The East Africa Trade and Investment Hub
Boosting trade and investment with and within East Africa
Monthly Newsletter - November 2015 

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Export-ready Kenyan participants in the Hub's AGOA Preparedness Workshop, Nairobi, November 18, 2015.
The Hub Holds AGOA Preparedness Workshop for Export-ready Kenyan SMEs
U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec takes AGOA questions from interested participants.

Fifty small and medium-sized (SME) Kenyan businesses visited the Hub's offices in Nairobi on November 18 to take part in an African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Preparedness Workshop. The 50 participants were identified as the most export-ready of the 500 SMEs who participated in the Kenya Ministry of Industries November 9 capacity building AGOA event (see article below). Together with industry specialists, the Hub identified the greatest opportunities through AGOA and detailed the exact process for exporting from Kenya to the U.S. The Hub also conducted panels on access to finance and the private sector perspective, e.g. quality standards and hitting your target market. U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec headlined the event and conducted a Q and A around AGOA and accessing the U.S. market.

"From the knowledge and support detailed from the AGOA conference, I feel well-armed to expand my business into the export market of the U.S.," said Aprelle Duany. "Great event, keep hosting and engaging us!"
Aprelle Duany, quoted above, discussing her product and business aspirations with U.S. Ambassador Robert Godec.

Would you like to see more photos form the event?
View our photos on flickr

Also, check out our new AGOA Exporter Directory to start sourcing your products from East Africa.   
Interested in the impact that AGOA has on individual lives? Click here.
Hub Investment Team Facilitates $17 Million in Investments

The Hub and its investment transaction advisors connect investors with emerging companies and serve as neutral intermediaries to validate opportunities and conduct due diligence, provide market intelligence, conduct financial analysis and modeling, and structure deals.

Since May 2015, the Hub has facilitated $17 million in investment transactions across East Africa.

Investment Spotlight: Expanding Mobile Money in Uganda

The Hub investment and technology team facilitated a $1.5 - $4 million investment transaction between Ascent Capital, an East African private equity firm, and Chims, a mobile money company in Uganda.
The capital will enable the company to expand its agent network across Uganda, create an estimated 160 new jobs, and increase the availability of mobile money -- the electronic transfer of money using cell phones -- to small and medium-sized enterprises and agricultural traders in Uganda and the region.
Mobile money is an innovation that has been consistently identified as a solution to increasing financial inclusion and, ultimately, more broad-based economic growth in Africa.
For this transaction, the Hub analyzed the mobile money market in Uganda to inform a post-investment roadmap and strategy for the firm's expansion, including recommendations for the introduction of new products and services. Hub transaction advisors also conducted commercial due diligence for the investor, including customer and competitor analyses, among others.
The team used the relatively more mature Kenyan mobile money market as a case study and highlighted the trend of regional integration that will open a new frontier for the industry.
Expanding AGOA awareness among Kenyan SMEs 

Hub Trade Promotion and AGOA Director Finn Holm-Olsen introduces Kenyan SMEs to the many opportunities under AGOA
On November 9, the Hub joined the Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development (MoIED) to conduct an AGOA capacity building forum for about 500 Kenyan small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The goal was to improve Kenya's ability to take advantage of AGOA opportunities, particularly in light of AGOA's recent 10-year extension. U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec joined the Cabinet Secretary of Industrialization H.E. Adan Mohamed to deliver remarks.

The Hub's Director of Trade Promotion and AGOA delivered a seminar entitled Strategizing under AGOA: the Next Ten Years. The Hub Investment Director moderated a panel entitled SME Financing Options to Enhance Export Readiness. The Hub's new leather advisor for MoIED led a sector-specific workshop for SMEs in leather. 

The Hub conducted a survey during the event, from which it selected the most export-ready of the participating SMEs to attend its Nov. 18 AGOA Preparedness Workshop, see above for more details.

Want to learn more about AGOA? Check out our most recent infographic.
Meet the Hub's New Leather Advisor

Yassin Awale is the Hub's new leather adviser for the Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development and Kenya Leather Development Council. Mr. Awale's goal is to attract and increase investment to the leather sector of Kenya.

Part of his plan - working with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to revitalize Kenya's leather sector.

"The future of Kenya's leather sector is in SMEs," said Mr. Awale, during the AGOA Capacity Building Forum held in Nairobi, Kenya on November 9.

