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Towards a High Quality Culture for East African SMEs

Learn more about the impact of the Quality Champions programme in the EAC Region

On June 23, from 13-16 East African time (EAT), the International Trade Centre (ITC) under MARKUP will host a Webinar to showcase the impact of the Quality Champions (QCs) programme in the East African Community (EAC).

Since 2019, the ITC under MARKUP has trained 113 QCs in the five MARKUP countries in the East African Community (EAC).

The Initiative: Quality Champions in the EAC

The goal of this initiative was to develop a pool of professional quality experts committed to training and coaching Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) on a long-term basis.

As part of their international professional qualification, the experts have been exposed to a practical experience in which they support a company to implement changes in their business to improve efficiency of their operations or even the quality of their produce.  

This online regional event will showcase the results of the companies who received assistance from the Quality Champions have achieved so far without much investment. It will be a great opportunity to learn about  the personal success stories that will be shared by the experts.

The event will also present what the National Quality Associations set up by the QCs in each EAC country will be able to offer to the companies beyond MARKUP project’s life cycle.  The associations will be the custodians of the new training and coaching services created in the region. The projects showcased will be part of these future services to be offered by the EAC Quality Associations.

What SMEs say about the support received

Now that most QCs have completed their coaching sessions to SMEs, the ITC Quality team is bringing together participants from all over the region to discuss individual experiences, successes and lessons learnt in the past year.

'I wanted to quit the export market because of the bad experiences and loss of money but now I have the confidence to grow in the export business,' shared June Gathoni, director of Kenyan avocado exporter United Fresh Venture. Thanks to the support from the QC programme the company went back to business with a success export season.

'I started in my kitchen making virgin oil and one day I decided to make spices […] Later on, I bought a big machine, but quality control and documentation were a problem, since I was working alone. I applied for MARKUP […], I learnt a lot in this project now we improved our operation, hired a food scientist for quality control and an IT person for helping in documentation,' said Domina E Nkuba, owner of TUNU, a Tanzanian company processing spices. Thanks to the support from the QCs programme, Tunu was able to significantly reduce its losses in the production of spices.

Tentative Agenda

 Note: the timings below are based on East African Time (EAT), kindly consider one hour behind for Central African Time (CAT) for participants joining from Burundi and Rwanda, ie. Starting time at 13 EAT is 12 pm CAT

The online session will be moderated by Mr. Safari Mayala Fungo, Senior Regional Technical Advisor, MARKUP programme, ITC. 

Session 1: Welcome and Introductions

13:00 EAT: Opening remarks

          • Mr. Andrea Massarelli, Programme Officer Agriculture & Rural Development, European Union Delegation to the United Republic of Tanzania
          • Stella Apolot, Principal Standards Officer, East African Community Secretariat (tbc)
          • Kevin Musa, Programme Manager, MARKUP, International Trade Centre

13:20 EAT: Introduction of the Quality Champions Programme by the ITC team

Session 2: Presentations: “How the Quality Champions Programme impacted me, my business and my sector”

13:45 EAT: Presentations by QCs and beneficiary enterprises from the region, highlighting the results achieved through the implementation of the programme (speakers to be confirmed)

        • Urban Fresh Ventures: Kenyan avocado exporter which successfully struck a few international deals in 2020. By QCs Naomi Kitur and Dr Joyce Mokamba, and June Gathoni, Urban Fresh
        • Amimza Coffee Ltd: Instant coffee exporter from Tanzania & Quality Champion. By Amir Hamza, CEO & QC
        • From an ordinary person to a Quality Champion, Personal QC Success Story by Jean Claude Ndayambaje, QC from Rwanda
        • Semuliki Cooperative Union: cocoa exporter from Uganda. By Methodius Balyesiima, Semuliki and Rogers Siima, QC.
        • Tunu: Spices processor from Tanzania. By Kibunje Mageme Kulwa, QC
        • Nova Coffee: Coffee exporter from Rwanda. By Jean Marie Uwitonza, Nova Coffee.
        • Bryson Tea: Kenyan tea processor which implemented significant changes in its internal processes, acquiring new clients within Kenya and planning to enter the retail market of Kenya soon. By Ken Aguto, QC, and Javan Odhiambo, Quality Manager Bryson Express.
        • Korongo 3: Horticulture exporter in Tanzania with increasing sales. By Isaac Ndamanhyilu, QC.
        • Kimco Processors Ltd: Coffee exporter from Uganda sharing good results. By Martha Nalubega Wandera, Owner Kimco and Robert Musenze Mugenyi, QC
        • Personal QC success story by Grace Ngari, Kenya
        • Green Mountain Arabica Coffee (GMAC): Coffee exporter from Rwanda. By Emmanuel Habimana, QC

 15:15 EAT: Presentation to the general public of the National Quality Associations established with support from MARKUP

        • NQAT – National Quality Association of Tanzania
        • RAQ – Rwanda Alliance for Quality
        • QAAUL – Uganda Quality Association
        • Kenya Quality Association
 Session 3: Q&A

15:40 EAT Questions & Answers via the Zoom chat

16:00 EAT End of the event

*Interested to join? Reach out to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive the details to join the webinar.