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

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The USAID TradeHub, in partnership with the Eswatini Investment Promotion Authority (EIPA) and members of the Eswatini Textiles and Traders’ Association, is supporting clothing manufacturers in the country to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The production effort is expected to save jobs in the critical textiles sector while, at the same time, providing much-needed protective gear to Eswatini, South Africa and, potentially, the United States. To facilitate U.S. sales, the USAID TradeHub has engaged a market linkages expert as well as a U.S.-based trade promotion service provider to ensure that suppliers understand and can comply with Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control requirements. Similar preparation is underway to satisfy criteria set by the South African Bureau of Standards. The USAID TradeHub is set to meet with the EIPA on May 26, 2020 to refine a joint implementation plan and will capture the outcomes of this meeting in subsequent reports. The USAID TradeHub’s support for PPE production in Eswatini follows its earlier engagement with textiles manufacturers in Lesotho. Both efforts are part of USAID’s rapid response to the ongoing pandemic, shoring up small- and medium-sized enterprises and working with market actors to create safe income-generating opportunities for at-risk populations.


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