In Southern Africa, trade costs as high as double the global average significantly constrain trade-based growth, limit product diversification and increase the price of goods, including food. To reduce the time and costs of importing and exporting, the Trade  and Investment Hub is promoting several modern trade facilitation tools and assisting in their adoption. Read More


Trade Hub Customs Modernization and Single Window Advisor Alistair Gall (second from right) was a presenter and key guest speaker on the panel “WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA): Opportunities, Challenges to Implementation, and the Use of Innovative Information Technologies”From October 27-29, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub Customs Modernization and Single Window Advisor Alistair Gall and Evans Chinembiri from the USAID Regional Economic Growth Office for Southern Africa participated in the Second Global Customs and Trade Facilitation Summit held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The event attracted 1,000 participants from over 100 nations with the goal of promoting global trade.

Customs Clearing Agent Elia Sibale, MRA Customs Manager Julio Mpinga, and USAID’s Paul Pleva at the Mwanza Border PostFrom November 2-3, 2015, USAID Southern Africa’s Paul Pleva and members of USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub held consultations with the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) in Blantyre and then visited the Mwanza Border Post to meet with various government officials and agencies regarding the development of a National Single Window (NSW) for Malawi.

Nepad-oecdEarlier this year, SADC approached USAID Southern Africa to request the Trade Hub’s support to Member States in developing roadmaps to implement SADC’s new regional investment policy guidelines. In consultation with SADC and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Trade Hub designed a support program to work closely with the leadership of investment promotion authorities and trade/investment ministries in selected SADC member states. 

MRA Revenue Officer Susan Kadawere (left) provides feedback to the Trade Hub Data and Document Harmonization expert Karen Henderson on the data elements of the MRA Form 12 (Customs Declaration)From October 27-29, 2015, in Lilongwe, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub provided training in Data Harmonization to build the capacity of government and private sector stakeholders in Malawi to implement National Single Window. Similar training was presented the previous week in Blantyre.

Photo: DK Chabo presents the finer points of a National Enquiry Point to the Francistown crowdUSAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, in collaboration with the Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS), held an awareness seminar on National Enquiry Point (NEP) in Francistown, the second largest city in Botswana, on October 19, 2015. The establishment of a National Enquiry Point is an important element of the WTO’s Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement.

Presentation on Organizational Project Management by Trade Hub to members of the Executive Management Committee of the Botswana Unified Revenue ServiceOn October 22, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub presented a training session on project management to the National Single Window (NSW) Project Management Unit in Gaborone, Botswana. The first phase of training took place in late September 2015 to equip the PMU with the necessary skills, techniques, and methodologies for successful project management.

Trade Hub expert Karen Henderson assists a break-out group to validate Malawi data elements for accuracy and correct mapping to the WCO data set during the Data Harmonization Training course in BlantyreFrom October 20-22, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub provided training in Data Harmonization to improve the ability of government and private sector stakeholders in Malawi to implement the National Single Window.

The Trade Hub’s Cosmas Mamhunze and George Makore meet with the Deputy Executive Secretary of SACU Thabo Khasipe (center)USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub met with the Deputy Executive Secretary of the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU), Thabo Khasipe, in Windhoek, Namibia on October 8, 2015 to discuss possible areas of collaboration. During the visit, the Trade Hub briefed SACU on enabling environment activities including investor roadmaps, standards, and the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) to obtain the SACU Secretariat’s input.

During the second day of the event, SWASA presented on the requirements stipulated in standards and the importance of water qualityUSAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, in partnership with the Swaziland Standards Authority (SWASA), hosted a two-day event on Awareness on Public Review and Published National Standards in Swaziland from October 13-14, 2015.

Trade Hub team and NSI Management discussing the possible technical assistance on TBT in WindhoekUSAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub met with the Namibia Standards Institution (NSI) in Windhoek on October 7, 2015 to conduct needs assessment to help the country comply with its commitments under the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement.