From October 20-23, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub hosted Janet MacLaughlin, Senior Advisor for Economic Growth: Office of Policy Analysis, and Benita Gunn, Global Issues and Initiative Coordinator, from the Department of State’s Office of Foreign Assistance (OFA). The OFA representatives traveled from Washington, DC to Pretoria, South Africa to visit the region and attended an introductory presentation at the USAID Southern Africa Mission delivered by the Trade Hub.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub met with Steve Lamar, Executive Vice-President of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), in Washington DC during the week of December 21, 2015. AAFA is the national trade association representing apparel, footwear, and other sewn product companies and suppliers.
On December 17, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub participated in a conference call with the Management Support and Technical Assistance Services Project (MSTAS) and USAID’s East and West Africa Trade and Investment Hubs.
During the second week of December 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub held consultations in Washington DC with the Chief of Party of the Management Support and Technical Assistance Services Project (MSTAS), Paul Davis, and the MSTAS Trade Economist, Shannon Gaffney, regarding the planning and coordination for Southern African participation in MAGIC Las Vegas in February 2016.
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.
Working closely with the outgoing Assistant US Trade Representative for Textiles Gail Strickler, USAID and the Southern Africa Trade Hub recently facilitated the participation of the Hon. Joshua Setipa, Trade Minister of Lesotho, on a panel at the “Sourcing Journal Forum” in New York City. The African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) was a particular topic of focus at the forum.
Leading apparel manufacturers and retail buyers, government officials, business associations, and diplomats gathered at the Embassy of the Republic of Botswana on April 29 for a reception on the renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the upcoming pan-African apparel trade show, Source Africa, to be held in Cape Town June 9-11.
In Lesotho, a women-owned company, Luqy Manufacturing, has just confirmed an order to supply 50,000 pieces per month of synthetic knit shirts and shorts for a year into the US market, and it is negotiating a much bigger deal with the same client.
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.
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.
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.
During the third week of December 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub held consultations in Washington, DC with Nathan Associates. Nathan is an important Trade Hub partner helping to deliver the trade policy and facilitation component of the Trade Hub work plan.
On June 4, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub gave an overview of the project with special emphasis on activities in Botswana at a reception in honor of U.S.-Botswana commercial ties at the home of the US Ambassador to Botswana Earl Miller. The reception was attended by members of Botswana’s American Business Council and the American Chamber of Commerce, and was part of the Embassy’s International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP).
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, in partnership with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) under the Partnership for Trade Facilitation (PTF) Standards Alliance program, sponsored a two-day workshop on Exchange on Good Regulatory Practices (GRPs) organized in collaboration with the SADC Secretariat.