Tanzanian businesses are better equipped to export to the U.S. under AGOA thanks to the USAID Hub's grantee, Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA). Since signing the grant with the Hub in August 2018, TCCIA has raised over 100 entrepreneurs' awareness of AGOA through four AGOA information dissemination workshops, building the knowledge needed to increase Tanzania's utilization of the U.S. trade preference for greater economic growth.
Lawrence Muze from Kwanza Collection saw the benefits of these trainings after securing $52,000 in orders at Ambiente 2019, an international consumer goods trade show. Prior to travelling to Frankfurt, Germany for the show, he participated in a TCCIA training that focused on increasing firms' competitiveness at trade shows. With the insights he gained from the training, he was able to leverage his attendance to engage buyers, make linkages valued at $87,000 and then turn these potential orders into confirmed orders.
Lawrence Muze says there is a need for greater collaboration among the government, private sector and development partners to support other Tanzanian companies to attend trade fairs like Ambiente. He emphasizes the need for capacity building on product development and marketing skills to create effective buyer-seller linkages.
These thoughts echo the Tanzania National AGOA Strategy 2016 which calls for continuous technical support across priority sectors to accelerate Tanzania's export growth under AGOA. This includes improving access to information on AGOA opportunities and export trends, which will boost Tanzanian exporters’ competitiveness. TCCIA is an important source of such technical support.
In addition to its training sessions, TCCIA is creating an automated system that captures relevant and reliable export data, addressing a challenge that has hindered the public and private sectors. The system will serve as a one-stop information center on exports that can inform exporters and other stakeholders' operations and help create new enterprises in export sectors. Export-related information can identify new markets, the products/services needed in the market and the value of those exports. It will also assist the private sector's formulation of dialogue and advocacy campaigns for the removal of unfavorable policies, regulations, laws and procedures that inhibit trade.
The Hub's grant to TCCIA is strengthening their ability to provide sustainable trade support services to exporters to the U.S. By building exporters' knowledge of AGOA and improving data management systems, TCCIA will contribute to Tanzania's expansion and diversification of exports.