Malawi Country Profile
The overall goal of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Southern Africa Trade Hub (SATH) is to increase international competitiveness, intra-regional trade and food security in the Southern Africa region. With a team of long term regional and international experts based in Gaborone, Botswana, SATH delivers targeted technical assistance to governments, the private sector and civil society organizations in support of advancing regional integration and increasing the trade capacity of selected value chains within Southern Africa.
While the majority of SATH's activities are regional in nature, some activities specifically target Malawi as a direct beneficiary. Through various regional and cross-cutting initiatives, SATH is working with Malawi specifically within the context of regional agricultural value chain initiatives and trade facilitation. Malawi also stands to benefit significantly from SATH's support for regional integration through the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Coordinated Border Management (CBM): Efficient border management requires effective coordination between all relevant government agencies, including customs and private sector agents involved in cross border trade. The CBM program aims to reduce border crossing times and costs through the establishment of public-private joint border committees and action plans to address delays. The program in particular targets the Feed the Future (FTF) countries of Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique. SATH is currently implementing this program at two Malawian borders: Songwe and Mwanza.
Corridor Management Institutions (CMIs): Experience has demonstrated that corridors with CMIs are able to effectively monitor corridor performance and address non-tariff barriers (NTBs) along the corridor in a proactive manner. SATH will provide technical input for the development of CMIs on the Beira and Nacala Corridors, which connect landlocked Malawi to Mozambican seaports.
National Single Window: SATH is working throughout the region to promote the introduction of National Single Windows to facilitate trade both within the region and internationally. In May 2012, SATH held preliminary discussions with the Malawi Revenue Authority and private sector stakeholders to introduce and support the implementation of this trade facilitation tool.
Customs Connectivity: Increasing customs connectivity has substantial potential to streamline procedures and lower transport times. In 2010, SATH launched the RADDEx program to connect the Malawi Revenue Authority with the Tanzania Revenue Authority. This real time connectivity has significantly increased transparency and reduced administrative costs associated with border crossing.
Support to SADC Trade in Services Negotiations: Road Freight Transport is the primary focus of SATH's Trade in Services agenda. In Malawi, SATH is working with the Ministry of Trade and private sector stakeholders in road freight transport to develop private sector positions on export market opportunities and constraints in preparation for the SADC negotiations, currently underway. SATH is also offering targeted technical support for the tourism negotiations, which will be among the first of six priority areas for negotiation.
Buyer/Seller Missions – Value Chains: In 2012, SATH will undertake a buyer/seller mission to Malawi which will include seed and other input suppliers as well as commodity buyers. The seed suppliers will be able to explore new markets for their seed as well as respond to variety demands from the commodity buyers. The buyers will identify sources for specific products and will be introduced to commercial producers, smallholder producer organizations and traders with the capacity to supply produce.
NAMPO Harvest Day: SATH works with local service providers in Malawi to promote participation at the NAMPO Agricultural Harvest Show in South Africa. Malawi producers' attendance of the biggest agricultural trade show in Southern Africa alongside counterparts from neighboring countries promotes trade and technology interchange within the region.
Introduction of Genetically Modified (GM) and Conventional Certified Cottonseed through Partnership with National Farming Unions: In Malawi, SATH works through a regional seed supplier with the Farmers' Union of Malawi, the Malawi Cotton Development Trust and Malawian cotton ginners to increase the availability of conventional cottonseed and support the Government of Malawi as it implements its commitment to allow confined trials of GM cottonseed.
Support to Soy Sector – Capacity Building: Through a SATH grant to the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISSH), Malawian delegates participated in feed and food processing training at Kansas State University in March 2012 – the first time regional producers have trained in the United States (US). SATH and WISHH also arranged for a visit to the American Feed Industry Association and the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM). Discussions were held around feed regulation in the US and approved ingredient listings. At CVM, the group was guided through the laboratory facilities and briefed on CVM's research and inspection roles.
Aflatoxin Mitigation – A Value Chain Approach: Through our partnership with Twin Trade, a UK-based "fair trade" organization and groundnut importer, SATH has analyzed and developed recommendations for the most cost-effective, currently available means to reduce aflatoxin contamination in the supply chain. SATH will partner with the national farming unions – including the Farmers' Union of Malawi – to disseminate these recommendations and support implementation.
Warehouse Receipts Program – Malawi Agriculture Commodity Exchange (ACE):SATH is developing a partnership program with value chain stakeholders with a strong interest in improving warehouse infrastructure, systems and financing. We are actively working with Malawi ACE to facilitate the introduction of Warehouse Receipts Systems during the current growing cycle.