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.
November 29, 2021

Integrating East Africa’s trade platforms: SITA produces a manual

Agro commodity trading in East Africa is associated with risks due to inefficiency. In the last decade, most countries established national commodity exchanges. To promote efficient trading of regional commodities going forward, the East African national commodities exchanges can be harmonized. How? Read SITA's manual.
November 24, 2021

SITA publishes a technical report on strategies to improve the germplasm status of oilseeds in East Africa

Oilseed crops play a crucial role in human diet and industrial application. With evolving food habits, the demand for edible oils is increasing every year. This […]
November 19, 2021

Why leverage South-South Cooperation to support women entrepreneurs: how does SITA’s strengthening of women-led businesses contribute to Sustainable Development?

Women’s empowerment contributes to positive and sustainable social outcomes – and makes economic sense too.  Supporting women as entrepreneurs is one of the key pathways to women’s empowerment. There are three main reasons why SITA makes women’s entrepreneurship a priority: To harnesses all the potential of women’s talent for maximum economic growth; to directly empower women entrepreneurs themselves; and to create decent work opportunities for other women.  SITA promotes women’s entrepreneurship through its gender-focussed Mitreeki programme.
November 19, 2021

SITA creates a manual on contract preparation and execution, to support agribusinesses diversifying into exportable crops

There are some East African SMEs that are in a good position to diversify into pulses and oilseeds and explore the global market. However, they face barriers. To help them, SITA has created a manual on contract preparation and execution.
October 2, 2021

Upgrading technology in East Africa’s textile sector is a formula for growth and post-Covid-19 recovery

Technology upgradation is one of the main drivers of productivity in East Africa’s Textile and Apparel (T&A) industries and 84% of textile manufacturers want to upgrade.  Having consulted 112 manufacturing firms, SITA’s ‘Facing the Future’ report identifies this demand for upgradation, and analyses the challenges preventing manufacturers from being able to do so: lack of skills, lack of finance and high power costs.  
September 28, 2021

Woman-led Ugandan winery gets product certification to take the company forward, due to SITA support

For Ugandan food and beverage companies competing on the domestic market, seal of approval from the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) is key for success. However, it can be a daunting undertaking for smaller and newer businesses. 
September 24, 2021

SITA takes over virtual trainings to a new level to support Ethiopian handloom sector in the midst of the pandemic

The textile and garment industry in Ethiopia is growing rapidly and could be a powerful means for inclusive growth and Sustainable Development. However, there are gaps in the domestic supply chain. SITA has set up a producer-owned company to capitalise on these gaps, leveraging on the appropriate knowledge and technology from India’s a flourishing handloom sector.
September 2, 2021

What’s on the horizon for Rwanda’s spices sector: four reasons why SITA advocates for a structured approach

The rise of seasoning and spices sector has allowed Indian companies to move up the supply chain. As Indian companies have become agro-processors, there is a rise in demand for unprocessed agricultural inputs. Meanwhile in Rwanda, agribusinesses can contribute to Sustainable Development Goal 8 (SDG 8) by diversifying into the corresponding horticultural crops.
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 28, 2021

Women in Agribusiness: SITA-supported Rwandan woman-led business to get S-Mark certification

SITA-supported Rwandan women-led business to get S-Mark certification
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.