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.
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.
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.
In December 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub closed out its grant to Intertek Laboratories after successful implementation.
During the last week of December 2015, Strategic Partnership Grantee Valid Nutrition prepared to participate in a global tender for the supply of Ready to Use Complementary Food (RUCF) to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). Without the grant through USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, this would not have been possible.
From December 16-19, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub reviewed the draft Malawi Seed Law in Lilongwe to ensure its harmonization with the SADC Model Law. In addition to meeting Lynn Schneider, USAID/Malawi Feed the Future Coordinator, the Senior Legal Advisor also met with Prince Kapondamgaga and Dr. Candida Nakhumwa, the CEO and Deputy CEO respectively of the Malawi Farmers’ Union.
As part of the impact assessment being conducted by USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub on aflatoxin management strategies that have been implemented in the past five years, four focus group interviews were carried out in Nampula province in Mozambique from December 7-8, 2015.
Small scale vegetable-producing farmers in Zambia lack access to sustainable and reliable markets for their produce. Lumuno Organic Farms is a fast-growing producer of chili sauce based in the Chongwe District in Zambia. Through the Strategic Partnership Grant from USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, Zhauns (Pty) Ltd is providing the necessary technology, equipment, and training for Lumono to upgrade its processing capacity and develop its product for export.
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.
In Malawi, soy and groundnut crops sold on the domestic market are often of poor quality and do not meet export specifications as a result of poor post-harvest handling. There is a growing demand for soy in the region that is not being realized due to these quality concerns. The grant is enabling the installation of a sorting, grading, and cleaning plant in Malawi to address post-harvest handling challenges.
The grant made the inaugural Agritech Expo in 2014 in Chisamba, Zambia possible and brought together the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) with Spintelligent, a professional events management service provider. Agritech Expo, the largest commercial agricultural show in Southern Africa outside of South Africa, is a business-to-business platform for farmers to converge in one arena, address key issues, discuss past and future projects, and exchange views on agriculture in the region.
Environmental degradation and soil loss is responsible for reducing productivity and yields of staple foods in the Manica province of Mozambique. Solidaridad aims to restore soil fertility in the Guro, Machize, Mossourize, Tambara, and Brue districts in Manica through crop rotation, introducing soy and groundnuts as rotational crops that also have economic value for household and economic use.
Zambia was once a major producer and exporter of groundnuts; however, production has fallen due to continued replanting of self-saved commercial crops (promoting diseases and genetic shift) and the lack of high yielding and marketable varieties.
Within Malawi and the rest of Southern Africa, there is a high demand for Ready to Use Complementary Foods (RUCF): highly-nutritious, portable, and shelf-stable products that can play a major role in improving the nutrition of children and pregnant women in particular.
The Strategic Partnership Grant was awarded to NWK South Africa to stimulate investment into their Zambian subsidiary NWK Agro Services. NWK Agro Services acquired the former Dunavant Cotton Company in 2010, inheriting an outgrower base estimated at over 100,000 contract farmers.
Groundnuts have been identified as a key diversification cash crop for smallholder farmers in Malawi, but farmers have trouble increasing production due to limited access to quality seed, as well as poor growing and post-harvest practices that damage crop quality and in turn limit access to markets.
Quality and safety services company Intertek recently established an Agricultural Testing Laboratory in Beira, Mozambique for chemical and microbiological testing. The grant from USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub is enabling Intertek to upgrade the laboratory with aflatoxin and wet chemistry testing services, which will give commercial traders the opportunity to have analysis done in-country at faster and more economical rates.
Through a Strategic Partnership Grant, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub has partnered with the Export Trading Group (ETG) to help ETG establish a Warehouse Receipts System (WRS) on four selected warehouse sites in Mozambique. WRS enables farmers and medium-sized traders to store their grains securely, use the stored grain to leverage credit, and sell their crops later in the season when prices are generally higher.
Due to domestic market issues, groundnut production in South Africa has declined significantly in the last ten years. With its ideal climate and traditional knowledge of groundnuts, Zambia could make up South Africa’s shortfall all on its own. But due to high levels of aflatoxin contamination, many markets have been closed to Zambian groundnuts and the hundreds of thousands of households that grow them.
Through a Strategic Partnership grant from USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub with CASS and Agseeds Mozambique, a seed cleaning and conditioning plant is being installed to enable onsite seed multiplication. The seed produced will be marketed by agricultural development programs, private sector outgrowers, and through direct sales. CASS and its partners are providing market development, farmer training and technology support.
