On August 3, 2020, the USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub (USAID TradeHub) and Swaziland Fairtrade (SWIFT) met to gauge progress on a joint effort to assist southern Africa handicrafts producers with exports to South Africa and the United States. The meeting followed a June 23, 2020, USAID TradeHub webinar, at which SWIFT briefed exporters from Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zambia on market entry requirements, including under the U.S. African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Of the 30 handicrafts firms that signed up for the webinar, 27 have since completed assessments to populate a supplier database that will be shared with U.S. buyers. Complementing the database will be an e-brochure featuring photos of the suppliers' product samples, to be developed with assistance from the USAID TradeHub. As these marketing products take shape, SWIFT has already garnered interest in southern African handicrafts from three U.S. sourcing agents who buy for 20 of the country’s largest brands, including Home Goods, West Elm, and Anthropologie. By linking prospective buyers — both in the United States and South Africa — with southern African producers in a range of sectors, the USAID TradeHub contributes to its twin programmatic objectives of boosting exports to the South African and U.S. markets.
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