Welcome to Voices of SITA

About this Blog

Supporting Indian Trade and Investment for Africa (SITA) is a south-south trade and investment project, between India and five East African Countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania. SITA is an International Trade Centre (ITC) project, which is funded by the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

SITA draws on India's repository of innovative solutions and the untapped potential for mutually beneficial trade and investment to promote Sustainable Development in East Africa. SITA responds to the specific challenges that these five East African countries face in increasing and diversifying their trade and market linkages across identified priority sectors.

This blog provides a window into the SITA project, and how it translates ideas into sustainable change. Through stories from all five East African countries, and India too, Voices of SITA provides highlights from the project’s progress and showcases the impact that SITA is having.

Take a look at the recent stories below. The posts can be filtered by sector or focus country using the menu bar above.
August 24, 2021

The Sweet Sixteen – 16 Structural Solutions for Cleaner Leather and Textile Sectors

This post summarizes the findings of the 2021 SITA report, Going for Green, aimed at instituting sustainable value chains in the East African leather and textile sectors. The 16 actionable recommendations can help policymakers address environmental compliance in these key sectors in a comprehensive manner.
August 20, 2021

Bridging the gap in Ethiopia’s Textile value chain using existing skills and traditions: SITA’s five ingredients for creating a self-sufficient Handloom unit

SITA identified the potential of Ethiopia’s existing skills and long tradition of handloom weaving to fill the gap in the domestic textile value chain. The knock-on effects are profound: the weavers are getting better livelihoods, and the subsector will create new meaningful employment opportunities to women and youth in rural areas.
August 17, 2021

Renewable energy lessons in the textile sector – from India to East Africa

This post discusses SITA's report exploring potential renewable energy learnings for the East African textile sector, from the Indian experience over the last three decades.
August 9, 2021

Q&A: Meet Aida Tadesse, Founder of ethical fashion brand and beneficiary of SITA’s Mitreeki Fashion Incubator Programme

Aida Tadesse is an Ethiopian ‘mumpreneur’ who graduated from SITA’s Mitreeki Fashion Incubator program in January 2021. Having been trained and mentored on all aspects of running a successful business, Aida has recently launched her own line of conscious wear. Sixth months later, SITA caught up with Aida to capture her story and hear her reflections on Mitreeki.
August 9, 2021

Access to finance for East Africa’s micro, small and medium-sized enterprises – what’s there to know

This post discusses SITA's guide to address the financing gap, providing MSMEs in East Africa with key information on available funding sources. These include debt and equity funding from private equity funds, local and international development finance institutions, debt and mezzanine financiers, refundable and non-refundable grants, and crowdfunding platforms.
July 7, 2021

PRESS RELEASE: SITA launches two fresh reports and serves up sustainability solutions to textile and leather companies at Going4Green conference

Inspiring stories of greening abound in the textile and leather sectors. Transforming these isolated process innovations into full blown industrial practices is necessary to scale up their impact. The Apparel Impact Institute works with facilities hands-on in fuelling a larger industrial shift towards cleaner and more responsible production.
July 6, 2021

SITA launches two reports for East Africa’s Textile and Leather industry at Going4Green 2021

Inspiring stories of greening abound in the textile and leather sectors. Transforming these isolated process innovations into full blown industrial practices is necessary to scale up their impact. The Apparel Impact Institute works with facilities hands-on in fuelling a larger industrial shift towards cleaner and more responsible production.
July 5, 2021

Expanding sustainability efforts in the midst of uncertainty

Inspiring stories of greening abound in the textile and leather sectors. Transforming these isolated process innovations into full blown industrial practices is necessary to scale up their impact. The Apparel Impact Institute works with facilities hands-on in fuelling a larger industrial shift towards cleaner and more responsible production.
June 29, 2021

Financing sustainability in the textile and apparel sector – challenges and solutions

Access to finance continues being a pain point for countries and businesses embarking on a greening journey. While more and more options are cropping up in the financial markets, information remains scant. This blog discusses some of the avenues developing countries can take to enhance the scope of financing options available
June 21, 2021