As part of a Strategic Partnership Grant with USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, Cargill has partnered with Empresa de Comercialização Agrícola Ltd (ECA) in Mozambique to create market linkages for smallholder farmers living in rural Africa.Farmers in Mozambique, particularly smallholders, have limited access to markets and face many barriers to improving their incomes and livelihoods, due to infrastructural constraints and a history of conflict.
Research into improved seed varieties, especially drought-tolerant ones, is vital for improving food security in southern Africa. Through a Strategic Partnership Grant from USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, Capstone, an independent South African seed company, entered into a joint venture with Peacock Enterprises Ltd of Malawi to multiply and market "CAP9001."
Through the grant, Ammtech established a 250kg per hour peanut butter processing plant at the COMACO premises in Chipata in the Eastern Province of Zambia. The plant improved the availability of fortified foods in the region and increased demand for raw groundnuts to feed the plant, guaranteeing a stable market for smallholder groundnut farmers.
Lack of grain storage infrastructure in Zambia has restricted the ability of small scale farmers in remote areas to market their maize, soy, and other crops at competitive prices. The Strategic Partnership Grant from USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub to AFGRI facilitated the construction of a satellite storage/buying facility in Petauke to provide market access to smallholder farmers.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub awarded a US$65,000 grant to Intertek SA to establish a facility to test for aflatoxin and other mycotoxins in Beira, Mozambique. Intertek provided the balance required to establish a state-of-the art laboratory testing facility in Mozambique, which is now open for business.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub is conducting gender training for Ammtech/COMACO, a strategic partnership grantee based in Chipata, Zambia to identify gender patterns, power dynamics, gender roles, rights, and opportunities related to COMACO beneficiaries (farmers) in the Nzamane, Mpenzeni, and Mbangombe cooperatives.
From November 15-20, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub traveled to Beira, Chimoio, and Catandica in Mozambique to conduct site visits and interview partners and beneficiaries. The visit was designed to capture the impact of the Trade Hub’s technical assistance and strategic partnership grants with a series of short videos.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub is supporting Malawi’s efforts to devise a Seed Bill that is fully aligned with regional harmonization processes and provides clarity for industry on key issues affecting registration, certification, and labeling protocols.
From October 27-29, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub finance and investment advisors were in Lusaka to assist the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) to reach out to commercial banks and financiers to better understand the financing opportunities presented by the development of a warehouse receipt system by the Zambia Commodities Exchange (ZAMACE).
During the week of September 28, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub conducted a site visit to Strategic Partnership grantee Lumuno Farms, a chili sauce producer and demonstration organic farm located near Lusaka, Zambia.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub is helping to establish an online management information system at the Seed Control and Certification Institute (SCCI), the organization responsible for control and certification of the seed industry in Zambia. The new management information system, called “Seed-Lab,” will improve the services available at SCCI and will automate the entire seed inspection and verification process in the country.
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.
ATI and USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub hosted a workshop in Blantyre on September 17, 2015 that attracted 40 representatives from the banking and finance sector of Malawi. The Trade Hub has been working to bring together Africa Trade Insurance Agency (ATI), the Agricultural Commodity Exchange of Malawi (ACE), and Malawi banks to make more finance available for farmers and traders who store their grains in ACE-accredited warehouses.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub has a Strategic Partnership grant with Lumuno Farms, a chili sauce producer and demonstration organic farm located near Lusaka, Zambia. In response to the farm’s increased productivity made possible by the Trade Hub grant, Lumuno is exploring regional markets and receiving major interest in its products.
During the week of September 14-18, 2015, USAID’s Southern Trade Hub visited with Strategic Partnership Grantees throughout Mozambique to coordinate grant program implementation.
During the week of September 21, 2015, a delegation from USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub traveled to Zambia where it met with energy and environment counterparts from USAID/Zambia and held consultations with the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) in the run-up to a workshop that was held on September 22 to discuss the final stages of the Renewable Energy Feed-In Tariff (REFIT) regulations and pricing development.
Following a series of aflatoxin trainings in Nampula, Mozambique, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub made a follow-up visit from September 6-13, 2015 to assess the success of the techniques trained and the possibility of scaling up. Eleven training forums were visited, which had trained 152 farmers, of which 107 were women.
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.
