The government of Rwandan has opened talks with the United States on the review of the American Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) in a bid to ensure continued duty-free access to the US market.
In July this year, the American began an out of cycle review on the eligibility of Rwanda and other East African Community partner states following a move by the region to phase out and eventually ban import of second hand clothes.
This move was aimed at supporting the regional textile industry and preserving the dignity of the East African citizens.
As part of the move, Rwanda last year increased taxes on used clothes from $0.2 to $2.5 per kilogramme, while taxes on used shoes will increase from $0.2 to $3 per kilogramme. Read more. Source | New Times
The National Agricultural Export Board (NAEB) and Sustainable Harvest Rwanda, a local NGO, are in renewed drive to promote the culture of local consumption of coffee.
Many Rwandans are yet to embrace the culture of coffee consumption and this drive is part of efforts to change the trend. Under the campaign, ‘Let’s talk coffee’ Sustainable Harvest Rwanda teaches residents how to prepare coffee traditionally and brew it. Last week the organisation trained residents of Karenge sector in Rwamagana District the art of coffee making, right from traditional roasting to grinding and brewing. Read more. Source | New Times
t’s not every day you meet business owners that are profoundly connected to the international fashion community. Lucy and Herman Bigham of Tosheka Designs are shaping what it means to be sustainable in Kenya one eri silk worm at a time. Tosheka Designs is a fabric and textile company based in Philadelphia that manufactures home goods, accessories and purses by using sustainable resources and techniques in Nairobi, Kenya. Since early 2011, the duo have been working diligently to patent a unique process of producing cotton through the era silk worm. It is one of the only worms that you can extract silk from without killing it.
On the days leading up to the Kenyan election, I exchanged emails with the East Africa - based power couple about the ins and outs of their business and if the effect of the election would have any indication on their organization. It turns out that the Kenyan government supports their efforts despite all the unrest in their country currently taking place. Go inside our conversation. Read more. Source | Huff Post
The United States is determined to deepen trade with sub-Sahara Africa following assurances that the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) deal is safe under the Trump administration.
While a dark cloud has been hanging over Agoa since Donald Trump became US president over six months ago, a top US trade representative has assured African countries that the US is committed to a stronger and more sustainable relationship with Africa through free, fair and reciprocal trade.
Soon after taking over, Trump sent shock waves across Africa when he said that Agoa was benefiting corrupt regimes because most imports under the trade pact are petroleum products. Read more. Source | The East Africa
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Wednesday affirmed the commitment of his country to Africa and saw "great potential to grow and deepen trade relationship."
Robert E. Lighthizer expressed this in opening speech of the ministerial plenary as part of the 16th Forum of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), on Wednesday here in Togolese capital Lome.
"The United States is committed to Africa. We see great potential to grow and deepen our trade relationship, with the goal of establishing a true partnership for the future", Lighthizer said. Read more. Source | Xinhua.Net
US President Donald Trump barely mentioned Africa or trade with the continent during his whirlwind campaign and has been mostly silent about the region since taking office.
But the annual African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) forum being held in the Togolese capital Lome this week will bring together top US officials and African ministers.
The gathering will finally shine a light on Trump’s policies toward the region of 1.2 billion people. Read more. Source | The Independent
United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is leading the US delegation at the 2017 African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum, being held August 8 to 10 in Lomé, Togo.
Established by AGOA legislation, the annual forum provides a platform for promoting stronger economic ties between the United States and qualifying sub-Saharan African countries that receive enhanced US market access under AGOA.
AGOA, a 2000 law, provides non-reciprocal trade preferences for eligible countries in sub-Saharan Africa. It has been a cornerstone of US policy toward the continent for the last three administrations. The premise behind AGOA is that Africa has opportunities worth US attention and investment. Read more. Source | Global Trade 101
Senior Bureau Official for African Affairs Peter Barlerin will travel to Togo from August 7 – August 10 as part of the delegation led by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to attend the 2017 African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum, held August 8-10 in Lomé, Togo.
Established by AGOA law, the annual forum provides a platform for promoting stronger economic ties between the United States and qualifying sub-Saharan African countries that receive enhanced U.S. market access under AGOA. The theme of this year’s Forum is “The United States and Africa: Partnering for Prosperity through Trade.” The Forum begins with events incorporating private sector, civil society, and U.S.-sponsored African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP) participants, followed by two days of ministerial plenaries with representatives from the United States and the 38 African beneficiary countries. Read more. Source | US Department of State
The new boards of directors for the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) has been tasked to improve coffee exports so as to enable the country achieve its target of exporting 20 million bags of coffee by 2020.
While officiating at the inauguration ceremony of the 8th UCDA board of directors in Kampala on Wednesday, state minister for agriculture Christopher Kibanzanga urged them to promote production across the value chain since it is one of the priority crops meant to spur the country to middle income status.
“In the financial year 2016/17, Uganda earned more than $489m from only 4.2 million bags of coffee exported which we last earned in 1979. This shows that with more efforts invested, we shall hit the 2020 target,” he said. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
About 2,000 youth are set to get jobs in the apparel industry following the signing of a deal to be spearheaded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (the Hub).
The programme signed with Generation Program Kenya Limited — a local subsidiary of the McKinsey Social Initiative — will equip young people with skills needed in the apparel industry. The pilot programme, to be implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Industrialisation, will see seven training centres set up and equipped across the country.
The pilot plan, that will also involve the Kenya Association of Manufacturers, will include screening of 4000 youth for training and job placement in the apparel industry. Read more. Source | Business Daily