Click here for an overview of our activities in each of the 8 SADC countries we operate in.

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About the Trade and Investment Hub

The key objectives of the USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub are to increase international competitiveness, intra-regional trade and food security in Southern Africa. Activities include:

  • Customs reform and modernization
  • Food production and security
  • Textiles and apparel production and exports
  • Trade facilitation and WTO compliance

The Trade and Investment Hub is supported by USAID and works closely with the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

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Meet us at Source Africa, 24-25 May 2017!

USAID’s Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub is proud to co-sponsor Source Africa, the continent’s most important textile, apparel and footwear sourcing event. Source Africa attracts hundreds of buyers and producers from across the continent and around the world. Keep tabs on this page and follow The African Advantage on Twitter (@AfricaAdvantag) for regular updates!

More information on Source Africa

Source Africa information
  Visitor Fact Sheet: Save the Date
  Exhibitor Fact Sheet: Schedule of Events

Application process
Selection criteria



Question: What is objective of the Strategic Partnership Fund?

Answer: The Strategic Partnership Fund will focus primarily on opportunities to:

  • Accelerate intraregional agricultural and consumer goods trade and exports to the United States and global markets
  • Facilitate provision of processing and grading equipment to accelerate growth and trade
  • Mitigate risk and facilitate private sector technology transfer regionally as well as international transfer and adoption of new technologies resulting in increased investment
  • Support cluster development and regional industry association capacity building towards improved regional trade and international competitiveness
  • Facilitate increased level of international certifications and adoption of new technologies
  • Capital equipment upgrading resulting in increased international competitiveness
  • Leverage private sector investment to facilitate greater regional and international trade

Q: What is an Annual Program Statement (APS)?
A: The Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub intends to support a variety of creative approaches towards creating a well-integrated regional economy that delivers tangible economic benefits and improved food security for the people of the region through increased global competitiveness, intra-regional trade and investment through an Annual Program Statement (APS) to generate competition for these awards. An APS is a call for applications from the Southern Africa community.  More specifically, the Trade and Investment Hub’s APS is our invitation to the business community to work with the private sector, foundations, NGOs, associations, consulting firms and others to jointly identify and define problems, challenges, and opportunities we can effectively address by working together. 

Application process

Q: What is the application process?
A: The application process involves two stages. Applicants must first submit a Concept Paper for consideration.  Short-listed applicants will then be invited to submit a Full Technical and Cost Application.

Q: How do I apply?
A: You can send in your Concept Paper for your creative and innovative ideas to support the Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub objectives through our APS.  Download our APS and detailed instructions through the link: Applications will be accepted through November 19, 2017, as published on the Annual Program Statement (APS). You can send in the applications to the email indicated on the APS This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Q: How much can I apply for?
A: There is no specified amount; however, all requests must include a budget justifying requested funding. 

Q: What type documents need to submit?
A complete list of documents required for application is specified in section (IV, 3,a) of APS on website:

Q: I have questions about the APS. How do I submit those questions?
A: Applicants are encouraged to ask clarification questions on the APS.  Clarification questions are due 17:00 (UTC+02:00), June 5, 2017 and must be submitted electronically to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. DAI will respond to all questions submitted by the June 5, 2017 deadline in a formal amendment to the APS.  All questions will be compiled anonymously into one document with DAI’s answers.  All applicants who submit questions will receive responses via email. DAI will also post the questions and answers to the Strategic Partnership Fund page of the Trade and Investment Hub site  Questions received after the deadline will not be responded to.

Q: Is there training provided?
A: Information sessions outlining the Strategic Partnership Fund and application procedures will be held across the SADC region. Please see the upcoming events section (at the bottom of this page) for the dates and locations of upcoming Information Sessions.

Q: How long will it take to get feedback from Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub?
A: We will begin to review applications on the closing date – June 19, 2017 – in the order in which they were received.  While the APS is open until November 19, 2017, applications will be reviewed on a first come, first served basis.  Applicants are encouraged to apply early.


