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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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