On December 17, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub collaborated with the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS); Zambia’s Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry; and the UNIDO Trade Capacity Building Framework to support the inaugural Zambia Annual Quality Awards held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Lusaka.
On December 10, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub held a workshop in Mbabane, Swaziland to validate the list of regulations and pieces of legislation compiled by the Trade Hub to facilitate the development of a booklet of all technical regulations in Swaziland.
On December 15, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub collaborated with the Namibian Standards Institution (NSI) to organize a workshop on “Liquid Measuring Devices Subject to Legal Metrology Control” in Windhoek, Namibia. The workshop was part of the assistance that NSI requested from the Trade Hub during a needs assessment meeting in October 2015.
On December 4, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub conducted a workshop in Mbabane, Swaziland on the topic of “From Policy to Law and Regulatory Impact Analysis” (RIA). The workshop was hosted by the Regulatory and Quality Infrastructure Development Department at the Swaziland Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade.
On January 27, 2016, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub organized and hosted a meeting of Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) senior managers and directors from other government agencies who are to be involved in implementation of the National Single Window (NSW) and members of the NSW Project Management Unit (PMU).
The Mozambique Instituto Nacional de Normalização e Qualidade (INNOQ), with support from USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, held two seminars on “Private Sector Participation in Standards Development” in Quelimane (Zambezia Province) and Inhambane (Inhambane Province) on November 27 and 30, 2015, respectively.
On November 16, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub supported Mozambique’s Instituto Nacional de Normalização e Qualidade (INNOQ) to host a sensitization workshop for the business community in Tete Province. The purpose of the workshop was to enhance awareness of the importance of standards and to increase participation in the standards development process.
On November 6, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub supported the Swaziland Standards Authority (SWASA) as they commemorated World Standards Day under the theme “Standards: The World’s Common Language” in Mbabane.
From November 10-12, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub participated in a workshop organized by the Botswana Ministry of Trade and Industry with support from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
On November 3, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub met with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in Accra, Ghana to improve standards development and implementation in the SADC region.
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.
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.
On 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.
USAID’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.
USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub helped to launch the first National Enquiry Point in Botswana on September 28, 2015. Under the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement, each member nation must develop an effective National Enquiry Point (NEP) in order to increase trade. NEPs provide a “one-stop shop” where traders can receive crucial information for doing business with other WTO member countries.
From October 5-8, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub met with stakeholders in Windhoek, Namibia to conduct needs assessment on investment climate reform and the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA).
USAID'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.
Following a request from the SADC Secretariat, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub supported the SADC Annual Quality Awards Training Workshop held in Johannesburg, South Africa from September 23-24, 2015. The objective of the two-day workshop was to review five years of implementation, share experiences, and improve the selection process.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub sponsored delegates from Malawi and Namibia to the 4th International Single Window Conference hosted by the African Alliance for E-Commerce (AACE) in Brazzaville, Congo from October 5-7, 2015.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub facilitated the formation of national TBT Consultative Committees for Botswana (August 31 - September 1, 2015) and Swaziland (September 3-4, 2015) as part of its program of technical assistance on standards to improve the effectiveness of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) National Enquiry Points (NEPs).
On September 9, 2015, the Trade Hub hosted a meeting by Cluster 1 of the SADC Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment (TIFI) Thematic Group at the Trade Hub offices in Gaborone. Cluster 1, which consists of Trade and Customs, is chaired by Evans Chinembiri, USAID/Southern Africa Project Officer.
During the week of August 17, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub presented at the inaugural Trade Subcommittee co-hosted by USAID and the EU in Maputo at the USAID Mozambique Mission. Representatives from UNIDO, GIZ, INNOQ, and UNDP attended the meeting.
During the week of August 31, 2015, the Trade Hub traveled to the city of Zomba, Malawi to meet with key personnel of the National Statistical Office (NSO) and ensure harmonization with the National Single Window initiative currently supported by the Trade Hub in Malawi.
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).
The SA Trade Hub met with implementing partner, Banyan Global, in Washington, DC, to brainstorm and discuss a number of key ways to continue to promote gender integration across the various aspects of the program.
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 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.
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.
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.
The new Southern Africa Development Community Cooperation in Standardization (SADCSTAN) website at www.sadcstan.org has gone live in a “soft launch” with the support of the Trade Hub. The former website (http://www.sadcstan.co.za/) will be kept live until the new website becomes familiar to SADCSTAN stakeholders. SADCSTAN will institute its own initiatives to publicize the new website and attract increased traffic.
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.
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.
On June 11, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, in collaboration with the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS), held an awareness seminar in Livingstone, Zambia on the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade National Enquiry Point (NEP), which was re-launched in Lusaka in April.
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 presented at the SADC Expert Group meeting in Gaborone, Botswana April 28-29 on Quality Infrastructure Projects and Initiatives in SADC. The Trade Hub presented an overview of the project and its objectives, outcomes, and work programs as well as lessons learned from technical cooperation activities in the SADC region, particularly in the SQAM (Standardization, Quality Assurance, Accreditation and Metrology) area. The invitation to participate at this event was an endorsement of the Trade Hub’s increasingly important role in SQAM activities in the region and the continued strengthening of the relationship between the Trade Hub and the SADC Secretariat.
The SADC Secretariat, in cooperation with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the EU through the Regional Economic Integration Support (REIS) Programme, has been working for the last two years to develop a SADC Investment Policy Framework using the OECD Policy Framework for Investment.
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.
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.
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.”