Trade and Capacity Building in Agro Industry

Trade Capacity Building in agro-industry products for the establishment and proof of compliance with international market requirements


The project encompasses Arusha and Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania, Nairobi in Kenya, Kampala in Uganda, Kigali in Rwanda and Bujumbura in Burundi and is coordinated by the EAC Secretariat in cooperation with relevant Ministries

The project aims to strengthen the Metrology Standardization Testing and quality assurance (MSTQ) infrastructure of EAC countries and their capacity to comply with the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) agreements. This is being achieved by strengthening human and institutional capacities of both public sector (normative and regulatory function) and of private sector for the EAC member countries to be able to meet international requirements regarding standards, quality and conformity assessment procedures in strategic export markets.  Harmonization of laws and regulations, including implementation of international standards area are an essential pre-requisite for regional and international trade liberalization.


The project will, through a coordinated effort at regional level enhance the capacity of the five participating countries as a whole to participate in international trade, mainly through (1) the enhancement of enterprises’ capacity to produce according to international market requirements and through (2) the strengthening of export-oriented support services, mainly relating to conformity assessment. In particular, the project will enhance the institutional capacity and services of the participating countries to implement the WTO agreements on TBT and SPS.


Such regional trade capacity building and harmonization will lead not only to better access to industrialized markets, but will also facilitate trade exchanges between the three countries and with countries from other sub-regional groupings such as COMESA, SADC, etc., where similar capacity building and harmonization is on the way. More specifically, the project will assess the regional and national challenges affecting the key export products, assist in establishing regional coordination mechanisms, develop a regional harmonized food safety framework and develop a harmonized standards and quality framework as well as regionally harmonized conformity assessment infrastructure.

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Expected Outcomes, Outputs:

Outcome 1: EAC Secretariat is able to enhance the regional harmonization and cooperation efforts and establish a regional infrastructure in the food safety area.

  • A harmonized regional food safety legal framework and cooperation on SPS matters
  • Regional awareness is raised on food safety/ standards/quality issues for local consumer safety and compliance with international market requirements

Outcome 2: In each country, the national capacity in SPS related issues at general and regulatory, institutional and enterprise levels, established/upgraded.


  • Technical and logistical support provided to national institutions to participate effectively in regional harmonization of SPS measures
  • WTO SPS and TBT enquiry points are able to provide effective services
  • Selected national chemical testing laboratory is upgraded based on needs identified and assisted to accreditation in selected scopes
  • Selected national microbiology laboratory/ phytosanitary inspection services are upgraded based on needs identified and assisted to accreditation in selected scopes
  • Selected agro-enterprises upgraded by applying HACCP/ISO 22000 Food Safety Management Systems


  • EAC SPS Protocol being finalized including specific measures for animal health and plant health ready and food safety
  • Business guides on SPS protocol developed in liaison with the EABC
  • Several fruit and vegetable standards have been  harmonized
  • Food Safety week introduced as an annual event in each of the five partner states
  • Development of National Food Safety Policy for Kenya
  • ISO 22000 lead auditor and internal auditor trainings conducted with over 30 auditors registered under IRCA
  • National SPS committee constituted: this committee brings together key government institutions involved in sanitary and phytosanitary measures and private sector organizations affected.
  • 12 EAC participants sponsored for the Proficiency Testing & laboratory accreditation EURACHEM conference in Rome. Another Accreditation training conducted Rwanda in which 30 participants in EAC partner states participated
  • WTO TBT/SPS Enquiry Points training conducted. Subsequently, Information equipment supplied to 5 WTO national Enquiry Points and the official Notification Authority (Ministry of Trade). The contact points (national enquiry points) that benefited include KEBS, DVS, KEPHIS, Fisheries, Min of Public Health and Sanitation. Laboratory equipment for KEBS microbiology laboratory
  • Introduction of Food safety post graduate diploma and Msc. Programme at the University of Nairobi. The course officially kicked off in October 2010
  • Support to 12 SMEs in Kenya (and in each partner state) in the horticultural and fish value chains is ongoing