Home décor and fashion accessories are high-potential export sectors in East Africa, but breaking into and succeeding in this market can be extremely challenging.

Success requires engagement at all levels, from government to small enterprises. Government representatives need to have a comprehensive view of a sector’s challenges and opportunities, especially in relation to trade agreements, and how to support businesses that are eager to export. Businesses need to understand international market demands, and know how to navigate complicated export regulations.

Through our Export Promotion services, Bhavana worked with the USAID East Africa Trade & Investment Hub to develop country-level strategic plans and business-level tools and trainings for Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda. The goal was to help countries maximize their participation in the Africa Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA), a preferential trade agreement between the US and many African countries.

We analyzed a range of elements that impact each countries’ competitiveness in the home décor & fashion accessories sector, from labor issues to availability of inputs. In consultation with a range of relevant stakeholders, we developed a sector strategy and prioritized action plan for each country’s Ministry of Trade.

Bhavana also created an export training manual for small and medium enterprises interested in expanding to U.S. markets. This comprehensive tool helps businesses navigate creating and pricing a product for international markets, U.S. standards, and AGOA regulations. We are proud to contribute to a thriving export market for the creative and innovative artisans in these countries.

IMPACT

Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda’s Ministries of Trade have a clear, actionable vision of how to support the home décor and fashion accessories sectors’ participation in AGOA. Artisans and entrepreneurs in these sectors have a resource to help them prepare their businesses for export to the US under AGOA.

RELATED LINKS

East African SME Export Training Manual: Home Décor and Fashion Accessories

Kenya National AGOA Strategy + Action Plan

Rwanda National AGOA Strategy + Action Plan

For this initiative Bhavana World Project partnered with Development Alternatives Inc.