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.
Following the Trade Hub’s support, companies that exhibited at MAGIC or Source Africa reported a significant number in new export orders signed as a result of connections made at the events. New orders for two women-owned businesses include the production of over one million t-shirts over one year and 168,000 units per month of synthetic knit shirts and shorts. With the private sector taking the lead in sourcing textiles and apparel products in Southern Africa, it can be expected that more orders will be placed and jobs created in the near future.
Photo: An exhibitor at the 2015 Source Africa show talks to a potential buyer