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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 AGOA stakeholders set target of doubling 2016 value of AGOA exports to the United States by 2025

Published on January 22, 2018
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Hub in east Africa and the Kenyan ministry of industry, trade and cooperatives recently joined Kenya’s private sector to review and validate a new Kenya National African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) strategy that aims to double its 2016 figure of exports to the United States by 2025. Kenya nearly doubled its exports to the United States under AGOA from $225 million in 2010 to $389 million in 2016. Apparel is mainly exported under AGOA. Read more. Source | Fibre to Fashion
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Kenya to review strategy to boost exports to United States

Published on January 22, 2018
Kenya plans to review its trade strategy to boost exports to the United States, officials said on Thursday. Chris Kiptoo, Principal Secretary in the Ministry for Trade, told a media briefing that the first African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) strategy for Kenya was developed in 2012. “We are conducting an in-depth review of the current strategy in order to take stock of its implementation and success as well as to suggest interventions to boosting exports to the United States,” Kiptoo said. “Furthermore, within the new dispensation of devolved system of government, the strategy will collaborate with the county governments, as appropriate, to exploit the potential market,” he said during the validation workshop on the national AGOA strategy review. Read more. Source | CoastWeek
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Kenyan coffee ranks among the world’s top beans

Published on January 09, 2018
Three Kenyan factories have been ranked among the world’s best specialty coffee producers for 2017, putting farmers on the path to better earnings. Kabare AA, produced by the Kabare farmers’ cooperative society in Kirinyaga was ranked fourth on Coffee Review’s list of Top 30 with a score of 97 points out of 100. AA is the highest grade of Kenya coffee based on bean size and freedom from physical imperfections. Riakiberu AB came in at position 20 with 95 points. The coffee was produced by Kamacharia farmers’ cooperative society in Murang’a. Read more. Source | Business Daily
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US-Kenya deal to boost over 2,000 small companies

Published on December 19, 2017
A partnership between Kenya and the US promises to see over 2,0000 small businesses in Nairobi, Mombasa and Vihiga counties venture into the expansive American market by December next year. According to an MoU, Kenyan SMEs look forward to exporting fruits, fish, coffee, leather products, curios, textile and artifacts.The expected entry of Kenyan enterprises into the US market is the culmination of a partnership between the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) and the Centre of International Private Enterprise (CIPE), an American-based organisation affiliated to the US Chamber of Commerce. Read more. Source | Daily Nation
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Kenya and Ethiopia dynamic economies lift regional GDP

Published on December 18, 2017
Economic dynamism has lifted eastern Africa’s growth despite harsh political climate witnessed in Kenya and Ethiopia, the biggest contributors to the region’s gross domestic product (GDP). A report by a UK-based accountant’s body, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), said the regional powerhouses had political problems in the year without which their economic performance would have been better. Read more. Source | Business Daily
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Local traders urged to take advantage of new facilities at Mombasa port

Published on November 22, 2017
Rwanda’s business community should take advantage of the recently installed modern infrastructure at Mombasa port to increase trade. Catherine Mturi-Wairi, the Kenya Ports Authority managing director, has said. Mturi-Wairi said the authority is committed to facilitating regional trade through provision of efficient and convenient services, adding that they look to raise and sustain the port performance to world class standards. “We are working on a plan that will further reduce unnecessary delays at the port. Already, we have expanded yards and berths to handle more cargo, revamped the ICT system for faster document processing, and modernized cargo handling equipment. Read more. Source | New Times
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Mauritian small firms follow corporations in hunt for local deals

Published on November 07, 2017
Several small- and medium-sized Mauritian businesses and entrepreneurs are expected in the country mid this month as they seek to reach out to millions of consumers. They will attend an exhibition organised by the Trade Promotion of Mauritius and the Consulate of Mauritius in Nairobi. The three-day fair to be held on 13 and 15 this month at Hilton Hotel is co-organised by the Retail Trade Association of Kenya (Retrak). Retrak chief executive officer Wambui Mbarire said participants will exhibit textile and apparel, jewellery, alcoholic beverages and other fast-moving consumer goods. Read more. Source | Business Daily
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117 get garment jobs under new initiative

Published on November 02, 2017
A Mombasa-based garment factory has hired 117 machine operators underlining the potential of short-term courses in jobs generation for the youth in the export sector. East Africa Trade Hub said the new employees were the first batch of trainees that went through an eight-week teaching at clothes factories based in Nairobi and Mombasa. The firm plans to train 2,000 clothes-machine operators. It says “a short-term machine-specific training strategy” should be adopted to ease shortage of specialist skills in the sub-sector.This, the firm said, will help create sustainable jobs for the high number of unemployed youth across Kenya. Read more. Source | Business Daily
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