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.
Over the past three years, Source Africa has grown into an important annual pan-African textile, clothing, footwear and fashion accessory trade event, this year attracting over 1,600 local, regional and international visitors, and more than 200 African exhibitors.
Over 250 people attended the opening of Source Africa in Cape Town on June 10, 2015. Abisha Tembo from the Department of Trade and Industry welcomed guests while the US Counsel General in Cape Town, Teddy B. Taylor, opened the trade show and introduced keynote speaker, Assistant United States Trade Representative for Apparel and Textiles, Gail Strickler in the presence of Mark Wilt, Director of the Regional Economic Growth Office and Acting Mission Director Alonzo Wind.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, in conjunction with the US Consulate in Durban, organized a briefing on May 22, 2015 at the American Corner in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, on export opportunities to the United States and trends in global apparel production.Over 20 representatives from local apparel and footwear manufacturers, business leaders, and government officials from Pietermaritzburg, Newcastle, Ladysmith, and other areas of KwaZuluNatal (KZN) attended the event.KZN is the province in South Africa with the largest amount of goods currently being exported to the United States.
For the first time since its inaugural show three years ago, Source Africa, the continent’s leading African textile, apparel and footwear trade show supported by USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub and scheduled for June 9-11, 2015, has completely sold out the exhibition space at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). With more than 200 exhibitors from over 18 countries prepared to attend the show this year, Source Africa continues to grow and build momentum as a premier sourcing platform.
At the behest of the US Consulate in Durban, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub held consultations with a number of textile and apparel manufacturers in Newcastle and Ladysmith in the province of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. The goal of the consultations was to discuss opportunities and challenges in accessing the US market for exports.
Following the successful USAID-USTR AGOA Renewal and Source Africa Reception co-hosted by the Embassy of Botswana in Washington DC in mid-April, the Southern Africa Trade Hub held a number of consultative meetings with the Assistant United States Trade Representative for Apparel and Textiles (AUSTR) and other stakeholders. Meetings covered the promotion of Source Africa with major US and European buyers, African manufacturers, and the international media; the finalization of seminar and business roundtable speakers; and overall coordination and planning for the trade event.
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
Leading apparel manufacturers and retail buyers, government officials, business associations, and diplomats gathered at the Embassy of the Republic of Botswana on April 29 for a reception on the renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the upcoming pan-African apparel trade show, Source Africa, to be held in Cape Town June 9-11.
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