SEPTEMBER 2018
Direct U.S. flights from Nairobi commence next month. The USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub is helping Kenya's floriculture industry make the most of new U.S. market opportunities. Read about it below.
IN THIS ISSUE:
  • DIRECT KENYA TO U.S. FLIGHTS COMMENCE NEXT MONTH. KENYA'S FLORICULTURE INDUSTRY IS SEIZING THE IMPROVED MARKET OPPORTUNITY
  • USAID HUB SUPPORTS TANZANIA TO BREAK TEN-YEAR DEADLOCK IN SEED SECTOR
  • FEDERATION OF EAST AFRICAN FREIGHT FORWARDERS ASSOCIATION LAUNCHES NEW LEARNING PLATFORM FOR EASE OF TRADE
  • SUPPORTING BUSINESS LINKAGES IN THE ARID LANDS FOR LIVESTOCK AND LEATHER SECTOR GROWTH
  • EAST AFRICAN SMES GAIN GREATER ACCESS TO WORKING CAPITAL THROUGH NEW USAID HUB GRANT
DIRECT KENYA TO U.S. FLIGHTS COMMENCE NEXT MONTH. KENYA'S FLORICULTURE INDUSTRY IS SEIZING THE IMPROVED MARKET OPPORTUNITY
On September 19, the USAID Hub signed a grant with the Kenya Flower Council with the goal of increasing cut flower exports to the U.S.

Cut flower exports have made the flower sector one of Kenya's leading export exchange earners. With direct U.S. flights commencing next month from Nairobi, the Kenya Flower Council is keen to help their members expand through U.S. market opportunities. Together, the Hub and the Kenya Flower Council will boost the visibility of Kenya flowers in the U.S. market and help exporters meet U.S. packaging and market entry requirements.

"The signing of this grant provides an opportunity for Kenyan exporters to have a footprint into the U.S. with a good understanding of the market structure and requirements. We are certain that Kenyan flowers can complement what already exists through increased promotion and taking advantage of the recently launched AGOA strategy," said Kenya Flower Council Chief Executive Officer, Clement Tulezi.
With direct flights, Kenyan flower companies just got a lot more competitive in the U.S. market. The USAID Hub will help them capitalize on their newly reduced logistics costs and take advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act .
USAID HUB SUPPORTS TANZANIA TO BREAK TEN-YEAR DEADLOCK IN SEED SECTOR
T anzania's seed sector recently had a major breakthrough in its ability to trade both regionally and internationally. In September, the national laboratory of the Tanzania Official Seed Certification Institute (TOSCI) received accreditation by the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA). ISTA produces internationally agreed-to rules for seed sampling and testing and its accreditation helps assure trading partners that they are receiving quality seed.
 
Accreditation to ISTA will boost the availability of quality seed in Tanzania and increase the seed sector’s confidence in TOSCI’s seed certification. Both results will prepare Tanzania for greater seed trade within the East African Community and internationally.
 
The USAID Hub supported TOSCI on its journey to accreditation and on its compliance with the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Seed Schemes. Throughout that process, the Hub funded validation workshops, convened key stakeholders, and encouraged Tanzania to improve its seed industry to better integrate into the region’s seed and agricultural markets.
 
Above, Hon. Eng. Charles Tizeba, Tanzania’s Minister for Agriculture, unveils the new ISTA certification.

"Good quality seed is fundamental for agricultural productivity. It’s the government’s responsibility to ensure the agricultural supply chains are working well,” said Hon. Eng. Tizeba.
“The ISTA accreditation of laboratories will make our seeds easily acceptable to other countries.”

In eastern and southern Africa, disparate seed legislation and regulations serve as major barriers to the local breeding, production, distribution, and sale of improved seed varieties. The USAID Hub’s support of international accreditations increases intra-regional trade of agricultural commodities and contributes to the Feed the Future objectives of increased economic growth and reduced food insecurity.
FEDERATION OF EAST AFRICAN FREIGHT FORWARDERS ASSOCIATION LAUNCHES NEW LEARNING PLATFORM FOR EASE OF TRADE
With USAID support, the Federation of East African Freight Forwarders Association (FEAFFA) recently launched an online learning platform to help customs and clearing agents navigate the East African Community's (EAC) revised Rules of Origin.

The EAC Partner States revised the Rules of Origin to simplify them for the business community and to harmonize them with the other preferential trade regimes. The revised rules provide clarity on implementation criteria such as changes to tariff headings.

Proper application of the new EAC Rules of Origin expands the region’s export competitiveness by ensuring that more locally produced goods qualify for regional preferential treatment.

The online learning platform will help industry specialists effectively apply the revised rules for improved EAC integration and trade.

Above, trucks awaiting clearance at a Kenya/Tanzania border.

The e-learning platform will lead to a reduction in origin-related non-compliant custom declarations and origin-related Non-Tariff Barriers, both of which will contribute to a reduction in the time and cost to move cargo across borders. 

Contact FEAFFA for more information on its new online learning platform.

Find the Hub-supported information booklet on the revised Rules of Origin here .
SUPPORTING BUSINESS LINKAGES IN THE ARID LANDS FOR LIVESTOCK AND LEATHER SECTOR GROWTH
On September 20, the USAID Hub held its second livestock forum in northern Kenya. The USAID Hub is supporting a series of livestock trade facilitation fora in the arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) to help draw traders together for business linkages and market information dissemination, with the hope of driving greater export.

The Kenya livestock sector contributes to 42% of the nation's agricultural gross domestic product (GDP) and 10-15% of the country’s total GDP. Over 70% of the national livestock herd is kept in the ASALs. Kenya's leather and livestock sectors have strong growth potential if ASAL traders continue to improve their practices and reach more Ethiopian traders through forum's such as the one in Wajir last week, where traders made commitments for the sale of nearly $800,000 in livestock.

The USAID Hub is partnering with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) to organize the livestock trading platforms. The Partnership for Resilience and Economic Growth project also supported the recent Wajir event.  
Above, traders inspect goats for sale at the Wajir forum.

“I buy livestock from Wajir and Garissa regions and sell in Nazaret market in Ethiopia and I later export some of the meat outside the country. This forum has helped a lot. Sitting down with these traders has enabled me to learn from the experiences of my fellow traders. I have learned a lot and made several beneficial trading agreements,” said Abduba Halake, livestock trader from Ethiopia.

EAST AFRICAN SMES GAIN GREATER ACCESS TO WORKING CAPITAL THROUGH NEW USAID HUB GRANT
The USAID Hub has issued a new grant to development financier Financial Access Commerce and Trade Services - Kenya Ltd (FACTS). The grant increases access to working capital for SMEs, agribusinesses and other commercial entities that have limited access to finance from mainstream financial institutions.

The grant to FACTS is a risk share arrangement that is expected to expand the risk appetite of FACTS and other financial institutions to lend more to underserved sectors. The grant is also designed to drive finance to new markets. Because of the grant, FACTS plans to enter the Tanzania market.

Read more about the grant here.
Above, the USAID Hub and FACTS teams launch their partnership for expanding access to working capital for SMEs.

The grant is performance-based and will support 20 SMEs across Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The total loan portfolio is expected to reach $2 million, with an average facility of $100,000.

Find out more about FACTS here .
WHERE WE WORK:
The East African Community countries - Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda - and, Ethiopia, Madagascar, and Mauritius.

East Africa Trade and Investment Hub |  info@eatradehub.org  |  www.eatradehub.org