Q: I do not have a company.  As an individual, can I still apply?
A: Individuals are not eligible for funding under the Strategic Partnership Fud.  Eligible organizations include industry associations, Medium, Small, and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs), cooperatives, civil society and other entities.

Selection Criteria

Q: What is the criteria for selection?
A: Criteria for the selection of a grantee as a Strategic Intervention include:

  • Demonstration of a concrete and immediate market opportunity (i.e. a guarantee or matching investment from a buyer or commitment from financial institution for loan or other financial product) that would lead to increased economic growth and/or trade.
  • Demonstration of contribution to the Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub Life of Project Results, specifically:
    • Technical Assistance for Medium, Small, and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs)
    • policies to increase trade and investment
    • Reduction in time/cost across borders
    • Increase in global exports
    • Increase in regional agricultural trade
    • Increase in private sector investment
    • Facilitation of loans
  • Degree to which program approach and proposed strategies to address the market constraint are creative, innovative, collaborative, and feasible.
  • Collaboration, inclusion, and strengthening of local partners (upstream in the supply chain).
  • Demonstration of how the intervention will be sustainable past the life of the grant.
  • Demonstration of how grant funding will leverage other investments and/or commitments by private sector, applicant, or ongoing initiatives.

Q: What is a matching fund contribution and why is it important?
A: Matching fund contribution is any source of monetized contribution to the proposed activity.  Contributions can be either cash or in-kind or third party and can include contributions from Applicant, local counterpart organizations, project clients, the relevant Government(s), and other donors (but not other U.S. Government funding sources). Matching fund contributions show a commitment from the applicant to the proposed activity and allow the Trade and Investment Hub to extend assistance to more organizations.

Q: What is an “In-kind” contribution, and can it be considered as a matching fund.

A: An “In-kind” contribution is any contribution of goods and services, e.g. office space, work force, etc. which can be monetized. In-kind contributions are considered as matching fund contributions.

The Strategic Partnership Fund furthers the goals and impact of the USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub by supporting interventions to catalyze rapid and inclusive economic growth across the region. Industry associations, Medium, Small, and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs), cooperatives, civil society and other entities are encouraged to apply. Resources on this page provide detailed information on eligibility, types of initiatives intended for grant support, and how to apply!
Let's leverage your solutions
Questions and Answers Answers to your questions, received via email, are now available here. The period to ask questions formally closed June 16. 
Deadlines Extended ! Please note the following changes in the deadlines.
Deadline to submit questions has been extended to Friday, June 16, 2017, at 17:00 (GMT+2). Questions should be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Deadline for the first wave of concept notes has been extended to Wednesday, June 28, 2017. Submit concept notes to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Call for Applications Revision
Please note that the Annual Program Statement has been revised:
Read the revised document here.
An Applicant Information Summary Page has been added (Attachment F)
An Applicant Past Performance Page has been added (Attachment G)
What is the Strategic Partnership Fund?
Read our brochure for a general introduction
How do I apply for funding?
We're now accepting applications through our Annual Program Statement. Download the full document for application instructions (pdf).
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can apply? What's the application process?
Upcoming Events
Information Sessions:
Windhoek, Namibia: May 23    RSVP
Johannesburg, South Africa: June 1   RSVP
Maseru, Lesotho: June 8   RSVP   

The USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub is a proud implementing partner of two U.S. presidential initiatives, Trade Africa and Feed the Future.

Trade Africa is a partnership between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa to increase internal and regional trade within Africa, and expand trade and economic ties among Africa, the United States, and other global markets.

Feed the Future works from farms to markets to tables to improve incomes and nutrition. Our goal is to reduce the prevalence of poverty and the prevalence of stunted children (a measure of undernutrition) each by 20 percent in the areas where we work. This means more families will be able to lift themselves out of poverty and pay for things like nutritious food, education and health care.

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USAID is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential. U.S. foreign assistance has always had the twofold purpose of furthering America's interests while improving lives in the developing world.

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