The USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub boosts trade and investment with and within Southern Africa.

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View By Month: August 2020

On August 5, 2020, the USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub (USAID TradeHub) briefed members of the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) Africa Working Group on the program’s efforts to support the production of personal protective equipment (PPE) in Southern Africa for exports to the U.S. The initiative is part of USAID’s proactive response to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the briefing, USAID TradeHub staff explained how social distancing rules, put in place to contain the outbreak, had all-but-halted the apparel industry in countries like Lesotho, where access to the U.S. market through the African Growth and Opportunity Act has been a key source of jobs and economic development. To mitigate the impact of the public health measures, the USAID TradeHub has been working with apparel manufacturers throughout the region to reorient their production capacity toward much-needed PPE. At the same time, the USAID TradeHub is working with U.S. trade promotion service providers to help 14 manufacturers earn certification to export to the United States. The August 5 AAFA briefing was part of the USAID TradeHub’s efforts to identify linkages with U.S. buyers, some 1,200 of which form the membership of the trade association. The AAFA and USAID TradeHub have partnered to roll out a series of outreach activities over the coming two months to attract U.S. corporate interest in Southern African apparel and footwear manufacturers as PPEs suppliers.

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