... leaves behind 1.3tri/- export record, 47,000 jobs
EAST Africa Trade and Investment Hub (The Hub), an American funded project, ends this month after five years of supporting firms to record 599.9 million US dollar (over 1.3tri/-) exports under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
The Hub has during its five-year lifetime created 46,769 jobs, mostly for Tanzanians.
Since the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) established it in 2014, The Hub has facilitated 75 financial transactions, mobilising 173.6 million dollars in new private sector investments and finance to the Eastern African firms.
In its communiqué that was availed to the 'Daily News' here yesterday, the hub said the funds will allow businesses to expand their operations and improve services.
USAID Hub-supported countries' exports under AGOA expanded by 38 per cent during the project and are projected to top one billion US dollars during the October 2018 to September this year period.
"Since the USAID Hub began in 2014, we have been fortunate to work with dedicated entrepreneurs, private sector organisations, governments and development partners.
Together, we have supported Eastern Africa's private sector to access and leverage economic opportunities in this dynamic region.
These efforts have provided businesses with the enabling environment and tools they need to take their businesses to the next level - and the results speak for themselves," it said.
Hub is a regional mechanism for innovation that enables the private sector to increase trade, attract investments, create jobs and reduce food insecurity.
A stable, business-friendly Africa provides economic opportunities for American companies and workers as well as reducing irregular migration and violent extremism.
The five-year spell laps when East African governments have achieved 36 reforms with USAID Hub technical support to strengthen trade and investment-enabling environments and providing the foundation for continued economic development.
The Hub also supported governments to develop or update eight AGOA strategies and action plans. Additionally, the USAID Hub also encouraged intra-regional trade, specifically in staple foods.
It facilitated trade commitments for 1.95 million tonnes of staple foods valued at 675.5 million dollars and 27,957 livestock valued at 7.2 million US dollars.
With the private sector moving grain from surplus to deficit regions, traders are contributing to the region's food security and building its capacity to address food insecurity without relying on international assistance.
Five EAC partner-states-T anzania, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda are beneficiaries of AGOA, the cornerstone of US economic engagement with sub-Saharan African countries.
Enacted in May 2000, the agreement provides duty-free access to the US market for eligible nations. In June 2015, the US government authorised AGOA for an additional 10 years.