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Countries / Territories

Connecting SMEs to markets and international partners

  • A: Through Business-to-Business (B2B) meetings organized by ITC in the United Arab Emirates in February 2016, Kenyan enterprises generated sales of up to US$ 1 million. The enterprises also made contact with numerous buyers from several countries (including signing contracts with buyers from Jordan, Spain and Egypt) and have learnt practical lessons on how to increase their competitiveness in the global market place. ITC facilitated a shipment of samples from Kenya to Dubai for various Kenyan SMEs, which are now in direct contact with distributors and supermarkets in Dubai.

    For honey, the THC and its members had opportunities to participate in the Apitrade Expo in Harare, Zimbabwe, and Apimondia events in Arusha (November 2014) and in the Republic of Korea (September 2015). All these events have had a significant impact on the THC and its members. Altogether, the project exposed 10 members of the THC and two of its leaders to international events. This encouraged the local packaging industry to meet standards and market requirements. Already the impact is visible seen in the increasing number of bee products in the local market that have greater appeal and comply with market demands.

    Back in 2014, Grace Body Products – made of beeswax and honey – gained fame in Harare Grace Products, maintains a distribution networking Zimbabwe. Their products also attracted great interest at the Korea Apimondia Show to supply honey to China and Europe.

    As part of the project, ITC organized various networking events resulting in five Tanzanian TISIs being connected with Kenyan and Zambia counterparts and other organizations, such as the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS). ITC linked AMAGRO to stakeholders in the Mali mango sector through a study tour in 2014 to learn how Mali had successfully managed to tap the European Union market. In 2015, through a visit to Finland, the project linked the THC and the other institutions from Tanzania and Kenya to the Finland Beekeepers Association and Finn Partnership, which seeks to increase commercial cooperation between Finland and developing countries.

    Leveraging international buyers and the private sector:
    The project connected Zambian honey processors to international business partners and buyers.This culminated in Parodi Group of Argentina, in June 2016, starting to import about $300’000 worth of honey from Zambia, after less than a year of concluding the partnership with ITC. In September 2015, ITC and Parodi Group, an Argentina-based honey producer and global trader, had signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at boosting the quality and production of Zambian honey to the level required to increase exports from Zambia. Through the partnership, Parodi provided advice and technical assistance to Zambian processors and beekeepers free of charge.

    ITC had identified Parodi in the early stages of the project in 2014 through the value chain analysis and updating process of the Honey Sector Strategy. The project followed through by introducing the international honey private sector player to the Zambian honey sector for sales and transfer of knowledge /honey processing and beekeeping expertise.
    The ultimate goal is not only to move Zambian honey producers up the value chain through improved quality, but also to integrate producers and processors into Parodi’s global value chain as well as trigger investment for increased supply of Zambian honey in the long-term and value-added honey.

    B: Inward trade mission for spices

    In May 2016, the project linked Tanzanian spice producers to Botswanan and South African buyers through an inward trade mission to Tanzania. The B2B meetings held around the Muheza, Tanga and Dar es Salaam areas of Tanzania were a huge success considering the level of interest generated between buyers and local spice producers/processors.

    Another story related to spices started in 2014 when the project began by developing the Spices Development Roadmap as well as the same for mango and spices. A unique project outcome from work on the Spices Development Roadmap at the end of 2014 was another inward trade mission of 23 buyers from Europe, the United States, Japan and even Ethiopia and Rwanda that took place in November 2016. This resulted in orders for sliced ginger and, it is hoped, cloves and black pepper. The same expert and buyer introduced back in 2014 to the Tanzania spices sector by ITC to work on developing the Spices Roadmap is the same expert that, 2 years later, independent of the project -organised a Spice Trade Mission of international buyers to Tanzania.

    “Without the initiatives of ITC, this would not have happened. Meanwhile, my company has started to export spices from Tanzania. This year we did one container of cinnamon to Indonesia and one to France.”

    Willem van Noort – Kagan Spices, Netherlands.


    In the early stages of the intra-regional trade project, during the development of the roadmap for the spices sector, stakeholders informed the project that the sector lacked a spices association. ITC, through the Finland-funded project, also assisted local stakeholders form the Tanzania Spices Association (TASPA) and Business Process Analysis in 2015 and 2016. The Spice Trade Mission, held from 21-26 November 2016 also enabled networking for TASPA with the European Spice Association (ESA), which invited TASPA to become a member of ESA. As a member, TASPA would gain access to ESA’s technical experts and information database. TASPA was also invited to ESA’s Annual General Assembly in Bordeaux, France, in June 2017.

    All this is clearly a result of working with the private sector and the networking efforts of the Promoting Intra-regional Trade in Eastern Africa Project. Now, independent trade missions and business transactions are taking place without project involvement. This is a good sign of sustainable outcomes emerging from the project.

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