If you have questions regarding the leather value chain, contact Mr. Awale - or +254 (0) 722 710 162

Mr. Awale has 24 years of experience in jobs across the leather value chain. He is a member of the Presidential Task Force on leather.
Event Spotlight for December:    
  • Fashion Footwear Association of New York (FFNY). New York, New York. USA. December 2 - 4. More information...
  • Public Private Dialogue, EAC Common Market Protocol. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. December 11. More information...
  • World Trade Organization 10th Ministerial Conference. Nairobi, Kenya. December 15-18More information...

The Hub will be showcasing  three Ethiopian shoe companies , join us.

Read about some of the Hub's past successes with Ethiopian shoe companies.
In This Issue
The Hub Holds AGOA Preparedness Workshop for Export-ready Kenyan SMEs
Hub Investment Team Facilitates $17 Million in Investments
Expanding AGOA awareness among Kenyan SMEs
Meet the Hub's New Leather Advisor
Event Spotlight for December
In tweets: #AGOAPrepWorkshop
The Hub Joins Partner KenInvest to Support International Investor Conference in Nairobi
The Investor Toolbox
In tweets: #AGOAPrepWorkshop 
The Hub's AGOA Preparedness Workshop was abuzz on Twitter, with close to
22,000 impressions on our tweets during the day. The hashtag #AGOAPrepWorkshop became  a top 10 trending topic in Kenya ! The messages were clear. Kenyans are interested in AGOA. They want to learn more, and they want to start exporting. Click here for a summary of the day, in tweets. 

The Hub Joins Partner KenInvest to Support International Investor Conference in Nairobi
The Kenya International Investment and Trade Conference (KIICO) 2015, themed "Think Investment, Make it Kenya," offered a platform for international, regional and domestic investors to consider business opportunities in the  ICT and innovation, agribusiness, textiles and apparel, leather and renewable energy sectors. The conference highlighted Kenya's strategic role as a hub for doing business in the region and provided a forum for investors and policymakers to discuss ways to improve the business environment.

U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec took part in the opening panel on doing business in Kenya and East Africa. (Below, photo credit: Make It Kenya)

Above, Ambassador Godec displays The Report, Kenya 2016, published by Oxford Business Group, while shaking the hand of Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto. The report, launched at KIICO 2015,  indicates that Kenya is now East Africa's largest economy and boasts strong economic fundamentals. Photo credit: Make It Kenya

In addition to sponsoring the event, the Hub provided technical support for the agribusiness, textiles, leather and ICT streams.

Investment-Ready ICT Ventures 
The Hub brought in two key partners to source, select, screen and present five ICT ventures to investors at KIICO 2015. 1.)  Nest Africa, a Hong-Kong based early stage technology VC with operations in Nairobi, and 2.)  InvHestia, a Kenya-based financial advisory firm.

InvHestia's team sourced for ventures and identified those that presented the most promising investments. Nest Africa coached the venture representatives on how to pitch to investors and answer potential questions. Nest also profiled the five selected ventures on, their online platform, where they curate selected ventures from around the world to qualified investors. In addition to the pitching session on the first day of the conference, the team arranged for one-on-one meetings with potential investors.

Investment-Ready Agribusiness
On the third day of the conference, the Hub organized a field trip to Real IPM, based in Thika, Kenya. Real IPM develops low cost biological solutions for comprehensive crop protection. Their goal is to reduce chemical pesticides and train farmers for greater production and nutrition. They have  been in operation since 2003 and employ over 200 staff.  Their bio -pesticides products already have registration in Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania, Mozambique and South Africa. 

The site visit provided an opportunity for international and local delegates to experience first-hand innovation in pest management and crop protection solutions, and to see an example of a successful agribusiness investment in Kenya.

Above, delegates visit Real IPM - a crop solutions company founded by British investors in 2003.
The Investor Toolbox 
The United States Government has many agencies and projects that work to facilitate trade and investment domestically and abroad - learn more about them below. 

International Trade Administration

The U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration (ITA) section strengthens the competitiveness of U.S. industry, promotes trade and investment, and ensures fair trade through the rigorous enforcement of trade laws and agreements. ITA works to improve the global business environment and helps U.S. organizations compete at home and abroad.

ITA is organized into three distinct but complementary business units:

Global Markets: provides U.S. firms with the full suite of country-specific export promotion services and market access advocacy, while promoting the United States as an investment destination.

Industry and Analysis: advances the competitiveness of U.S. industries through the development and execution of international trade and investment policies and promotion strategies.

Enforcement and Compliance: enforces U.S. trade laws and ensures compliance with trade agreements negotiated on behalf of U.S. industry.

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.

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 agriculture-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.