Over 250 people attended the opening of Source Africa in Cape Town on June 10, 2015. Abisha Tembo from the Department of Trade and Industry welcomed guests while the US Counsel General in Cape Town, Teddy B. Taylor, opened the trade show and introduced keynote speaker, Assistant United States Trade Representative for Apparel and Textiles, Gail Strickler in the presence of Mark Wilt, Director of the Regional Economic Growth Office and Acting Mission Director Alonzo Wind.
The Source Africa 2015 seminar series – AGOA Renewal and Its Impact – included a wide array of top international speakers: Rosa Whitaker, CEO and President of the Whitaker Group (former AUSTR for Apparel and Textiles and a key advocate of the original AGOA legislation under the Clinton White House), and Janet Labuda, Vice President Compliance, Vandegrift Forwarding (former Director for US Customs Policy in Washington, DC, and one of AGOA’s original supporters).
Karla Magruder from Fabrikology, a New York-based apparel and textile market intelligence provider, discussed global trends in textile production and the increasing need for customization and sub-customization of products for retailers and markets.
Avedis Seferian, President and CEO of Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) – an independent, non-profit organization promoting safe, ethical manufacturing through education and certification – addressed the audience on the growing importance of social compliance for the US and EU export markets and his recent outreach work in Lesotho and Botswana.
Mark Neuman is the Global Trade Advisor for MGF Sourcing, one of the world’s biggest contract manufacturers of clothing and a key sourcing agent for international brands such as Victoria’s Secret, Abercrombie & Fitch, Express, the Limited, and Talbot’s. Neuman made the announcement during his presentation that MGF would be coming back to sub-Saharan Africa after a long absence to establish a factory base.
The seminar series gave buyers, suppliers, and industry players the opportunity to hear directly from policy experts and analysts in the sector, as well as ask specific questions of the panelists about AGOA and sourcing in Africa.
Photo: Global Trade Advisor for MGF Sourcing Mark Neuman gave a dynamic presentation on accessing duty free opportunities to the Source Africa seminar attendees