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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
USAID’s Southern African Trade Hub has developed a two-day Persuasive Communication and Negotiation Training for women business owners and entrepreneurs in Southern Africa in collaboration with renowned persuasive communications expert Dr. Barbara Tannenbaum, whose clients include Microsoft, Google, and high profile American politicians.
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.
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).
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.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub developed a two-day Persuasive Communication and Negotiation Training for women business owners and entrepreneurs in Southern Africa in collaboration with renowned persuasive communications expert Dr. Barbara Tannenbaum, whose clients include Microsoft, Google, and high profile American politicians.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub hosted Change Management training for senior managers from government and parastatal organizations from April 28-30, 2015, in Swakopmund, Namibia. The training provided future members of the Single Window Technical Committee with a common understanding of effective change management strategy and how it will help to ensure smooth implementation of the National Single Window (NSW) program in Namibia.
On January 27, 2016, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub organized and hosted a meeting of Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) senior managers and directors from other government agencies who are to be involved in implementation of the National Single Window (NSW) and members of the NSW Project Management Unit (PMU).
On December 4, 2015, USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub hosted Lauren Scott, the Economic Officer for Africa within the Office of Bilateral Trade Affairs at the State Department, at the Trade Hub offices in Gaborone, Botswana.
From November 10-12, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub participated in a workshop organized by the Botswana Ministry of Trade and Industry with support from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, in collaboration with the Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS), held an awareness seminar on National Enquiry Point (NEP) in Francistown, the second largest city in Botswana, on October 19, 2015. The establishment of a National Enquiry Point is an important element of the WTO’s Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement.
On October 22, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub presented a training session on project management to the National Single Window (NSW) Project Management Unit in Gaborone, Botswana. The first phase of training took place in late September 2015 to equip the PMU with the necessary skills, techniques, and methodologies for successful project management.
USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub helped to launch the first National Enquiry Point in Botswana on September 28, 2015. Under the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement, each member nation must develop an effective National Enquiry Point (NEP) in order to increase trade. NEPs provide a “one-stop shop” where traders can receive crucial information for doing business with other WTO member countries.
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.
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.
From September 21-25, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub hosted a project management training workshop for prospective members of the Botswana National Single Window Project Management Unit (NSW PMU).
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub facilitated the formation of national TBT Consultative Committees for Botswana (August 31 - September 1, 2015) and Swaziland (September 3-4, 2015) as part of its program of technical assistance on standards to improve the effectiveness of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) National Enquiry Points (NEPs).
On September 9, 2015, the Trade Hub hosted a meeting by Cluster 1 of the SADC Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment (TIFI) Thematic Group at the Trade Hub offices in Gaborone. Cluster 1, which consists of Trade and Customs, is chaired by Evans Chinembiri, USAID/Southern Africa Project Officer.
USAID’s Southern African Trade Hub held a Persuasive Communication and Negotiation training for women business owners and entrepreneurs in Gaborone, Botswana from August 13-14, 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.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, in partnership with the Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS), organized back-to-back training workshops on Code of Good Practice for standards writing technical committee chairpersons and secretaries, and Referencing Standards in Regulations for standards and technical regulations developers at BOBS in Gaborone, from June 8-10 and June 11-12, 2015.
The Trade Hub organized a benchmarking mission from April 19-25 for five standards officers: three from the Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) and two from the Swaziland Standards Authority (SWASA). The objective of the mission, which took the officers to the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), was for the delegates to understand the effective operations of a World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) National Enquiry Point (NEP) as they work to institute NEPs in their own countries.
The Southern Africa Trade Hub’s Change Management Training course in Botswana wrapped up on May 28, 2015 in Gaborone after bringing representatives of the Botswana government and private sector organizations together to begin the process of developing “Change Agents” for National Single Window (NSW) environment implementation. The course was enthusiastically received by all participants, and the Trade Hub was encouraged to host other similar training events to address change management in the future. Of particular interest was the segment on mitigating fear of change when modernizing government border clearance services.
The USAID Southern Africa Trade Hub is conducting a stakeholder engagement and communications audit in Botswana that will result in a communications strategy for National Single Window (NSW). The strategy will build support for NSW and promote awareness of this initiative, which the Government of Botswana adopted earlier this year.
On March 16, 17 and 19, USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub sponsored a workshop in Gaborone, Botswana, to increase awareness of the benefits of Coordinated Border Management (CBM) and the need for this trade facilitation approach in Botswana.