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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

Kenya urges regional bloc to harmonize taxes to spur trade

Published on March 12, 2015
Principal Secretary for Kenya’s State Department of East African Affairs, John Konchellah, said Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) have hampered trade, increased costs of doing business and stifled free movement of goods. “The EAC is focused on eliminating barriers to trade, increasing free movement of persons, labor, goods and capital,” Konchellah said. He said the regional bloc has taken several measures including strengthening of national and regional committees as well as monitoring tools.“The challenges that come with elimination of NTBs are in their mutative nature. They can be imposed and withdrawn at will,” Konchellah said.  “Their (NTBs) imposition can attract retaliatory measures from affected partner states, which add costs and transit time for goods traded across boarders,” the official said. The EAC is targeting the creation of a political federation, and a border less single state made up of the five countries, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania, exercising a single foreign policy.Read more. Source | CoastWeek
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Cheaper power boosts Kenya’s private sector

Published on March 12, 2015
Cheaper power and the falling cost of fuel are among the reasons making Kenya’s private sector expand rapidly and gain stability, a survey has said. Findings from the study depict an overall improvement in the country’s business environment over the past 14 months. The first Purchasing Manager index (PMI) report in the country was conducted by global financial information service provider Markit and CfC Stanbic. Read more. Source | Daily Nation
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Mpesa takes on cross-border approach to financial transactions.

Published on March 11, 2015
Customers of Kenya’s leading telecommunication firm, Safaricom will now be able to transact money to and from Tanzania. In a move focused at deepening financial inclusion in the two countries, Safaricom’s 12.8 million active users will be able to send and receive money through Tanzania’s mobile service operator, Vodacom. Read more. Source | CNBC Africa
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Growing Kenya economy hinges on renewal of US trade pact

Published on March 10, 2015
Kenya has emerged third among the top 20 fastest-growing economies in the world, according to a 2015 survey by Bloomberg. Kenya and Nigeria are the only African countries that made it on the list, which placed China first, followed by the Philippines.  However unemployment in Kenya remains high and some industries face a shock unless the U.S. renews a key trade agreement. Pankaj Bedi, the founder and chairman of United Aryan Limited, said his company would face serious consequences if AGOA is not renewed. “It will be disaster. We all have been lobbying, pushing doing whatever we can.  In fact government is very proactive, even the Kenyan government has been, you know, following through. If it is not there then we are not there. Simple. We’ll lose all the jobs; there will be social, security all kind of disaster happening,” said Bedi. Read more. Source | Voice of America.
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Kenyan economy to grow by 7pc, says the World Bank

Published on March 06, 2015
Kenya is set to become one of the top five fastest-growing economies in Sub-Saharan Africa, with growth rates rising to between six and seven per cent over the next three years, according to the World Bank. Kenya is emerging as one of Africa’s key growth centres with sound economic policies in place for future improvement” said Diarietou Gaye, the World Bank’s Country Director for Kenya. “To sustain momentum, Kenya needs to continue investing in infrastructure and jobs, improve its business climate, and boost it exports.” Read more. Source | Daily Nation  
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Kenya bets on new infrastructure to spur economic growth to 7%

Published on March 02, 2015
Kenya’s drive to improve rail, roads and power plants would help spur economic growth to 6.9 percent in 2015 and 7 percent in coming years, its finance minister said on Friday. Read more. Source | Africa Insider
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Uganda: Malaba gets one-stop border post

Published on March 02, 2015
The clearance of cargo along the Uganda-Kenya Malaba border post is expected to be faster, relieving that point of the traffic congestion that had become a headache, after the opening of the one-stop-border post. Read more. Source | All Africa
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Kenya's Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development is expanding local steel industry

Published on February 26, 2015
The Kenya government has said that it is implementing mechanisms in order to increase its local steel industry.Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development Adan Mohamed said that the country’s huge trade imbalance is partly due to steel imports. Read more. Source|
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