During a field visit to Zambia from August 23-29, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub established that Strategic Partnership Grantee Jungle Beat has made additional investments of more than US$200,000 to procure equipment out of South Africa and further grow its business in the country. Jungle Beat has also secured export orders for 400 metric tons with companies in South Africa valued at approximately US$300,000.
On August 12, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub sponsored a workshop introducing Zambian millers, agrifood processors, storage operators and commercial farmers to Blue Box technology to help control aflatoxin contamination in storage facilities.
The SA Trade Hub Communications Team is in the process of developing and producing a number of video products designed to capture the USAID program’s five years of diverse, market-oriented activities and influence.
From August 7-11, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub trained warehouse managers from ETG on the basic concepts of the Warehouse Receipts System (WRS) and demonstrated a live connectivity session to prepare Northern Mozambique for WRS, which was launched in Mozambique in May 2015.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub is currently developing an Agricultural Storage Investment Facilities (ASIF) in Malawi with subsequent replication into Zambia. After a stakeholder consultation in 2013 revealed a severe shortage of agri-warehousing in Malawi, the Trade Hub worked to convene relevant organizations to facilitate financing and investment into warehousing and to address investment bottlenecks.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, in conjunction with two of its Strategic Partnership Grantees, organized two trainings during the week of August 10, 2015 in Malawi on the Safe Use of Pesticides for smallholder farmers and warehouse staff.
The SA Trade Hub Communications Team is in the process of developing and producing a number of video products designed to capture the USAID program’s five years of diverse, market-oriented activities and influence.
From July 8-9, 2015, USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub held a training and learning workshop with 25 key groundnut supply chain actors in Mozambique to develop a pilot in-shell groundnut trading model that will reduce post-harvest aflatoxin contamination of groundnuts. Presently, over 60% of contamination happens at the farm gate level due to poor post-harvest handling.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub has been working to launch a Warehouse Receipts System (WRS) in Zambia. The Warehouse Receipts System will enable farmers to access finance by depositing their crop in a certified warehouse and receiving a receipt.
At a recent workshop on Aflatoxin Management in Mozambique, the USAID Southern Africa Trade Hub became a member of the thematic group created to sensitize farmers, consumers and key stakeholders in the supply chains for key crops. The other three thematic groups will focus on establishing standards, sampling and testing procedures for Mozambique; control methods and research; and laboratory testing and certification.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub demonstrated the AppSolve IT systems software for Warehouse Receipts to ZAMACE (Zambia Agricultural Commodities Exchange) and the Lusaka Stock Exchange (LuSE), which has resulted in Zambia deciding last week to adopt the system. The AppSolve IT system provides an online data collection platform that will enable ZAMACE to issue warehouse receipts electronically in time for the next farming season. The Trade Hub demonstrated the system to ZAMACE in a live connectivity extension training in Mozambique.
USAID’s Southern Africa Regional Economic Growth Office paid a visit to Southern Africa Trade Hub Strategic Partnership Grantees in Lilongwe, Malawi and Chipata, Zambia from May 17-22 to monitor grant progress, compliance, and deliverables. Environmental Compliance Officer Judith Mlanda Zvikaramba and Senior Agricultural Development Specialist Patricia Rwasoka-Masanganise visited four sites in the region, while Feed the Future Coordinator Lynn Schneider from USAID Malawi joined for one of the site visits (to Valid Nutrition) as well.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub visited four Strategic Partnership Grant activity sites in Malawi last week to benchmark the status of grant implementation, address potential hurdles, and highlight successes realized thus far. The grants are leveraging the skills, knowledge, and technology of South African partners to address agricultural issues in Malawi related to aflatoxin and groundnut processing, crop resiliency, malnutrition decrease, and post-harvest loss.
USAID Southern Africa Director of the Regional Economic Growth Office, Mark Wilt and Bill Benjamin, USAID’s Feed the Future Coordinator and Agriculture Team Leader toured the Cargill facility in Catandica, Mozambique, which is being upgraded through a Strategic Partnership Grant.
From March 9-13, the Southern Africa Trade Hub facilitated the first ever investment mission by the Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) to Malawi in partnership with the Agricultural Commodity Exchange for Africa (ACE). AFD, an agency of the French state, is a development finance institution that provides investment, de-risking, and technical assistance in support of social and economic development across emerging markets.
USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub partnered with Strategic Partnership grantee Solidaridad to deliver a four-day training in Chimoio, Mozambique to groundnut farmers at various levels of the value chain. Solidaridad received a grant of US$65,000 in 2014 to improve soil fertility in their maize and cotton fields via crop rotation with soy and groundnut.
