To strengthen Southern Africa’s textiles and apparel indus-tries, the Trade Hub sponsored the annual high-profile Source Africa trade show in Cape Town, South Africa. Source Africa was designed to demonstrate that African suppliers can compete on price, quality, and standards. The event brought over 200 African textiles, apparel and foot-wear exhibitors from South, East and West Africa together annually with leading buyers from across the world to facili-tate new sourcing relationships and networking opportunities. The three-day event featured country pavilions, panel seminars, and networking opportunities with industry experts. Source Africa 2015 took place in Cape Town from June 9-11.
Source Africa promoted foreign direct investments in new manufacturing capacity indirectly by offering an efficient platform to establish new market linkages and increase tex-tile and apparel exports. The 2013 event was the first pan-African textiles and apparel event of its kind, and the show’s success only grew in its second and third years, attracting nearly twice as many international visitors.
In February 2015, the Trade Hub took eight apparel compa-nies from Lesotho and Botswana, and one footwear compa-ny from South Africa to MAGIC: the largest show of its kind in the world. With support from the Trade Hub and its part-ners, participated in early matchmaking, demonstrated their capabilities, and raised their profile, and that of Southern Africa as a sourcing destination, to select potential US buy-ers. One Lesotho company quickly signed a lucrative one-year contract with a US buyer as a result of its participation.
During MAGIC, it became clear that the subject of social compliance is of extreme significance to buyers and sourc-ing executives. In Lesotho and Botswana, the Trade Hub sponsored Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) seminars to help ensure that textile and apparel companies in both countries are prepared to meet these crucial requirements relating to working conditions and the environment.
The Trade Hub also worked with regional garment associa-tions to capitalize on underutilized manufacturing capacities in the region.
- Promote new investment in manufacturing capacity and build the capacity of Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs)
- Develop market linkages between Southern African apparel manufacturers and international/regional buyers