This year’s Trade and Industry Policy Strategies (TIPS) Annual Forum was co-sponsored by USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, taking place at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg on July 14-15, 2015. TIPS, a South African think tank, contributes to policy development through research and dialogue, and the TIPS Annual Forum brought together key researchers side-by-side with government policy-makers to foster broad dialogue. More than 150 delegates were in attendance, including academics and members of the research community; private sector actors from agriculture and industry; government representatives; and delegates from international organizations and donors.
The TIPS Forum 2015 was opened with a keynote address from Dr. Rob Davies, South Africa’s Minister of Trade and Industry. Minister Davies emphasized the need for research input into the development of regional value chains in Southern Africa. He highlighted the challenges faced by Southern Africa in its quest to move up the value chain and industrialize after the mineral commodity super cycle, including addressing the infrastructure deficit and other barriers to intra-regional trade.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub presented on the project’s practical experience working on regional integration and trade facilitation issues, including a presentation by the Trade Hub’s Director of Trade Facilitation, Brian Glancy, on “Regional Integration through Seamless Trade Facilitation.” Representatives from the US Embassy, USAID, and USDA were also in attendance with the US Embassy’s Economic Officer Ed Winant moderating the session, “A Regional Approach to Energy,” and the USDA’s Eric Wenberg moderating a session entitled “Agricultural Value Chains in the Region.”
Photo: Ed Winant, Economic Officer, Economic Section of the US Embassy, Pretoria, Moderates, ”A Regional Approach to Energy.”