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.
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.
In February 2016, USAID will again support a number of companies from Southern Africa to attend MAGIC Las Vegas, the largest fashion trade show in the world. 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.
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.
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.
The Trade Hub moderated a key session on the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) during the Botswana Investment and Trade Conference, which was held during the Global Expo Botswana 2015 organized by the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC). The theme of the conference was “Promoting Economic Diversification through Export Oriented Foreign Direct Investment and Domestic Expansions.”
On October 22, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub met with the Chief Trade Officer of the Botswana Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) to discuss an awareness seminar scheduled for November 12, 2015 in Gaborone on the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Extension and Enhancement Act of 2015.
In February 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub sponsored six apparel companies from Lesotho and one from Botswana to exhibit at MAGIC in Las Vegas, the largest fashion trade show in the world. In June 2014 and June 2015, the USAID/Southern Africa Trade Hub sponsored Source Africa, a textiles and apparel trade event in Cape Town involving collaboration between the Trade Hub, the American Apparel & Footwear Association, South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), and LTE - a South African woman-owned event management company.
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.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub led a discussion on market opportunities at Botswana’s Textiles & Clothing Stakeholders’ Consultative Forum held on August 4, 2015 in Gaborone, Botswana.
Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Textiles Gail Strickler visited Lesotho with USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub on June 16, 2015 to visit a number of apparel and textile manufacturers. During her visit she met with government officials, including the Minister of Trade and Industry Joshua Setipa and the CEO of the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC), Kelebone Leisanyane.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Visit the new website, re-developed with support from the Trade Hub, to learn about fundamental US regulations, US government policies, and general business strategies such as trade exhibiting tips and strategies and US market entry strategies as well as sector-specific information and studies, trade data and information about US-Africa bilateral agreements.
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 November 19, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub participated in USAID's partners meeting in Pretoria. In addition to providing an overview of USAID programming priorities in Southern Africa, USAID Southern Africa Mission Director Cheryl Anderson and US Ambassador to South Africa Patrick Gaspard also highlighted recent successes among implementing partners.
Newly arrived Deputy Chief of Mission to the US Embassy in Botswana Tim Smith visited the Trade Hub on September 11, 2015 for an overview of project activities with special emphasis on interventions in Botswana and coordination with SADC, followed by a tea with all staff.
US Ambassador to Botswana Earl Miller and USAID Country Representative for Botswana Blake Chrystal visited the USAID Southern Africa Trade Hub on June 26, 2015 to receive a briefing on project activities and an overview of specific Trade Hub work in Botswana.
During the week of June 22-26, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub handed over office furniture to the Ramotswa Centre for Deaf Education in Botswana as part of its asset transfer program.
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).
In close collaboration with the US Consulate in Durban and Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN), USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub hosted a Regional Export and Trade Facilitation Workshop at the Sun Coast Conference Center in Durban on April 15. Over 90 participants came to the event, including the South African business chambers, the business and manufacturing communities, regional traders, and local government officials.
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).
The Trade Hub is working with South Africa on trade initiatives and investment promotion. South Africa has a critical role in the Trade Hub’s programming throughout the region, particularly in our value chain initiatives.
In implementing this strategy, the Trade Hub is working with a range of South African firms and organizations to increase their reach and is working closely with the private sector through Strategic Partnership Grants.
While the majority of the Trade Hub’s activities are regional in nature, certain activities target Zambia as a direct beneficiary.
The Trade Hub is working with Zambia to improve storage quality in order to reduce post-harvest loss rates, to reduce the time and cost of releasing traded goods, and improve the development of and access to standards and technical regulations.
The Trade Hub is working with Swaziland to improve the investment climate, facilitate customs modernization, promote renewable energy and increase trade in textiles and apparel.
Customs Modernization: The Trade Hub assisted the Swaziland Revenue Authority (SRA) to audit and identify areas for improvement in the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA), and to facili-tate interconnectivity and electronic data interchange with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and Mozambican customs. This in-cluded training for SRA staff.
While the majority of the Trade Hub’s activities are regional in nature, certain activities target Botswana as a direct beneficiary.
Through various regional, national and cross-cutting initiatives, the Trade Hub is working with Botswana to reduce the cost of doing business, improve the investment climate and facilitate the adoption of modern trade facilitation tools.