JULY 2017
The Hub has signed a grant with Generation Kenya to provide over 100,000 hours of skills development and train 2,000 Kenyan youth, preparing them for full-time sewing machine operator jobs in the apparel industry. 
                                                                              Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View our photos on flickr
grantUSAID grant signed to create 2,000 new jobs for youth in the apparel industry
USAID Kenya & East Africa Acting Mission Director Dr. Tina Dooley-Jones provides remarks for the launch of a workforce development grant that will provide 2,000 new jobs for youth in Kenya's apparel industry.

On July 7, the Hub signed a grant with Generation Program Kenya Limited, a local subsidiary of the McKinsey Social Initiative, to create 2,000 full-time jobs and provide over 100,000 hours in skills development for young people in the apparel industry.
Working hand-in-hand with Kenya's Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers and apparel companies, the pilot program will set up and equip seven training centers throughout Kenya and screen 4,000 youth for participation. The pilot activities include recruitment, training and job placement in the apparel industry. 
By the end of the program, the 2,000 trained Kenyan youth will help address the skills gap that currently hinders growth in the apparel sector in Kenya.  In addition, the goal of the pilot is to create a sustainable and replicable model for apparel sector skills development throughout East Africa.

The signing of this grant is also the official kick-off of the Hub's larger "East Africa Cotton, Textile and Apparel Workforce Development Initiative," a collaborative effort with the private sector based on a partnership agreement between the Hub and the  American Apparel and Footwear Association. The partnership ensures U.S. brands and retailers' goods are manufactured in accordance with best-in-class business practices and operations in East Africa, producing a win-win for trading partners.

Read more  here and apply for the Generation program here
Click below to watch our video about apparel sourcing opportunities in Kenya. 
warehouseKenya to gain ultra-modern warehouse and logistics center with help from the Hub 

A large logistics firm recently broke ground on an ultra-modern warehouse in Tatu City,
Photo credit_ How We Made It In Africa
A sketch of what the new warehouse and logistics center will look like.
Photo credit: How We Made It In Africa
Kenya with support from the Hub. The warehouse will offer much needed rental space for businesses in the agricultural and health sector that must conform to international standards. Construction of the warehouse will provide 200 jobs. The logistics firm expects to hire 500 permanent positions once operations commence.

Before receiving the investment that made the above possible, the logistics firm first needed to understand the market dynamics of Kenya. For that, they approached the Hub. Over a three-month period in early 2017, the Hub provided insights on the dynamics and drivers of warehousing in Kenya based on market capacity, competitive dynamics and opportunity gaps. The Hub also assessed the future opportunities for the logistics firm based on market needs, sector-specific demand, and economics.

The Hub's market research helped the logistics firm position itself for investments from CDC Group, the UK's development finance institution, and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group. The $35 million investment will help fill an important gap in logistics infrastructure in the region. 
mohazoKenyan woman-owned home-décor company enters mainstream U.S. market

Mohazo team, Zohra Baraka and Jake Steve, crouch before their ready-to-ship home décor items, destined for the U.S.
Zohra Baraka stands in a sea of hand-carved home décor items. Her bright taffeta Swahili-style dress is especially vivid against the wooden items drying at her feet: 20,000 pieces in 62 variations. Big Five African safari animals feature prominently in the bowls, stools and figurines. Once the wooden items reach the proper moisture level, they'll be boxed for shipment to U.S. retailer HomeGoods, which has hundreds of stores scattered throughout the states. It's her largest U.S. order to date, valued at $200,000, and a game changer for her Kenyan-based home décor company called Mohazo.

Zohra has already paid the nearly 400 artisans who contributed to each hand-carved piece. The remaining profit will go to finance her next big export to the U.S., which shouldn't be long given her now proven capacity for high-volume supply. 

In East Africa, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) face significant hurdles to growing their businesses because of a lack of access to appropriate financial services. Zohra has just overcome this problem by making a 40% profit on her largest-to-date shipment.

