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East African trade and investment news

Ethiopia: Government Places Emphasis On Horticulture

Published on July 17, 2019

With the Ethiopian Horticultural industry on the rise and becoming an important source of foreign exchange to the nation, the Ethiopian Horticultural Producer Exporters Association in collaboration with Addis Ababa University has held a timely research conference on agro-logistics inside the Intercontinental Hotel last weekend. The level of agro-logistics in Ethiopia is characterized by inefficiency and inflated costs affecting the overall competitiveness of Ethiopian based agricultural exporters and producers. Cognizant to the challenges, at the conference, a slew of agrologists presented their researches. Credited for creating over 180,000 direct jobs to the Ethiopian economy, the sector has now become the fifth largest foreign revenue generator for the nation, according to Shiferaw Mitiku. Read more. Source | AllAfrica

Regional standards woes pose non-tariff barrier in Africa push for free trade area

Published on July 17, 2019

All has not been with Africa’s trade fabric amid standoffs over market access. For example, Kenya’s milk has had difficulties over time in accessing the Zambian market, while the actual sell-by date of the Kenyan tea has been a subject of controversy in Sudan because of different standards. And as the heads of state meet this Friday in Niger for the first extraordinary meeting of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the standard differences will remain to be the elephant in the room on implementation of the pact. Read more. Source | Business Daily

Government invites investors to Tanzania as Cashew nuts forum opens in Mtwara

Published on July 17, 2019

The Tanzania Cashews Forum organized by the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) has been launched in Mtwara today Friday, July 12, 2019 gathering hundreds of local and foreign stakeholders. Opening the forum, deputy minister for Agriculture Omary Mgumba said the government is targeting to increase cashews production to one million tonnes by 2023-24, up from maximum production of 313,000 tonnes recorded in the 2017-18 season. Read more. Source | The Citizen

MPs urge government to do more to facilitate trade

Published on July 17, 2019

MPs on Thursday told Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente that the government needs to increase efforts to boost both internal and external trade for the country. As the Premier addressed a joint session of senators and deputies about the government’s activities in the trade sector, they urged him to push for more assistance to industrialists and farmers’ cooperative in order to produce more and better goods for markets. With Rwanda’s trade deficit slowly decreasing, especially since the government initiated a Made-in-Rwanda Campaign in 2018, the legislators said that the country needs to keep efforts at developing agro-processing industries. Read more. Source | New Times

Kagame, Museveni commit to talks

Published on July 17, 2019

The presidents of Rwanda and Uganda on Friday pledged at a summit in Angola to seek to resolve tensions that have erupted between their two countries in recent months. Rwanda's Paul Kagame and Uganda's Yoweri Museveni, once close allies, have exchanged public accusations of spying on each other's territory and political interference. Trade has been severely disrupted since late February when Rwanda abruptly closed the border wit h its northern neighbour, severing a major economic land route. Apart from a brief interlude in June the frontier has remained shut, damaging the economies of both countries reliant on cross-border trade. Read more. Source | East African

Six months later, Tanzania yet to allow Uganda sugar into its market

Published on July 17, 2019

Sugar and edible oil originating from Uganda remain locked out of the Tanzanian market more than six months after a ministerial meeting held at the Mutukula border agreed to allow free movement of these products between the two countries. This is one of the issues that will be up for discussion at a Tanzania-Uganda business forum to be launched in Dar es Salaam by Presidents Yoweri Museveni and John Pombe Magufuli on September 4. Uganda, which is trying to increase its exports to the East African Community is looking to create a mutually beneficial relationship with Tanzania. Read more. Source | East African

PE firms make 23pc dollar return in East Africa exits

Published on July 11, 2019

Private equity (PE) firms exiting East African investments are enjoying dollar returns of up to 23 percent, underlining the attractiveness of the region for venture capital. PE activity in the region has grown significantly in the past decade, with majority of those that entered the market at the beginning of the decade now exiting after achieving the normal six to eight-year investment cycle for such funds. The findings are contained in a joint report on East African asset classes by I&M Burbidge Capital and the East Africa Venture Capital Association (EAVCA). According to the report, the number of PE funds actively investing in the region increased from about 36 in 2014 to 117 in 2018. "Using data from 18 exits compiled from 10 private equity funds operating in the region and disclosed to us in confidence, the data shows that on average, exit yields ranged between 17 and 23 percent on a dollarised internal rate of return," say I&M Burbidge and EAVCA in the report. Read more. Source | Business Daily

Kenyan farmers have high hopes for new African free trade

Published on July 11, 2019

African leaders are in Niger to put the finishing touches on a plan for the world's largest free trade zone. Once up and running, it will bring all 55 members of the African Union into a single market of well over a billion people. Advocates of the trade deal hope it will bring employment opportunities to millions of people on the continent. Al Jazeera's Malcolm Webb reports from Thika in Kenya about what the free trade agreement could mean for farmers there. Read more. Source | Al Jazeera

Del Monte’s Sh500m plant to feed Coca-Cola

Published on July 11, 2019

Thika-based pineapple juice maker Del Monte will next month open a Sh500 million processing plant within its Thika plantation and expand production portfolio to other fruits. Del Monte managing director Stergios Gkaliamoutsas said that the new facility in Kenol along the Thika-Murang’a highway is expected to create 200 new jobs and will start processing of avocados, mangoes and passion fruits. The new facility will have a processing capacity of 60 tonnes of fresh fruits per year which will be sourced from Kiambu and neighbouring Murang'a County. "Del Monte Kenya plans to source fruit from local and regional growers in Murang’a and Kiambu counties. We will prepare and package the products from the new Del Monte facility for both local and international markets," said Mr Gkaliamoutsas. Currently, the Thika road-based fruit processor has more than 6,500 employees and creates about 28,000 indirect jobs through the production and value addition chain. Read more. Source | Business Daily

Rwanda courts investors for tech and infrastructure development

Published on July 11, 2019

Rwanda is courting investors in digital and traditional infrastructure development at the ongoing annual General Shareholders Meeting of Africa50, a pan-African infrastructure investment firm. With Africa50’s investor base currently composed of 27 African countries, the African Development Bank, the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), and Bank Al-Maghrib, the government is keen on showcasing opportunities across various sectors in the country. Among the avenues of investments that Rwanda is showcasing for investment include the Kigali Innovation city, which has 11 components at a cost of $420 million with a number of opportunities present. Read more. Source | New Times

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