USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub held a two-day Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Consultative Committee workshop on August 17-18, 2015 in collaboration with Mozambique’s Instituto Nacional de Normalização e Qualidade (INNOQ).
On September 1, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub funded a multi-stakeholder workshop for the Government of Lesotho through the Ministry of Trade and Industry on the formulation of a National Trade Policy. The purpose of the workshop was to make stakeholders aware of the country’s need for a comprehensive national trade policy document.
USAID’s Southern African Trade Hub held a Persuasive Communication and Negotiation training for women business owners and entrepreneurs in Gaborone, Botswana from August 13-14, 2015.
From September 1-3, 2015, the Southern African Development Community's (SADC) Directorate of Trade, Industry, Finance, and Investment, supported by USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, held a three-day Consultative Workshop on the SADC Comprehensive Trade Facilitation Programme (CTFP) in Johannesburg, South Africa.
This week the SA Trade Hub Single Window Advisor and short-term consultant Karen Henderson visited the Malawi Revenue Authority, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Pharmacies, Medicines and Poisons Board, the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre, the Reserve Bank of Malawi, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Malawi Bureau of Standards, the Malawi Police Service and the National Statistics Office to meet and discuss document and data collection and harmonization.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub conducted training during the week of August 10, 2015 for the Lesotho National Trade Facilitation Committee. The Lesotho Ministry of Trade and Industry requested that the Trade Hub provide the training, which covered the details of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.
USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub has engaged an expert to assist six countries in the region establish or reinstate and improve their National Consultative Committees (NCC) to help improve the effectiveness of the operations of the countries’ WTO Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) National Enquiry Point (NEP) and Notification Authorities.
The SA Trade Hub participated in the 6th SADC Investment Focus Group (IFG) organized with support from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub, in collaboration with the Swaziland Standards Authority (SWASA), launched the World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) National Enquiry Point (NEP) in Matsapha, Swaziland, on June 23, 2015.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, in partnership with the Swaziland Standards Authority (SWASA), supported a High Schools Symposium on Standards on June 17, 2015 at the Mavuso Trade Centre in Manzini, Swaziland. The event was attended by over 150 people including the Under Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Titus Khumalo.
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.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, in partnership with the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS), held two workshops to create awareness on the Standardization, Quality Assurance, Accreditation and Metrology (SQAM) activities in Lusaka, Zambia from June 8-9, 2015. The objective of the workshops was to help improve the standards development process in Zambia by increasing private sector participation in the standards making process.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, in partnership with the Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS), organized back-to-back training workshops on Code of Good Practice for standards writing technical committee chairpersons and secretaries, and Referencing Standards in Regulations for standards and technical regulations developers at BOBS in Gaborone, from June 8-10 and June 11-12, 2015.
The Southern Africa Trade Hub, in partnership with the Swaziland Investor Roadmap Unit (IRMU) conducted an investor roadmap audit covering government departments and the private sector. The Investor Roadmap is a tool to help improve a country’s investment climate with regulatory, legislative, and procedural reforms; the Trade Hub last conducted a similar audit in 2013.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub trained staff of the Mozambique Instituto Nacional de Normalização e Qualidade/National Institute for Standardization and Quality (INNOQ) on operations of a National Enquiry Point (NEP) and commissioned the equipment that the Trade Hub procured for the NEP.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub assisted with the setting up of IT equipment and office furniture purchased for the Standards Authority (SWASA) WTO Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) National Enquiry Point (NEP) and trained staff on functions, procedures and operations of an enquiry point on June 11-12, 2015 in Swaziland. The objective of the technical assistance is to help Swaziland fulfill the requirements of the WTO TBT Agreement.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub visited Malawi from June 8-12, 2015, to work with the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) to establish a technical working group to conduct the legal review for the Malawi National Single Window (NSW).
The USAID Southern Africa Trade Hub, in partnership with the Swaziland Standards Authority (SWASA), organized a three-day training workshop of standards technical committee (TC) chairs, secretaries and members in Swaziland, from June 1-3, 2015.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, in partnership with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) under the Partnership for Trade Facilitation (PTF) Standards Alliance program, sponsored a two-day workshop on Exchange on Good Regulatory Practices (GRPs) organized in collaboration with the SADC Secretariat.
The Trade Hub, in partnership with the Swaziland Standards Authority (SWASA), supported a Chief Executive Officers’ Breakfast Meeting on April 29 in Ezulwini, Swaziland. The event was attended by CEOS from a wide variety of industries, as well as the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Trade J. Nkambule.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub met with the Lesotho Minister of Economic Affairs, Kimetso Mathaba, in the Prime Minister’s Office to update the Minister on implementation progress for the Investor Roadmap for Lesotho. The meeting was requested by the Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Economic Affairs during an Investor Roadmap audit conducted by the Trade Hub earlier in May in partnership with the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) and the Department of Policy and Strategic Planning (DPSP). The recent audit was part of a five-day Trade Hub program that included a one-day validation workshop and a workshop on Investment Reform Communications Best Practice.
