USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub is conducting gender research and training for Ammtech/COMACO, a strategic partnership grantee, to support the Trade Hub’s goal of integrating gender into the policies and procedures of grantee organizations. Semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, and questionnaires are all being employed to identify factors constraining women’s participation in grant activities and reveal gender dynamics in Zambia and the COMACO groundnut value chain.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub presented at the World Customs Organization’s (WCO) Information Technology Conference and Exhibition May 6-8, 2015, in Freeport, Bahamas on the topic “Efficient Transit Solutions for Reducing Costs of Trading.”
The goal of USAID's Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub is to increase international competitiveness, intra-regional trade, and food security in Southern Africa.
With offices in Gaborone, Botswana; Pretoria, South Africa; and embedded advisors in offices in Malawi and Namibia, the Trade and Investment Hub works primarily in Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zambia.
The Trade and Investment Hub provides needs-driven assistance to the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), governments, and private sector organizations in eight countries to ad-vance regional trade within Southern Africa while incorporat-ing gender integration, environment compliance, and strategic outreach in all activities.
As a regional program the Trade and Investment Hub works to:Reduce the time and cost of transporting goods across borders by deploying modern trade facilitation tools such as trade information portals and national single windows in selected countries Strengthen the competitiveness of the grain, soy and groundnut value chains by reducing post-harvest losses, introducing better seeds and technologies, strengthening regional agricultural institutions and supporting trade and investment links Increase capacity for regulating and enhancing the clean energy sector to increase investments Improve the regional trade, investment and integration enabling environment through regulatory reform and the promotion of harmonized standard.
The Trade and Investment Hub supports the USAID Feed the Future pro-gram and the African Competitiveness and Trade Expansion (ACTE) initiative. The duration of the project is September 2010 to March 2016.
In Southern Africa, trade costs as high as double the global average significantly constrain trade-based growth, limit product diversification, and increase the price of goods, in-cluding food. To reduce the time and costs of importing and exporting, the Trade Hub promotes modern trade facilitation tools including:
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.