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East Africa Trade Hub and Maersk-Owned Platform Partner to Simplify Africa Trade

The East Africa Trade and Investment Hub has signed an agreement with Fromtu, a new business-to-business platform owned and operated by the global shipping and logistics giant Maersk Group, to provide technical support and market intelligence to make sourcing in Africa easier.

Maersk aims at simplifying trade with and within Africa through Fromtu. The Hub will provide Fromtu with insight on trade and business opportunities specific to the platform, including information on East African companies seeking trade and export opportunities and on international trade regulations and standards.

The facilitation of business linkages is integral in the Hub’s work in promoting intraregional and international trade, particularly under the African Growth and Opportunity Act.

“While traditionally the development community engages with private firms to take on subsidized programs and make them sustainable, in this particular case the Hub is merely providing technical support to a private sector led initiative, simply strengthening an already sustainable innovation,” said Juan Estrada, the Hub’s chief of party. “We could not be happier to partner with Fromtu in this groundbreaking initiative.”

[Read more about trade in Africa: The Battle for African Trade Pits US Against China]

The Hub will support Fromtu in facilitating and setting up meetings with companies looking to utilize the platform. The partnership is in line with the Hub’s goal of connecting East African and U.S. businesses to attract investment that drives economic growth and transforms the East African private sector into vibrant global trading partners.

To facilitate this, The Hub focuses on deepening regional integration, increasing the competitiveness of select regional agricultural value chains, promoting two-way trade with the U.S. under AGOA, and facilitating investment and technology to drive trade growth intra-regionally and to global markets. The Hub is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development. It works within the East African Community countries–Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda–and in Ethiopia, Madagascar and Mauritius.

To date, the Hub has supported $249 million in exports through AGOA, $56 million in new private sector investment, 1,751 export buyer-seller linkages and 1,310 firms with capacity building assistance, helping to create 38,183 full and part-time jobs.