East and Central Africa Trade Hub
The Regional Opportunity
Since 2000, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) has provided incentives for African countries to become more globally competitive by making economic and commercial reforms. The main incentive is the opportunity to export goods, from a list of over 9,000 qualifying items, to the US without paying import tax. This opportunity has the potential to significantly boost trade between Africa and the US and to fuel innovation and job creation in Africa. To take advantage of the AGOA opportunity, African companies must improve their products and connect with US buyers.
COMPETE’s Strategic Approach
COMPETE provides technical assistance to African firms and governments to enhance their competitiveness in global markets and helps African businesses take advantage of trade opportunities available under AGOA via an East and Central Africa Global Competitiveness Hub (ECA Hub). The ECA Hub has built strong working relationships with its regional partners to expand export opportunities and to promote increased interregional trade.
The ECA Hub is the one-stop shop in the region for business and national governments seeking to take advantage of AGOA, providing targeted assistance in two primary areas: firm-level assistance and AGOA national assistance. Firm-level assistance promotes direct business linkages between the United States and East and Central African firms. It addresses business development constraints; provides targeted technical assistance; educates private sector groups and associations about AGOA opportunities; and creates valuable business networking opportunities through trade shows, trade missions, business-to-business events and conferences.
At the national level, the ECA Hub assists AGOA-eligible East and Central African countries to develop action-oriented strategies to more systematically take advantage of AGOA opportunities and focus their efforts in areas of competitive advantage. For example, it encourages countries to integrate trade facilitation concerns into the national economic agenda and include private sector participation in national export diversification strategies.