Read more here.
BurundiBurundi adopts draft law for ratification of EAC SPS Protocol

Burundi's National Assembly has adopted a draft law on the ratification of the East
African Community Protocol on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures (EAC SPS Protocol) pursuant to Section 8 of the Treaty Making and Ratification Act, 2012, essentially signaling the country's approval of EAC SPS Protocol.  
Learn more about the adoption here (note it's in French) 

The protocol harmonizes regional measures that align the EAC Partner States with each other and with global markets, ensuring easier trade. The measures seek to protect human and animal life from risks arising from additives, contaminants, toxins or disease causing organisms in their food. The measures, which also take into account plant life, seek to mitigate damage to a country from the entry, establishment or spread of pests, diseases or disease causing elements. The EAC SPS Protocol is expected to promote trade in food and agricultural commodities and strengthen the application of a harmonized approach for implementation of SPS measures and activities. 

With the Parliaments ratification, the next stage will be to forward the protocol's instruments of operation to the Ministry responsible for EAC affairs, and then to the EAC Secretariat. Burundi now joins  Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda as the EAC Partner States that have ratified the SPS Protocol. 
shoesEast African shoe manufacturers prepare to close deals at U.S. trade show

The Hub conference room has been full of shoes this past week -- mostly leather sandals
and usually beaded. Michael Nzuki, Director of Anzuki Recycle Designers, rode a bus for eight hours from Malindi, Kenya to visit the Hub in Nairobi. He came to meet with Hub footwear advisor Jordie Saliman to seek advice on how to increase his exports to the U.S. While at the Hub, he also spoke with our investment team. If he secures more U.S. trade deals with Jordie's help, he's going to need to expand his operations and inputs with financing.

Michael currently employs 20 workers to hand stitch and bead his shoes. He says his dream is to employ 100. He describes how poor villagers show up to Anzuki looking for work. If he gains a more consistent market, something the U.S. would provide, he could hire them.

Jordie is optimistic. Michael's price point is low and the sandals he makes are high-quality and fashionable. Across East Africa, Jordie likes what he sees - the workmanship, value and passion for the product are strong. In mid-August, Jordie will showcase the East African shoes to future buyers that he meets at the largest U.S. trade show, "Sourcing at MAGIC." Past trade shows have already yielded results for Ethiopian shoe companies. Jordie hopes the same for MAGIC.
leatherClosing the gap on design skills for East African leather SMEs

The Hub has awarded a new grant in support of leather-focused SMEs. COMESA LLPI
(Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa Leather and Leather Products Institute) will commence structured-design training courses September 2017 to help East African leather SMEs increase their competitiveness and become more export ready. 

The training will focus on:
  • Design for export, with a particular focus on the U.S. market through the African Growth and Opportunity Act
  • Product development
  • Fashion forecasting
  • Craftsmanship
  • International product standards and practices
Interested? Read the criteria for participation by clicking on the flyer to the right.

The Hub has identified lack of design skills among SMEs as one of the primary reasons for their inability to access global markets or to increase their competitiveness in export markets. The Hub-supported design training will help promising companies access the global value chain and produce better-designed products that adhere to international consumer trends.  Overall, the grant activity will support an increase in global export competitiveness, an increase in exports under AGOA and facilitate new investment in the leather sector.

showsLook for us at upcoming U.S. trade shows: MAGIC, Coterie and FFNY. Showcasing the best apparel, home decor and footwear of East Africa

The East Africa Trade and Investment Hub supports two U.S. presidential initiatives:

Trade Africa is a partnership between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa to increase internal and regional trade within Africa, and expand trade and economic ties among Africa, the United States, and other global markets.

The U.S. Government's Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative, Feed the Future, strives to increase agricultural production and the incomes of both men and women in rural areas who rely on agriculture for their livelihoods. Investments in inclusive agricultural-led growth encompass improving agricultural productivity, expanding markets and trade, and increasing the economic resilience of vulnerable rural communities.
The author's views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Agency for International Development or the United States Government.
East Africa Trade and Investment Hub | info@eatradehub.org | www.eatradehub.org