals. Read more. Source | Daily Nation
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Rwanda economic update: Financing inclusive development in Rwanda

Published on July 15, 2015
A strong, diversified financial sector can help the government gradually transition from aid, finance its development and benefit a larger group of Rwandans, according to a new report from the World Bank Group. The eighth edition of the Rwanda Economic Update, Financing Development: The Role of a Deeper and More Diversified Financial Sector, explores options for how the financial sector can develop an efficient, sound, and inclusive financial sector to help the government achieve its development vision and the benefits from a well-managed, broad-based financial sector can benefit more Rwandans. “Despite recent international and domestic economic developments in Rwanda the Bank’s growth projection is optimistic at 7.4 percent in 2015 and 7.6 percent in 2016,” says Yoichiro Ishihara, World Bank senior economist.  “Developing a stable, sound and efficient financial sector will contribute to the government’s goal to transform the country into a middle-income country by 2020.” Read more. Source | World Bank
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FDI inflows to Kenya double to Sh99bn in 2014

Published on July 14, 2015
Kenya’s 2014 foreign direct investment almost doubled, growing by 95.84 percent to Sh99.63 billion from Sh50.87 billion in 2013. According to the latest figures from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the country ranked 136 out of 189 countries in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report for the period to June 2014. However, the reports says that Kenya trails her neighbours Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia in actual foreign direct inflows volumes. The inflows represent a dismal 1.79 percent of gross domestic product estimated at Sh5.56 trillion in 2014, way below the 10 percent target under the long-term development blueprint, the Vision 2030. East Africa FDI inflows increased 11 per cent to hit $68 billion. Read more. Source | Daily Nation
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Rwanda-Kenya business forum launched

Published on July 13, 2015
The Rwanda and Kenya business forum is expected to be launched today, 11th July 2015 by President Paul Kagame at a function due to attract over 200 top executives from the private sectors of the two countries. It is a significant development and Amb. Valentine Rugwabiza, the minister for East African Community affairs, believes it’s an opportunity for members of the private sector to explore business opportunities between two countries that enjoy warm diplomatic ties. There will be over 200 participants in the large Serena Hotel conference hall, including a delegation of 34 business executives that travelled from Nairobi, led by Kiprono Kittony, the chairperson of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI). Kittony’s delegation will join over 150 of their counterparts from the Private Sector Federation, whose membership comprises not only Rwandans but also Kenyans already operating in the country. Read more. Source | Foot Print to Africa
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Kenya primed for cross-border trade

Published on July 13, 2015
Kenya’s economy has shown remarkable gains over the last five years, maintaining a robust growth rate. GDP growth stood at 5.4 percent in 2014, an improvement on the 5.1 percent recorded in 2013 and 4.6pc in 2012. The country’s annual GDP growth is projected to reach 7.0 percent by 2017 (6.7pc average CAGR 2014-2017). Following the rebasing of calculations in 2014, Kenya’s GDP now stands at US$55 billion. The country is now ranked the 9th largest African economy and the 5th largest in Sub-Saharan Africa. There is global recognition of the major and positive economic and other reforms that are now taking place in Kenya. The changes point towards a positive economic outlook for the country. In its latest report, Bloomberg ranks Kenya as the 3rd fastest growing economy in a global survey of 57 economies projected to register rapid growth this year. This places Kenya alongside China, India, the Philippines, and Indonesia as the only economies hitting a five per cent growth rate this year. Read more . Source | Capital Fm Kenya.
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SITA to augment pulses sector in Kenya

Published on July 10, 2015
‘Having worked actively on the South-South cooperation, where India is a champion, it’s good to hear of SITA initiative, Supporting Indian Trade and Investment for Africa. At this particular time, when the world is hearing about BRICS, I think it is good that India looks to Africa and the East African region,’ said Mr. Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, former Vice-President (2008-2013), Kenya. Mr. Musyoka was talking on the sidelines of SITA’s first stakeholders’ consultation meeting on Value Chain Road Map for Pulses in Kenya. ‘I believe that the time for Africa is now because if we don’t grow the African economies we are going to see a reversal of everything,’ reiterated Mr. Musyoka.‘This area of trade and export, commodity trade in particular is a key area where Kenya and India can cooperate and Pulses is a potential sector. Particularly, green malt, or green gram as we call it. SITA could facilitate meaningful interventions to help our farmers improve productivity and enhance incomes. Read more. Source | International Trade Centre
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