The East Africa Trade and Investment Hub, a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) organization that boosts trade and investment with and within East Africa is this week conducting a regional training workshop on Sanitary-Phytosanitary (SPS) Lab business planning.
Its main focus is on preparation of business plans for laboratories providing support to SPS activities with a focus on food security.
SPS measures are measures to protect humans, animals, and plants from diseases, pests, or contaminants.
The Hub, which is working to enforce these systems, operates within the East African Community countries, which include Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, as well as Ethiopia, Madagascar, and Mauritius.
The Investment Hub meets its mandate by deepening regional integration, increasing the competitiveness of select regional agricultural value chains, promoting two-way trade with the United States under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and facilitating investment and technology to drive trade growth intra-regionally and to global markets.
In May 2013, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) formed an expert, inter-disciplinary team, including representatives from the Food and Drug Administration, to travel to the East African countries of Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia with the purpose of assessing policies supporting SPS systems. Specifically, the team looked to identify, validate, and/or modify regional SPS priorities through agricultural policy and technical discussions with government officials, regional organizations and other key stakeholders in East Africa.
The East Africa Trade and Investment Hub is now looking to build on these developments.
To date, the Hub, which is funded by the US Agency for International Development, has supported $312.1 million in exports through AGO, secured $59.3 million of new private sector investment and created 38,682 new full and part-time jobs.
The organization is also responsible for 2,326 export buyer-seller linkages across the region.
The Hub is part of an initiative known as the Feed the Future campaign, which works from farms to markets to tables to improve incomes and nutrition.
“Our goal is to reduce the prevalence of poverty and the prevalence of stunted children each by 20 percent in the areas where we work. This means more families will be able to lift themselves out of poverty and pay for things like nutritious food, education and health care,” USAID said in a previous statement.
Source: Footprint to Africa