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East African trade and investment news

World Bank cuts Kenya growth forecast to 4.9pc, sees rebound in 2018

Published on December 07, 2017

The World Bank expects the Kenyan economy to rebound in 2018 as headwinds such as drought, slowing credit access and politics —  that hurt growth this year — subside.

The bank said on Thursday that it had cut back it's forecast of the country's growth this year to 4.9 per cent from an earlier estimate of 5.5 per cent.

It expects the east Africa's largest economy to rebound to a growth of 5.5 per cent next year before accelerating to 5.9 per cent in 2019. Read more. Source| East African

New EA corporate deals drop 15pc in first 10 months

Published on December 07, 2017

The number of disclosed corporate deals in East Africa (EA) dropped by 15 per cent in the first 10 months of the year compared to a similar period in 2016, reflecting a continued dearth in the capital markets across the region and perhaps political activity in Kenya.

A report on the deal landscape done by I&M Burbidge Capital for October shows that Kenya, the largest regional economy, has continued to dominate the space. Read more. Source | Business Daily

COMESA makes new effort to increase intra-regional trade in agriculture

Published on December 07, 2017

A new initiative has been started to enable farmers and agriculture traders to do more business amongst themselves in eastern and southern Africa instead of only seeking markets out of the continent.

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Business Council (CBC), a private sector association comprising investors involved in exporting and importing across the 19-member bloc that is spearheading the initiative said intra-regional trade in agriculture will not only create more jobs but also assist in efforts to add value to agriculture commodities across the region. Read more. Source | The NewTimes Rwanda

SMEs urged to certify products to be competitive

Published on December 07, 2017

Small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) should certify their products for quality to be profitable and competitive on the local, regional and international markets, Raymond Murenzi, the Rwanda Standard Board (RSB) director general, has said. Murenzi added that government has subsidised the certification fees for SMEs to attract more enterprises in the sector to ensure they acquire the ‘S’ mark of quality and standards.

“When SMEs and other producers certify their products for quality, this will boost their sales and enable them to enter new markets in the region and internationally.” Read more. Source | New Times 

IATA lauds Africa's push for open skies

Published on December 07, 2017

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has hailed the move by the African Union to open up the airspace on the continent.

The deal establishing a single air transport market for Africa is expected to be endorsed during the Heads of State summit in Ethiopia early next year, according to Abderahmane Berthe, the African Airlines Association secretary general. So far, 20 African countries out of 55 have endorsed the African single air market. Berthe said a single air transport market is one of the goals of AU’s Agenda 2063, aiming to integrate the continent through increased connectivity to boost intra-Africa trade. Read more. Source | New Times 

Campaign to create awareness about challenges faced by women traders in EAC launched

Published on December 07, 2017

A campaign aimed at raising awareness about challenges faced by women traders in the region has been launched by Trademark East Africa (TMEA), a regional trade facilitation organisation.

The Women and Trade campaign will highlight trade opportunities for women in business in a bid to increase inclusion and equitable access to trade opportunities, the organisation said in a statement. Under the theme, “Empowering women, powering trade”, the campaign will see TMEA engage policy-makers, development partners, business associations and other stakeholders in the region and beyond to create an inclusive and enabling environment for women traders, according to the statement.Read more. Source | New Times 

Region in joint efforts to develop cross-border trade

Published on November 30, 2017

Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and DR Congo officials have committed to work together in addressing challenges hindering cross-border trade in the region.

The commitment, which is expected to help thousands of small-scale cross-border traders – especially women – to carry out their daily business smoothly, was made on Monday in Kigali during a regional advocacy meeting on cross-border trade.

The meeting brought together regional public institution representatives whose mandates relate to cross-border trade. Read more. Source | New Times

Kenya set to build coast-to-centre highway to boost Africa trade

Published on November 30, 2017

Kenya on Wednesday signed a $620 million agreement to build a 530 km (329 mile) highway from its east coast to the centre of the country, part of a campaign to boost its role as a regional trade hub.

Kenya wants to build up a role as a regional trade and transport hub, serving as a link to landlocked countries such as Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda. It is seeking more private investment to maintain the pace of spending on highways, railways and other vital assets while reducing its budget deficit. Read more. Source | Reuters

EAC urged to preserve investment policy space

Published on November 30, 2017

Conditions which host countries impose on multinational enterprises requiring them to meet specified goals with respect to their business activities are one way regional countries can preserve their investment policy space.

This was at the end of a workshop Friday organised by the Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI)-Uganda, and Governance for Africa (GFA)-Rwanda, a non-profit with a continental mandate on aspects such as regional integration.

For three days, regional government officials responsible for investment promotion convened for a workshop meant to equip them with knowledge on historical perspectives of investment policy, among others, and how they shape current investment policy dynamics. Read more. Source | New Times

EPZ set to vitalise industrial drive

Published on November 30, 2017

Plans are underway to set up 190 industries at Bagamoyo Economic Special Zone before 2020, Industry, Trade and Investment Minister, Charles Mwijage said yesterday.

The Industries, according to the minister, will include fertiliser and fish processing plants at the 100 square kilometer Bagamoyo Economic Zone. Mr Mwijage made the revelation in Dar es Salaam yesterday while officiating at the Symposium on Belt and Road Initiative between Tanzania and China.

“The discussion to implement the initiative is going on between Oman, China and Tanzania,” he said, adding that the setting up of the industries will go in line with the building up of modern mega port at Bagamoyo. Read more. Source | Daily News