During the week of September 28, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub conducted a site visit to Strategic Partnership grantee Lumuno Farms, a chili sauce producer and demonstration organic farm located near Lusaka, Zambia.
On September 29, 2015, Umlimi Lokhonile Seeds (which means “the farmer is able”) from Swaziland launched MRI514, a hybrid maize seed from Syngenta MRI in Zambia, making Swaziland the first country to demonstrate practical implementation of the SADC harmonized seed system. Under the system, once a seed variety is approved in two SADC countries, it can be released in all SADC countries without extensive trials and paperwork, making investment in seed development more attractive and profitable.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub has been working to launch a Warehouse Receipts System (WRS) in Zambia. The Warehouse Receipts System will enable farmers to access finance by depositing their crop in a certified warehouse and receiving a receipt.
With the support of USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, a new hybrid maize seed well-suited to Swaziland’s farming community was introduced into the country in September 2015, demonstrating the progress that Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Member States have made harmonizing and modernizing their seed sectors.
The Trade Hub supported seven apparel companies from Botswana and Lesotho to participate in MAGIC, the largest fashion trade show in the world, in Las Vegas from February 17-19. The companies met major buyers, large retailers, and importers for the US market such as Target, Ralph Lauren, the Perry Ellis Group, Teamwork, Happy Chef, and Sanmar.
SADC has requested support from USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub to carry forward their regional investment policy framework program. After five years of development in cooperation with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the EU, the SADC Secretariat has completed a regional investment policy framework that will be formally adopted on July 22, 2015 in Johannesburg.
The Trade Hub is working with Swaziland to improve the investment climate, facilitate customs modernization, promote renewable energy and increase trade in textiles and apparel.
Customs Modernization: The Trade Hub assisted the Swaziland Revenue Authority (SRA) to audit and identify areas for improvement in the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA), and to facili-tate interconnectivity and electronic data interchange with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and Mozambican customs. This in-cluded training for SRA staff.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub is assisting the Government of the Kingdom of Swaziland with the development of a Renewable Energy and Independent Power Producer Policy (IPP) and Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment. The policy is intended to guide and expand the role of the private sector in developing the country’s renewable energy sources and diversify the supply and nature of energy production.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub hosted Change Management training for senior managers from government and parastatal organizations from April 28-30, 2015, in Swakopmund, Namibia. The training provided future members of the Single Window Technical Committee with a common understanding of effective change management strategy and how it will help to ensure smooth implementation of the National Single Window (NSW) program in Namibia.
During the week of February 1, 2016, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub assisted the Swaziland Standards Authority (SWASA) to develop and print copies of the “Guide for the Referencing of Standards in Regulations in Swaziland” for distribution to various government and private sector agencies.
On December 10, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub held a workshop in Mbabane, Swaziland to validate the list of regulations and pieces of legislation compiled by the Trade Hub to facilitate the development of a booklet of all technical regulations in Swaziland.
On December 4, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub conducted a workshop in Mbabane, Swaziland on the topic of “From Policy to Law and Regulatory Impact Analysis” (RIA). The workshop was hosted by the Regulatory and Quality Infrastructure Development Department at the Swaziland Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade.
On November 6, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub supported the Swaziland Standards Authority (SWASA) as they commemorated World Standards Day under the theme “Standards: The World’s Common Language” in Mbabane.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, in collaboration with the Swaziland Standards Authority (SWASA), facilitated a discussion on two recently revised International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards: the ISO 9001 Quality Management System and the ISO14001 Environmental Management System in Mbabane, Swaziland, from November 4-5, 2015.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, in partnership with the Swaziland Standards Authority (SWASA), hosted a two-day event on Awareness on Public Review and Published National Standards in Swaziland from October 13-14, 2015.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub sponsored delegates from Malawi and Namibia to the 4th International Single Window Conference hosted by the African Alliance for E-Commerce (AACE) in Brazzaville, Congo from October 5-7, 2015.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub facilitated the formation of national TBT Consultative Committees for Botswana (August 31 - September 1, 2015) and Swaziland (September 3-4, 2015) as part of its program of technical assistance on standards to improve the effectiveness of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) National Enquiry Points (NEPs).
The SA Trade Hub met with implementing partner, Banyan Global, in Washington, DC, to brainstorm and discuss a number of key ways to continue to promote gender integration across the various aspects of the program.
USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub, in collaboration with the Swaziland Standards Authority (SWASA), launched the World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) National Enquiry Point (NEP) in Matsapha, Swaziland, on June 23, 2015.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, in partnership with the Swaziland Standards Authority (SWASA), supported a High Schools Symposium on Standards on June 17, 2015 at the Mavuso Trade Centre in Manzini, Swaziland. The event was attended by over 150 people including the Under Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Titus Khumalo.
The Southern Africa Trade Hub, in partnership with the Swaziland Investor Roadmap Unit (IRMU) conducted an investor roadmap audit covering government departments and the private sector. The Investor Roadmap is a tool to help improve a country’s investment climate with regulatory, legislative, and procedural reforms; the Trade Hub last conducted a similar audit in 2013.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub assisted with the setting up of IT equipment and office furniture purchased for the Standards Authority (SWASA) WTO Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) National Enquiry Point (NEP) and trained staff on functions, procedures and operations of an enquiry point on June 11-12, 2015 in Swaziland. The objective of the technical assistance is to help Swaziland fulfill the requirements of the WTO TBT Agreement.
The USAID Southern Africa Trade Hub, in partnership with the Swaziland Standards Authority (SWASA), organized a three-day training workshop of standards technical committee (TC) chairs, secretaries and members in Swaziland, from June 1-3, 2015.
The Trade Hub, in partnership with the Swaziland Standards Authority (SWASA), supported a Chief Executive Officers’ Breakfast Meeting on April 29 in Ezulwini, Swaziland. The event was attended by CEOS from a wide variety of industries, as well as the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Trade J. Nkambule.
The Trade Hub organized a benchmarking mission from April 19-25 for five standards officers: three from the Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) and two from the Swaziland Standards Authority (SWASA). The objective of the mission, which took the officers to the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), was for the delegates to understand the effective operations of a World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) National Enquiry Point (NEP) as they work to institute NEPs in their own countries.
In collaboration with its implementing partner, the Swaziland Standards Authority (SWASA), the Southern Africa Trade Hub supported a three-day workshop on WTO Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Enquiry Point & Notification Authority March 23-25 in Matsapha, Swaziland.