trade africaUSAID is again going to support a number of companies from Southern Africa to attend MAGIC Las Vegas, the world’s largest and most important textile, apparel, and footwear trade show, from February 16-18, 2016. This year’s effort at MAGIC is organized by USAID’s Management Support and Technical Assistance Services (MSTAS) Project, with regional coordination and introductions provided by USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub.

Based on the success of last year’s participation at MAGIC, USAID has decided to support an integrated “Sourcing Africa Pavilion” where textile and apparel companies from Southern, East, and West Africa will jointly exhibit. The goal is to maximize company exposure and promotion to US retailers, sourcing companies, and other buyers, and to engage in early matchmaking in advance of Source Africa: the pan-African textile, clothing, and footwear trade event scheduled to take place in Cape Town in June 2016.

During December and January, the Southern Africa Trade Hub introduced MSTAS to companies in South Africa and Lesotho who are interested in attending MAGIC. The Hub also participated in coordination meetings with MSTAS and the West and East Africa Trade and Investment Hubs to decide on booth space/allocation, marketing and communications messaging for the Pavilion, B2B meetings and preparation, and the design and configuration of the Pavilion.

A joint thematic slogan for the integrated Sourcing Africa pavilion at the MAGIC 2016 fashion trade show was developed and agreed upon. The tagline, “The Africa Advantage,” will be woven through all materials created for the show as part of the unified marketing and outreach strategy developed by the USAID MSTAS project and the three Trade Hubs. There was consensus on the need to promote the advantages and opportunities conferred on African producers by the recently extended African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). It was also suggested that additional emphasis be placed not only on cost advantages but on the enhanced service capacity, improved quality and production efficiency, and customer service provided by African companies already benefiting from AGOA.

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