TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

East Africa: Organic food producers set for visit to United States

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Source: Business Day Africa

Producers of natural and organic foods will be sponsored to attend a global trade show in the United States.

The sponsorship to be managed by ECA Hub - a trade initiative of the United States Development Agency (USAID) aims to help African businesses to take advantage of trade opportunities in the US under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). These include duty-free treatment and unlimited access to the United States market.

The natural products trade show offers Kenyan participants the opportunity meet US based partners that they can use to break into the American market.

Last year more than 47,000 people attended the show, sampling over 3,000 exhibits. Known as Natural Products Expo-West, the show is set for March 14 to 16 in Anaheim, California.

It will open two months after ECA Hub sponsored eight companies from the region to the Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishing Market in Atlanta, Georgia.

Ms Njoki Mungai, the public relations officer at the ECA Hub, said selection of companies that benefit from the sponsorship is done at random and is at times done with the help of associations such as the Export Promotion Council. Beneficiaries of the sponsorship must, however, be export ready.

The programme was started in 2003 to improve the competitiveness of African products and services, expand the role of trade in poverty reduction and promote US-Africa business linkages.

Phase one of the sponsorship worth Sh700 million ends in September, this year.

Past beneficiaries of the sponsorship include K-Net Flowers that received in-field technical assistance and sponsorship to the World Floral Expo in Miami, Florida in 2006 and 2007.

Mr Mike King’ori, the managing director, said the exposure has enabled the firm to deepen its penetration of the US market with tangible results on the bottomline.

Kenya does not have direct flights to the US despite strong demand for East African flowers.

Last year, ECA Hub sponsored Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzanian companies for various trade shows across United States that resulted in Sh1.4 billion worth of incremental export sales to the enterprises.

Leading US exports to Africa include aircraft and parts, oil & gas field machinery and equipment, motor vehicles, oilseeds and grains, construction machinery, and petroleum and coal products in that order.

 

View related news articles

Kenya, Ethiopia ahead of region in benefits of AGOA treaty

Kenya, Ethiopia ahead of region in benefits of AGOA treaty

Kenya led the East African Community members in its use of the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (Agoa) treaty, scoring 98 per cent. However, it came second to Ghana which recorded 99.1 per cent with Madagascar coming third at 93.7 per cent. According to data contained in the US Trade and Investment with sub-Saharan Africa: Recent Trends and New Developments report,...

26 May, 2020
Report calls for joint marketing of EAC as investment destination and eradication of NTBs

Report calls for joint marketing of EAC as investment destination and eradication of NTBs

A report of the recently concluded high level conference on trade integration notes that there is a downward trend on the profile of the East African Community (EAC) as an attractive investment destination. The report calls for the EAC Partner States to market EAC jointly, further consolidate free trade by eliminating individual State exemption lists, liberalize and allow...

28 September, 2019
East Africa exports to the US hit $1bn in the year to September 2018

East Africa exports to the US hit $1bn in the year to September 2018

Exports from East African countries to the US reached about $1 billion between October 2017 and September 2018, a 17 per cent increase from the same period the previous year. The United States Agency for International Development’s East Africa Trade and Investment Hub said apparel dominated the region’s sales at 84.4 per cent of exports. The Africa Growth and...

31 December, 2018
'Here's why the used clothing trade deserves more attention'

'Here's why the used clothing trade deserves more attention'

While friction over the ban of used clothing exports from the US to East Africa seems to have come to an end, some fundamental issues still remain, according to Shannon Brady and Sheng Lu from the University of Delaware. Their latest research throws up complex economic, social, legal and political factors linked with the trade in second-hand clothes and questions the...

11 December, 2018
Hello, America! USAID, direct flights to increase AGOA exports to US

Hello, America! USAID, direct flights to increase AGOA exports to US

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) Hub will from November 2018 to March 2019 provide direct support in the audit and Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) certification process. Already, USAID is helping companies in the East African region become more export competitive. WRAP is a minimum standard for social compliance where US textile and...

19 October, 2018
'US threats force EAC to back down on secondhand clothes ban' - Article

'US threats force EAC to back down on secondhand clothes ban' - Article

East African countries have backed down on their initial stand on banning the importation secondhand clothing. Instead they will use of tax measures and incentives to spur local manufacturing. During the EAC Heads of State retreat on infrastructure and health financing in Kampala, the EAC presidents resolved to prioritise the development of a competitive domestic textile...

24 February, 2018
EAC heads of state to meet over health, infrastructure and AGOA

EAC heads of state to meet over health, infrastructure and AGOA

East African Community Heads of State are expected to convene in Uganda’s capital Kampala next week to discuss a number of regional matters, including infrastructure and health sector growth. Olivier Nduhungirehe, the State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and East African Community, confirmed to The New Times on the agenda includes a two-day...

19 February, 2018
East African textile sector tipped on maximising technology

East African textile sector tipped on maximising technology

Textile industry players in the region have been challenged to start making garments that require low level technology and skills as the East African Community (EAC) countries prepare to phase-out imported used clothes. Lilian Awinja, the Executive Director of the East African Business Council (EABC), said the sector can manufacture apparels such as inner garments, ties,...

20 October, 2017
Used-clothing trade causes contention between US and East African Nations

Used-clothing trade causes contention between US and East African Nations

The commercial enterprise of U.S. companies selling used clothing to African countries doesn’t seem a likely source of controversy, but the issue has become one of contention on two continents. The East African countries of Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan and Burundi have been trying to phase out imports of secondhand clothing and shoes over the last...

13 October, 2017
Trade experts fault US over AGOA review

Trade experts fault US over AGOA review

The US government has been faulted by trade and economic experts for the out-of-cycle review of the American Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) which could see Rwanda and East African countries barred from duty-free access to the US market. The review which began on July 13, is a response to a move by Rwanda and fellow East African Community countries to phase out and...

24 July, 2017
AGOA at risk in East African war over used clothes

AGOA at risk in East African war over used clothes

Among optimists, the proposal by East African Community (EAC) member states to ban the importation of used clothes by 2019 is great because it could spark the growth of a local textile industry in the bloc. But pessimists say the move will complicate the region’s trade arrangements with leading partners including the U.S. which is also a large exporter of used clothes to...

18 July, 2017