The USAID Southern Africa Trade Hub (SATH) aims to increase international competitiveness, intra-regional trade, and food security in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. Starting in September 2010, SATH will deliver targeted technical assistance to governments, the private sector, and civil society organizations in support of advancing regional integration and increasing the trade capacity of selected value chains within Southern Africa.
As a regional program working across the SADC region, SATH will:
- Strengthen the technical and management capacities of the SADC Secretariat and other regional bodies that promote trade and address food security;
- Provide technical assistance aimed at reducing trade costs through harmonizing policies, enhancing regulatory efficiency, and improving delivery in both the public and private service sectors (e.g., energy, finance, investment, Information and Communication Technology (ICT)) ;
- Continue to support trade corridors (such as the Maputo and Trans-Kalahari Corridors) to expand trade opportunities; and
- Develop regional information sharing and monitoring networks for market information and the sharing of ‘best practices’, which is an effective incentive for encouraging regulatory and policy reform.
SATH will provide technical assistance and training on a demand-driven basis in support of the regional trade agenda while working to promote increased private sector competitiveness along specific value chains within the region: textiles and clothing, legumes and staple crops. In particular, SATH will focus on the harmonization of agricultural and other standards with international standards and the ability of private firms to understand and comply with regional and international market standards.
Through targeted country-level and firm-level initiatives, SATH will endeavor to enhance the uptake of opportunities for exports to the US presented by the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and regionally.
In the energy sector, SATH will work to strengthen regional capacity for more efficient energy sector planning and cooperation with a focus on increasing the use of clean energy.
SATH will also work to increase the use and availability of financial products and services for trade and investment as well as promote the increased use and availability of trade-related ICT products.
SATH is a four year project with a long-term team of regional and international experts are based in Gaborone, Botswana.