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
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.
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.
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.
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.
On April 23, the Trade Hub’s Trade Facilitation Director attended a roundtable discussion on regional trade at the residence of the Deputy Chief of Mission for the US Embassy in Pretoria. Representatives of USAID and the State Department joined the US Customs and Border Protection Attaché and representatives of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) in a dialogue to discuss the benefits of implementing trade facilitation measures in line with the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation.
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 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.
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.
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.