Roughly half of all American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) members source from Africa, and following last summer’s ten-year renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), that number is likely to increase. However, as discussed during the AAFA-sponsored “Sourcing at Magic” seminar on February 17, 2016, entitled “Africa on the Verge,” duty-free access is temporary and the continent needs to put the infrastructure in place so that in ten years, the continent’s textile and apparel industry will be competitive without the trade advantage.
With just over two weeks to go before MAGIC Las Vegas (the world’s largest textile, apparel, and footwear trade show) on February 16-18, 2016, USAID’s three Trade Hubs are working closely with USAID’s Management Support and Technical Assistance Services Project (MSTAS) on final preparations for the combined African exhibition space.
On February 3, 2016, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub presented on gender issues in cross-border trade to several USAID bureaus and departments, including the USAID Bureau for Africa, USAID Office of Trade and Regulatory Reform, Bureau for Food Security, the USAID Office of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, the Department of Commerce, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).
Banyan Global, part of the implementation team for USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, delivered a presentation during the USAID Infrastructure Projects panel at the 2015 USAID Infrastructure Workshop held in Washington DC from December 14-18, 2015.
The newly redesigned Southern Africa Trade Hub website now includes a special section displaying all USAID Southern Africa Trade Hub project press releases issued by the US government.
From September 28-30, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub and partner organization Banyan Global participated in the 30th SEEP Network Annual Conference entitled, “Inclusion and Resilience: The Next Challenge” in Arlington, Virginia.
On September 17, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub participated in the SADC Regional Economic Integration Support Programme (REIS) and SADC Trade Related Facility (TRF) Steering Committee meetings in Gaborone, Botswana. The role of the steering committees is to evaluate and recommend applications from Member States for support under the two programs.
USAID’s Southern African Trade Hub has developed a two-day Persuasive Communication and Negotiation Training for women business owners and entrepreneurs in Southern Africa in collaboration with renowned persuasive communications expert Dr. Barbara Tannenbaum, whose clients include Microsoft, Google, and high profile American politicians.
SADC has requested support from USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub to carry forward their regional investment policy framework program. After five years of development in cooperation with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the EU, the SADC Secretariat has completed a regional investment policy framework that will be formally adopted on July 22, 2015 in Johannesburg.