In partnership with the Lesotho National Development Corporation and the Department of Policy and Strategic Planning, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub conducted an investor roadmap audit in Lesotho after a similar exercise in Swaziland the previous week.
The Trade Hub organized a benchmarking mission from April 19-25 for five standards officers: three from the Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) and two from the Swaziland Standards Authority (SWASA). The objective of the mission, which took the officers to the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), was for the delegates to understand the effective operations of a World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) National Enquiry Point (NEP) as they work to institute NEPs in their own countries.
The Southern Africa Trade Hub’s Change Management Training course in Botswana wrapped up on May 28, 2015 in Gaborone after bringing representatives of the Botswana government and private sector organizations together to begin the process of developing “Change Agents” for National Single Window (NSW) environment implementation. The course was enthusiastically received by all participants, and the Trade Hub was encouraged to host other similar training events to address change management in the future. Of particular interest was the segment on mitigating fear of change when modernizing government border clearance services.
The Trade Hub conducted two five-day certified lead auditor trainings for Mozambique’s national standards body, Instituto Nacional de Normalização e Qualidadeil (INNOQ), in order to support INNOQ and build the capacity of its staff. The trainings took place from April 13-17 and April 20-24, with 21 participants (of which six were women) attending the courses in total.
From May 19-21, participants from nine different government and private sector stakeholder agencies were given Change Management Training on National Single Window by the Trade Hub. The training was designed to prepare relevant officials in Malawi for the successful implementation of National Single Window (NSW), which will allow parties involved in trade and transport to submit all trade-related documents via a single electronic entry point to reduce the time and cost of trade.
USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub held a two-day training session on “Writing of Standards for Standards Technical Committee Chairpersons and Secretaries” in Blantyre, Malawi, for 20 participants, from March 4-5, in partnership with the Malawi Bureau of Standards.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub presented at the World Customs Organization’s IT Conference and Exhibition May 6-8 in Freeport, Bahamas on the topic “Efficient Transit Solutions for Reducing Costs of Trading.” The three-day conference and exhibition addressed the use of modern information and communications technology to help countries connect to global and regional value chains.
The Trade Hub, in partnership with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), conducted a three-day workshop on the running of International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committees National Mirror Committees. The workshop was held in Maseru for a total of 15 participants from Lesotho, Malawi, and Zambia and was facilitated by two ANSI and three ISO technical committee experts from the U.S. ISO is the largest developer and distributor of standards in the world. National Standards Bodies of individual countries can establish “mirror committees” to coordinate with international standards and disseminate information quickly to their national stakeholders
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub conducted the first stage of its legal review of Namibia’s Single Window legal environment from May 18-21, 2015, in Windhoek. The legal review is designed to assess the country’s legislative readiness for National Single Window and will result in recommendations to harmonize Namibia’s legislation with international standards.
Building on the Project Management training given to the National Single Window (NSW) project team in Namibia in November 2014, the Southern Africa Trade Hub hosted a Change Management training seminar for senior managers from government and parastatal organisations, from April 28-30 in Swakopmund, Namibia. The seminar provided future members of the Single Window Technical Committee with a common understanding of effective change management strategy and how it will help to ensure smooth implementation of the Single Window program in Namibia.
USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub participated in the second meeting of Namibia’s National Single Window Steering Committee on April 7 at the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and SMEs (formerly the Ministry of Trade & Industry) in Windhoek. The NSW Steering Committee is the highest decision-making body for the National Single Window project and will approve budgetary strategy, define and realize benefits, and monitor overarching project risk, quality, and schedule.
The USAID Southern Africa Trade Hub is conducting a stakeholder engagement and communications audit in Botswana that will result in a communications strategy for National Single Window (NSW). The strategy will build support for NSW and promote awareness of this initiative, which the Government of Botswana adopted earlier this year.
On March 16, 17 and 19, USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub sponsored a workshop in Gaborone, Botswana, to increase awareness of the benefits of Coordinated Border Management (CBM) and the need for this trade facilitation approach in Botswana.
During the week of February 16-20, the Trade Hub conducted staff training for the National Enquiry Point (NEP) of the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) and commissioned equipment procured by the Trade Hub for the NEP.
In collaboration with its implementing partner, the Swaziland Standards Authority (SWASA), the Southern Africa Trade Hub supported a three-day workshop on WTO Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Enquiry Point & Notification Authority March 23-25 in Matsapha, Swaziland.
The Comprehensive Trade Facilitation Program (CTFP) draft for the Southern Africa Development Community was prepared by the Southern Africa Trade Hub and delivered to the SADC Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment (TIFI) Directorate.
The 2014 workshop brought together 80 attendees from the private sector, academia and international organizations under the theme “Managing Supply Chain Risks: A Southern African Perspective.”