Zambia is ranked number six out of 47 countries in doing business in Africa, particularly under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) program. Through this flagship preferential trade arrangement, opportunities have opened for African entrepreneurs, particularly women in agri-business and trade to access previously inaccessible markets like the United States.

The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub continues to support Zambian women to become more active participants in the country’s economy. Their footprint in the export market is becoming a success story.

Video Credit: African Women Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP)

Lusaka — With support from the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub, the Government of the Republic of Zambia’s Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Honorable Christopher Yaluma,  officially launched a strategy to ensure Zambian businesses are better positioned to take advantage of the United States’ African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). 
With the potential to increase trade between Zambia and the United States, AGOA offers duty-free access to the U.S. market from Africa for over 6,500 products and was designed to boost trade and economic growth across the continent. 
 
Women comprise an estimated 70 percent of informal cross border traders in the Southern Africa region. Therefore, reducing constraints and challenges facing women in informal cross border trade in the region, especially at border posts, will make contributions not only to facilitating trade but also to promoting gender equality and reducing the marginalization of women. 
 
Video credit: USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub
Zaamroot, a newly launched, women-owned start-up in Zambia joined forces with 16 other Southern African specialty food producers to exhibit its “Super Moringa” herbal supplement under the “Africa Fine Foods Pavilion” banner at the upcoming Fancy Food Show in New York with the Trade and Investment Hub.
 
Known as the “Miracle Tree” in many African cultures, Moringa’s leaves can improve skin, get rid of tiredness, boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, provide mental clarity and balance out sugar levels. It does all of this and more and is fast becoming a major health supplement across the world. 
 
Super Moringa is a raw superfood packed with nutrients. This plant protein taken as either powder or as tea is an all-in-one energizing natural multivitamin that is caffeine free.  There is nothing like it in the plant kingdom.
 
The women-owned company works with local farmers to ensure the highest grade of Moringa is sourced by hand especially in its purest and greenest form. However, Zaamroot’s mission is more than just promoting a super food. It is about building a sustainable future for smallholder farmers and communities in Zambia that also inspires people to believe in their passions, live a healthy lifestyle and collaborate ethically on a global scale.
 
Video credit: USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub
Zambians are avid fish eaters: individual intake averages 10 kilograms per year, and demand is rising alongside a growing population, intensifying urbanization and expanding incomes1. To meet demand, Zambia imports over 50 percent of fish consumed, an amount estimated at about $367 million. The World Bank estimates that fish imports to Zambia have climbed 15-fold in the past decade, and Zambia's government has identified aquaculture as a high priority sector2.
 
Supplying animal protein is problematic, however, due to unreliable cold chain logistics and inadequate storage facilities.
 
Zambia's Capital Fisheries has overcome these difficulties by operating a vertically integrated business distributing local and imported frozen fish and meat. It operates the logistics business, Capital.Trucking, and sells block ice called 'Capital Ice'. Capital Fisheries is Zambia's largest frozen food wholesale network, distributing over 240 local and imported frozen food products to supermarkets, restaurants and informal markets via a network of over 50 wholesale depots.
 
Capital Fisheries has been able to grow in part by purchasing large volumes at competitive prices from longstanding partners. It also sells quality products at low prices, often offering price promotions in the middle of the month, when customers are cash-tight. The Company's ability to deliver sustainable and reliable protein to Zambians helps foster food security in the country, and supports agribusiness, which employs over 50 percent of the population.
 
 
Video credit: USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub
 
 
1 http://www.fao.org/docrep/field/003/AC081E/AC081E03.htm
2 Sudha Bala Krishnan and Teresa Petersburs. 2017. “Zambia Jobs in Value Chains: Opportunities in Agribusiness.” World Bank, Washington, DC.
The IGD U.S. roadshow tour, Africa Investment Rising: Building Momentum for Investing in Africa’s Economic Prosperity, was held between April 18 - May 1, to showcase the tremendous trade and investment potential in Africa and to build stronger U.S. and African business connections in key growth sector.
 
Through a Strategic Partnership Grant, USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub worked with Vetlab provide the first private ISO17025 accredited grain and oil seed laboratory service, including aflatoxin testing, in Zambia.
 

Through a Strategic Partnership Grant, USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub is helping to improve peanut butter production and to conserve wildlife through groundnut cultivation with smallholder farmers in Zambia.
 
 

USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub has implemented various strategic activities in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia to combat aflatoxin, improve the safety of groundnuts and groundnut products for domestic consumption, and increase the competitiveness of groundnuts in export markets. 

Through a Strategic Partnership Grant from USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, Capstone, an independent South African seed company, entered into a joint venture with Peacock Enterprises Ltd of Malawi to multiply and market "CAP9001."
 

Following on its work with the Agricultural Commodity Exchange in Malawi to set up a successful Warehouse Receipt System (WRS), with finance by a commercial bank, the USAID Southern Africa Trade Hub commissioned an investigation on the feasibility of and interest in setting up an Agricultural Storage Investment Fund (ASIF) for Malawi.

USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub - Mark Neuman Global Trade Advisor at MGF Sourcing on textile and apparel sourcing possibilities in Southern Africa.
 
 

Janet Labuda, VP Compliance at Vandegrift Forwarding, discusses the competitiveness of African Textile and Apparel in the face of a decline of attractiveness of Asia, at Source Africa 2015.
 
 
 

Through a Strategic Partnership Grant from USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, Zhauns (Pty) Ltd is providing the necessary technology, equipment, and training for Lumono Organic Farms to upgrade its processing capacity and develop its chili sauce for export. 
 

Quality and safety services company Intertek recently established an Agricultural Testing Laboratory in Beira, Mozambique for chemical and microbiological testing. 
 
 

At the end of every harvest season in Southern Africa, the market is flooded with grain as crops such as maize, soy, and peanuts are supplied at peak levels. Prices are at their lowest of the year, but farmers usually have to sell since they lack secure storage and need cash to buy supplies.
 

Through a Strategic Partnership Grant, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub partnered with the Export Trading Group (ETG) to help ETG establish a Warehouse Receipts System (WRS) on four selected warehouse sites in Mozambique.
 
 

Explore the challenges facing female cross-border traders as they successfully navigate customs at the Kazungula border crossing between Zambia and Botswana. Informal cross-border trade led by women trade plays a significant economic role across Southern Africa.
 

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