South Africa 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 have a regional focus, some activities specifically target South Africa as a direct beneficiary. Through various regional and cross-cutting initiatives, SATH is working with South Africa on trade initiatives and investment promotion. South Africa also stands to benefit significantly from SATH's support for regional integration through the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and our work on the implementation of the United States (US)-Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Trade, Investment and Development and Cooperation Agreement (TIDCA).
South Africa has a critical role in SATH's programming. In our value chain initiatives, one of SATH's primary strategies is to promote the ability of regional service providers to extend their scope throughout the region. In implementing this strategy, SATH is working with a range of South African firms and organizations as well as South African-based regional organizations to increase their regional reach.
Regional Customs Connectivity Program: In July 2012, SATH will be piloting a Regional Customs Connectivity program based on a Microsoft Cloud Computing platform. While the program is being piloted between Botswana and Namibia, South Africa has participated in the program as an observer with a view to joining the pilot after the initial stages. This program has substantial opportunities to reduce the costs and time of doing business and trading across borders.
National Single Window: SATH is working throughout the region to facilitate the introduction of National Single Windows to facilitate trade throughout the region and internationally. SATH advisors, together with USAID/Southern Africa, have held a series of preliminary meetings with private sector stakeholders highlighting the benefits of the Single Window program. In September 2012, SATH will hold the "Trade Facilitation Tools – Solutions for the 21st Century" conference in Johannesburg to bring together public and private stakeholders in trade facilitation from throughout the region. The agenda will promote not only the Single Window program but a range of modern trade facilitation tools.
Corridor Management Institutions (CMIs): CMIs are able to effectively monitor corridor performance and address non-tariff barriers (NTBs) along the corridor in a proactive manner. Under the previous Trade Hub contract, SATH successfully established the CMI for the Trans Kalahari Corridor (TKC) with public-private partnerships. As part of SATH focal Coast-to-Coast Corridor (C2C), SATH will continue to work with the CMI for the development of trade facilitation programming along the corridor including One Stop Border Posts and Coordinated Border Management.
Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) South Africa Cross-Border Road Transport Agency (CBRTA): In partnership with the CBRTA, SATH will undertake an RIA on the main aspects of South Africa's bilateral road transport agreements with Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe and make recommendations on regulatory reforms to be undertaken. SATH will also design and execute a specialized training program on RIA implementation.
Buyer/Seller Missions – Value Chains: In 2012, SATH will undertake a series of buyer/seller missions to Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia which will include seed and other input suppliers as well as commodity buyers – including South African firms. 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. These missions not only expand intra-regional trade but strengthen firm linkages between South Africa and the region.
NAMPO Harvest Day: SATH has worked with local service providers throughout the region to promote participation at the NAMPO Agricultural Show in South Africa. Regional producers' attendance of the NAMPO show promotes trade and technology interchange within the region.
SOURCE Africa: SATH will transform the Trade Hub's annual Cape Town business-to-business event for textile and apparel into a complete textile and garment value chain show. SATH is working with LTE Africa, a privately-owned South Africa trade show organizer, to support the development of a sustainable annual trade show. Currently scheduled for April 2013, "SOURCE Africa" will focus on commodity apparel items and bring regional suppliers together with buyers from the region, the US and the European Union.
Strategic Partnership Grants Fund (SPGF): Using the SPGF, SATH will provide grants to the South Africa private sector to make investments in the regional agriculture sector to increase trade, accelerate agricultural growth and improve regional food security. SATH is currently working to identify South African firms and associations through, among others, our partnership with South Africa's Agricultural Business Chamber.
Effective Implementation of Regional Trade Agreements: As a member of both SADC and SACU, South Africa benefits from SATH's work to ensure the effective implementation of regional trade agreements. SATH is currently engaged in a study with the SACU Secretariat to identify constraints to expand SACU exports to the US under the TIDCA. A capacity building program to address identified obstacles in the SACU Member States will be developed.