At the end of January 2016, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub reviewed a technical report assessing aflatoxin management awareness and mitigation strategies implemented by the Trade Hub over the past five years.
At the end of December 2015, the Southern Africa Trade Hub officially presented the Oracle Sustainable Innovation Award 2015 to the Southern Africa Regional Mission in Pretoria, South Africa.
Up to twenty percent of grain that goes into storage in southern Africa is lost before it can be used, wasting millions of tons of product every year. A significant amount of grain is also never graded, which lowers the overall price of the grain and inhibits export.
On September 15, 2015, Intertek Laboratories demonstrated the “Blue Box” technology at the USAID Southern Africa mission in Pretoria, South Africa. The Blue Box is an affordable precision tool kit composed of sampling and testing instruments that provides on the spot quality control to monitor crop or grain condition. It can be used both in the field and in storage facilities at any stage in the value chain.
In February 2016, USAID will again support a number of companies from Southern Africa to attend the MAGIC Las Vegas fashion trade show. Based on the success of last year’s participation at MAGIC, USAID is organizing an integrated “Sourcing Africa Pavilion” where textile and apparel companies from Southern, East, and West Africa will jointly exhibit. A number of leading Lesotho and South African apparel companies have already committed to attend MAGIC.
On December 9, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub presented on the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) during a Clothing Textiles Footwear and Leather (CTFL) Sector Support Services Workshop organized by the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA) in Johannesburg, South Africa.
USAID is going to support a number of companies from Southern Africa to attend MAGIC Las Vegas, the world’s largest and most important textile, apparel, and footwear trade show, in mid-February 2016.
On September 10, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub participated in an event organized by the US Consulate General in Durban in collaboration with the Durban University of Technology. Participants discussed potential cooperation between the industry and academia to serve the needs of the textiles and apparel industry in KwaZulu Natal.
During the week of September 7-11, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub accompanied a delegation from the US Consulate in Durban on a visit to Newcastle and Ladysmith in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. The delegation, headed by Consul General Frances Chisholm, met with textile and apparel companies, business leaders, and government officials to promote bilateral trade and investment.
Over 250 people attended the opening of Source Africa in Cape Town on June 10, 2015. Abisha Tembo from the Department of Trade and Industry welcomed guests while the US Counsel General in Cape Town, Teddy B. Taylor, opened the trade show and introduced keynote speaker, Assistant United States Trade Representative for Apparel and Textiles, Gail Strickler in the presence of Mark Wilt, Director of the Regional Economic Growth Office and Acting Mission Director Alonzo Wind.
Over the past three years, Source Africa has grown into an important annual pan-African textile, clothing, footwear and fashion accessory trade event, this year attracting over 1,600 local, regional and international visitors, and more than 200 African exhibitors.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, in conjunction with the US Consulate in Durban, organized a briefing on May 22, 2015 at the American Corner in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, on export opportunities to the United States and trends in global apparel production.Over 20 representatives from local apparel and footwear manufacturers, business leaders, and government officials from Pietermaritzburg, Newcastle, Ladysmith, and other areas of KwaZuluNatal (KZN) attended the event.KZN is the province in South Africa with the largest amount of goods currently being exported to the United States.
For the first time since its inaugural show three years ago, Source Africa, the continent’s leading African textile, apparel and footwear trade show supported by USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub and scheduled for June 9-11, 2015, has completely sold out the exhibition space at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). With more than 200 exhibitors from over 18 countries prepared to attend the show this year, Source Africa continues to grow and build momentum as a premier sourcing platform.
At the behest of the US Consulate in Durban, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub held consultations with a number of textile and apparel manufacturers in Newcastle and Ladysmith in the province of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. The goal of the consultations was to discuss opportunities and challenges in accessing the US market for exports.
Following the successful USAID-USTR AGOA Renewal and Source Africa Reception co-hosted by the Embassy of Botswana in Washington DC in mid-April, the Southern Africa Trade Hub held a number of consultative meetings with the Assistant United States Trade Representative for Apparel and Textiles (AUSTR) and other stakeholders. Meetings covered the promotion of Source Africa with major US and European buyers, African manufacturers, and the international media; the finalization of seminar and business roundtable speakers; and overall coordination and planning for the trade event.
On April 16, the Trade Hub visited two footwear manufacturing companies in Durban, South Africa that have been invited to attend Source Africa 2015, the major textiles, apparel, and footwear trade show event occurring June 9-11 in Cape Town. The visit was escorted by the South African Footwear and Leather Export Council and offered the opportunity to assess the factories and their capacities. Neither factory is currently exporting under AGOA, but both are interested in the export market and hope to pursue business leads at Source Africa.
The Trade Hub supported seven apparel companies from Botswana and Lesotho to participate in MAGIC, the largest fashion trade show in the world, in Las Vegas from February 17-19. The companies met major buyers, large retailers, and importers for the US market such as Target, Ralph Lauren, the Perry Ellis Group, Teamwork, Happy Chef, and Sanmar.
Following a request from the SADC Secretariat, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub supported the SADC Annual Quality Awards Training Workshop held in Johannesburg, South Africa from September 23-24, 2015. The objective of the two-day workshop was to review five years of implementation, share experiences, and improve the selection process.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub sponsored delegates from Malawi and Namibia to the 4th International Single Window Conference hosted by the African Alliance for E-Commerce (AACE) in Brazzaville, Congo from October 5-7, 2015.
The SA Trade Hub met with implementing partner, Banyan Global, in Washington, DC, to brainstorm and discuss a number of key ways to continue to promote gender integration across the various aspects of the program.
This year’s Trade and Industry Policy Strategies (TIPS) Annual Forum was co-sponsored by USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, taking place at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg on July 14-15, 2015. TIPS, a South African think tank, contributes to policy development through research and dialogue, and the TIPS Annual Forum brought together key researchers side-by-side with government policy-makers to foster broad dialogue. More than 150 delegates were in attendance, including academics and members of the research community; private sector actors from agriculture and industry; government representatives; and delegates from international organizations and donors.
On April 23, the Trade Hub’s Trade Facilitation Director attended a roundtable discussion on regional trade at the residence of the Deputy Chief of Mission for the US Embassy in Pretoria. Representatives of USAID and the State Department joined the US Customs and Border Protection Attaché and representatives of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) in a dialogue to discuss the benefits of implementing trade facilitation measures in line with the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation.
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