AUGUST 2018
Informal cross-border trade is estimated to account for up to 60 percent of all intra-regional trade in the East African Community (EAC) and women are estimated to comprise 80 percent of all informal traders. The USAID Hub is training women cross-border traders to enhance their business management skills and knowledge of cross-border trade requirements. Empowered with information, these women are now better equipped to participate in formalized cross-border trade, which will strengthen regional agricultural markets. Read more below.
IN THIS ISSUE:
  • WOMEN CROSS-BORDER TRADERS EMBRACE FORMAL TRADE FOR REDUCED COSTS AND GREATER EFFICIENCY
  • KENYAN GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES USAID HUB-SUPPORTED NATIONAL AGOA STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN
  • EAST AFRICAN AGRIBUSINESSES FIND FUNDING
  • NEW GRANT TO STRENGTHEN CROSS-BORDER STAPLE FOOD TRADE
  • TANZANIA AIMS TO INCREASE AGOA EXPORTS THROUGH USAID HUB GRANT
WOMEN CROSS-BORDER TRADERS EMBRACE FORMAL TRADE FOR REDUCED COSTS AND GREATER EFFICIENCY
The USAID Hub recently concluded a two-month training program with partner Agribusiness Focused Partnerships (AGRIFOP) to build the capacity of rural cross-border traders, with an emphasis on female traders. A total of 112 women participated in the program to strengthened their skills in enterprise management, structured trade, East African Community grain standards, cross-border trade regulations, market information and access to finance.

Improving traders' capacities and helping them embrace formal trade mechanisms reduces the transaction costs of staple foods trade in the region and supports more effective agricultural markets. The Hub’s support to cross-border trade efficiency contributes to economic growth and the attainment of the U.S. government's global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future, objectives.

Women cross-border traders from Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Tanzania, at the Kagitumba, Mirama, Rusumo and Nemba borders, participated in the program.

Read more about it here .
“We were sensitized on structured trading and how it helps one to easily access markets. I also learned the benefit of joining trading groups and associations as this makes access to finance easier. For example, if a client needs products in bulk and you don’t have enough stock you can visit a fellow member of the group to assist in sustaining the order,” said Mukarutesi Annasiatha, a cross-border grain trader in Rusumo, Rwanda.

Interested in finding out more about the training session in Rusumo? View our photo story by clicking here or above.
KENYAN GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES USAID HUB-SUPPORTED NATIONAL AGOA STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN
On July 31, Kenya’s Deputy President launched the Kenya National AGOA Strategy and Action Plan 2018 – 2023 , which aims to double Kenya's 2016 export value to U.S. from $552 million to $1,105 million by 2023. The Hub led the collaboration with Kenya’s government and private sector and provided extensive technical assistance to develop the document.

The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) offer preferential access to the U.S. market for 6,421 eligible product tariff lines. By leveraging these products’ duty-free access to the U.S., Kenya can increase export earnings and investment, providing a significant boost to its efforts to advance industrialization, create jobs and improve prosperity and well-being.

AGOA has been the cornerstone of U.S. economic engagement with Kenya and other sub-Saharan African countries since it was signed into law by the U.S. Congress in 2000, and has shifted the focus of U.S.-Kenyan economic relations from aid to trade and investment.
H.E. Deputy President William Ruto (center with yellow tie) joined the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives for the launch of the National AGOA Strategy and Action Plan.

Read more about the launch during Kenya's Trade Week 2018 by clicking here or above.

Following the launch, on August 28, 2018, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Industry, Trade and Cooperatives Peter Munya (represented by Trade Principal Secretary Dr. Chris Kiptoo) delivered Kenya’s National AGOA Strategy and Action Plan 2018-2023 to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Washington, DC. 

Read more here .
EAST AFRICAN AGRIBUSINESSES FIND FUNDING
The USAID Hub, through a grant issued to GroFin, has facilitated the closure $3.3 million in new private sector investment in East Africa. The goal of the grant was to increase investments in the agribusiness sector in East Africa by screening agribusinesses and offering tailor-made technical assistance to get them investment-ready.

“GroFin provided funding based on our business plan and growth strategy and not based on the collateral that we had,” said Betty Wandabula, director of Dejolisa, a Ugandan poultry business.

Dejolisa had commercial funding from a bank, but the bank was not willing to provide additional expansion capital when Dejolisa could not meet its 120% collateral coverage requirement. GroFin refinanced the facility and provided the additional expansion capital for collateral coverage of about 60%. This allowed the company to construct additional poultry houses and purchase a truck, which allowed Dejolisa to grow its number of chickens, eggs and employees!
By improving access to finance for “missing middle” companies in a sector often overlooked by banks, the Hub is enabling SMEs to pursue growth plans. The $3.3 million in new financing helped create 283 jobs, half for women and youth, and led to greater sales of food security-enhancing products. The partnership has also supported women-led businesses as three of the six agribusinesses have female managing directors.

To hear from more GroFin clients, click here .
NEW GRANT TO STRENGTHEN CROSS-BORDER STAPLE FOOD TRADE
On August 14, the USAID Hub signed a grant with the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) to facilitate the review and revision of existing East African Community (EAC) standards for sorghum grains, finger millet, green grams, composite flour and soy flour. This grant will also support the development of an EAC Guideline for sampling and testing aflatoxin levels. Inefficient aflatoxin testing delays border crossing times and increases transaction costs. Harmonizing aflatoxin sampling and testing protocols in the EAC will simplify the issuance of Certificates of Conformity requirements and make it easier to trade staple grains across the EAC.

The adoption of the revised standards and guidelines are expected to reduce trade failures, ease the movement of grains from surplus to deficit regions in the EAC and promote confidence among regional trading partners of the quality standards in staple foods.

Read more about it here .
In 2016, the Hub partnered with the EAGC and the EAC Secretariat on the revision of the nine staple grain standards (wheat flour, maize flour, milled maize, dry beans, wheat grains, millet flour, sorghum flour, milled rice and dry soybean). This process was completed in December 2017 with the gazettement of the nine revised standards under EAC Legal Notice Number EAC/149/2017. Two sampling and testing standards and guidelines were also developed as part of the previous grant.

For more information on the revised standards, see our brief here .
TANZANIA AIMS TO INCREASE AGOA EXPORTS THROUGH USAID HUB GRANT
The USAID Hub issued a grant to the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA) to promote the capacity of Tanzanian exporters and SMEs to increase the volume and value of exports to East African countries and the U.S under AGOA.

The Hub’s grant to TCCIA will support the creation of an automated system that captures relevant export data. The system will serve as a one-stop information center on exports to guide exporters and other stakeholders in their operations and help to 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. Moreover, this data will guide the private sector in the formulation of various dialogue and advocacy campaigns for the removal of unfavorable policies, regulations, laws and procedures that inhibit trade.

Read more about it here .
Above, Lawrence Muze of Kwanza Collection, a Tanzanian firm, presents handmade products at the Ambiente trade show. The Hub's grant to TCCIA will support Tanzanian firms like Kwanza Collection to grow their exports.

“TCCIA partnership with the Hub is valuable as it will provide capacity to Tanzanian exporters and SMEs for production of commodities that meet the international standards and promote exports to AGOA, EAC and other international markets," said Mr. Gotfrid Muganda, Executive Director, TCCIA HQ.
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