A Q&A with the talented Edi Muyishime, a graduate from SITA’s last Mitreeki Fashion Incubator Programme

Edi Muyishime is the proud founder of contemporary fashion brand Muyishime. The Rwandan-born, Nairobi-based designer participated in SITA’s Mitreeki Fashion Incubator Programme 2020-21, alongside 41 other fashionpreneurs.
June 21, 2021

Collaboration for wastewater treatment – a pathway to sustainability

In this blog, two international experts from The Sustainability Consortium discuss the story of how the Wastewater 101 Toolbox was born and how it contributes to a cleaner fashion value chain.
June 14, 2021

Path to zero – the case of textile dyeing

Zero Liquid Discharge or ZLD technologies are key to achieving an environmentally sustainable textile dyeing sector. This article explores the path to achieving ZLD, its economic and ecological merits, and the additional support required from governments in driving the change .
June 7, 2021

A Q&A with Kenyan Jewelry Designer, Sylvia Omina Otsieno

Sylvia Omina Otsieno is the proud founder of sustainable, Made in Africa jewelry brand Omina Ostieno. Sylvia graduated from SITA’s Mitreeki Incubator Program for fashionpreneurs in 2019; below, SITA caught up with her two years on to understand what she has done with all her newfound knowledge, skills and confidence.
June 1, 2021

Green energy in the textile industry: The case of Tamil Nadu, India

Partnerships are key to driving the uptake of renewables for industrial use. In Tamil Nadu, India, the textile industry, state and central governments joined hands to […]
May 17, 2021

Four years of Mitreeki: how SITA has translated big ideas into tangible results for 300 women-led businesses in East Africa

Women entrepreneurs represent a wealth of untapped potential to contribute to Sustainable Development Goals, including the growth of developing economies. To support women-entrpreneurs in the most impactful way possible, SITA conceived of the Mitreeki model. Based on a synergistic East Africa - India Partnership, Mitreeki  supports women in key sectors to develop their businesses.
April 2, 2021

Fashion for Development: SITA’s incubator programme trains 41 African fashionpreneurs on the art of designing and producing a cohesive collection

The third edition of SITA’s Mitreeki Fashion Incubator Programme has recently drawn to a close, having provided context-specific training and coaching to 41 East African fashionpreneurs. The mostly-women business leaders were trained on all aspects of running a successful fashion business. Crucially, they are trained on designing a cohesive collection, the building blocks for which are: (1) knowing their brand identity, (2) understanding their strengths and constraints, and (3) having a systematic methodology for the creative process.
March 31, 2021

Trade fairs in the time of Covid-19: building connections between agribusinesses in East Africa and India

Since 2015, SITA has been working to connect the East African Agri sector with India and other countries - in order to maximize its profitability. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, traditional ways of connecting agribusinesses have not been possible; to bridge the gap, SITA hosted AgriConnect 2021, a virtual trade fair for buyers and sellers from different points in the agro-processing value chain in East Africa and India.
March 30, 2021

PRESS RELEASE: ITC conduct training to launch Indian cotton-picking technology for Uganda’s cotton sector development

Innovative Indian cotton picking technology, Kapas Plucker, was today launched in Kasese District, Uganda. Facilitated by the International Trade Centre’s (ITC) Supporting Indian Trade and Investment for Africa (SITA) initiative, the launch will be followed by a training programme for farmers, extension officials, researchers and technicians who are key stakeholders and likely beneficiaries of the initiative.
March 30, 2021

Working towards SDG 8: How SITA programme has empowered 41 East African Fashion entrepreneurs to grow and develop their businesses in the midst of the pandemic

Women-led businesses are growing in Africa. Capturing their potential and supporting their development contributes directly to sustainable development, particularly via SDG 8.
February 22, 2021

PRESS RELEASE: 41 budding entrepreneurs graduate from SITA’s Mitreeki Fashion Incubator Programme, delivering their final presentation to a panel of buyers

41 budding entrepreneurs graduate from SITA’s Mitreeki Fashion Incubator Programme, delivering their final presentation to a panel of buyers