On September 17, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub held a meeting with the Botswana Trade and Investment Centre (BITC) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry to follow up on meetings during the 14th AGOA Forum, which took place in Gabon from August 24-27, 2015.
“AGOA at 15: Charting a Course for a Sustainable U.S.-Africa Trade and Investment Partnership,” took place in Libreville, Gabon, from August 24-27, 2015. The forum provided an opportunity to celebrate the recent renewal of AGOA, take stock of AGOA’s successes over the last fifteen years, and launch a dialogue on the shared vision for the future of U.S.-Africa trade.
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.
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.
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 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.
In close cooperation with Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC), USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub organized a buyer visit to Maseru, Lesotho from June 1-2, 2015. Production facilities were visited and various production managers were met to discuss and review the local supply chain, costing, quality assurance, social compliance, customer base, types of products available, and terms of payment. Initial discussions with manufacturers were fruitful and there is growing interest in trial orders.
The Southern Africa Trade Hub sponsored Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) seminars in Botswana and Lesotho this week to help ensure that textile and apparel companies in both countries are prepared to meet the social compliance requirements crucial to US buyers and sourcing executives. The two-day seminars on the topic were addressed by the President of WRAP and included factory site visits
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 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.
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 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).
With the support of the USAID Southern Africa Trade Hub since its inception in 2013, Source Africa has grown into an important annual pan-African textile, clothing, footwear and fashion accessory trade event.
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.