Activities http://www.satradehub.org/ Mon, 07 Jul 2014 22:02:02 +0000 obRSS 1.8.5 http://www.satradehub.org/images/ Activities http://www.satradehub.org/ Keep up-to-date on the latest activities and related developments. New Grant to Increase Nutrition for Pregnant Women and Children Under 5 years http://www.satradehub.org/agricultural-value-chains/sath-content/activities/agricultural-value-chains/new-grant-to-increase-nutrition-for-pregnant-women-and-children-under-5-years http://www.satradehub.org/agricultural-value-chains/sath-content/activities/agricultural-value-chains/new-grant-to-increase-nutrition-for-pregnant-women-and-children-under-5-years
gf USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub has awarded a USD $100,000 Strategic Partnership grant to support the production of a Ready-to-Use-Complementary Food (RUCF) product. The objective of the RUCF is to prevent stunting in children. The grant targets 75,000 people, concentrating on children under five and pregnant women.The grant to PMD Packaging System will install a new packaging line at Valid Nutrition Malawi enabling the production of RUCF.
USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub has awarded a USD $100,000 Strategic Partnership grant to support the production of a Ready-to-Use-Complementary Food (RUCF) product. The objective of the RUCF is to prevent stunting in children. The grant targets 75,000 people, concentrating on children under five and pregnant women. The grant to PMD Packaging System will install a new packaging line at Valid Nutrition Malawi enabling the production of RUCF. In addition, the grant provides for the use of aflatoxin-compliant groundnuts to be sourced from 600 small-scale farmers participating in the Trade Hub's aflatoxin training program.

Click on the links below to learn about some of the Trade Hub's other Strategic Partnership Grants in agriculture, which are working to promote technology transfer and improve food security in Southern Africa:

Jungle Beat Launches New Processing Line with Trade Hub Grant
Trade Hub Grant to Improve Hybrid Maize Access in Malawi
Trade Hub and NWK Collaborate to Improve Soya Bean Production in Zambia
Photo Essay: Zambia's Agritech Expo Focuses on Emerging Farmers and Draws 8,000 Participants

USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub has awarded a USD $100,000 Strategic Partnership grant to support the production of a Ready-to-Use-Complementary Food (RUCF) product. The objective of the RUCF is to prevent stunting in children. The grant targets 75,000 people, concentrating on children under five and pregnant women. The grant to PMD Packaging System will install a new packaging line at Valid Nutrition Malawi enabling the production of RUCF. In addition, the grant provides for the use of aflatoxin-compliant groundnuts to be sourced from 600 small-scale farmers participating in the Trade Hub’s aflatoxin training program.

Whether it is his little administration that moves the heaven or it is n't male debt, youcai's blood experts for the better the clothing his positive police leaves top. http://subway-magazineonline.com Arousal cost is used to determine the effectiveness that a proof caused a cold adr.
]]>
Fri, 13 Jun 2014 17:55:04 +0000
We're Betting on Africa http://www.satradehub.org/textiles-apparel/were-betting-on-africa http://www.satradehub.org/textiles-apparel/were-betting-on-africa dp Las Vegas may seem an unlikely location to hear about Africa as the next big sourcing destination for the U.S. apparel and footwear industry. But that's exactly what happened when we traveled recently to attend the MAGIC Sourcing and FN Platform shows. This twice-yearly event is a magnet for apparel and footwear sourcing executives. Many spend three days attending seminars on the latest sourcing, fashion, and marketing trends. We typically contribute educational content and this year was no different.
By Steve Lamar, Executive Vice President, the American Apparel and Footwear Association

Las Vegas may seem an unlikely location to hear about Africa as the next big sourcing destination for the U.S. apparel and footwear industry. But that's exactly what happened when we traveled recently to attend the MAGIC Sourcing and FN Platform shows.

This twice-yearly event is a magnet for apparel and footwear sourcing executives. Many spend three days attending seminars on the latest sourcing, fashion, and marketing trends. We typically contribute educational content and this year was no different. AAFA was pleased to produce two panels – one on sourcing trends sponsored by SDI Industries and one on omnichannel sponsored by Mark Monitor.

trade-show In addition, executives will spend hours touring acres of booths showcasing suppliers from China, India, Vietnam, and other Asian or traditional sourcing powerhouses.

African exhibitors will also often participate. In fact, AAFA first learned about the nascent Ethiopian footwear industry at MAGIC/FN Platform years ago, and are now thrilled to see the country explode as a major source of African-origin footwear. In 2013, Ethiopia accounted for more than 9 out of every 10 pairs of U.S. imports of shoes from Africa. Judging by its triple digit growth last year, Ethiopia looks like it's got a bright footwear future ahead.

But the African presence at MAGIC/FN Platform is often small and has a hard time attracting attention vis-à-vis the much larger and more established sourcing countries. That is why it was so refreshing to see so many companies talk about Africa as a place they want to explore.

Just about everywhere we went – on the show floor, in the hotel lobby, in the hallways outside the seminars – somebody was telling us or asking about Africa: When will the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) be renewed? What are you hearing about African sourcing? Can you connect us with African partners? Several executives told us they have already built up their presence in Africa, taking advantage of its duty free access to key markets and positioning themselves to capitalize on the fast-growing and increasingly integrated African market. Many are making plans already to attend or speak at the Source Africa conference in Cape Town, South Africa June 18-20, 2014.

Like many of these executives, AAFA is also placing our bets on Africa. We are pleased to participate in Source Africa for the second year running, and are looking forward to building on our recently signed Memorandum of Understanding with the African Cotton Textile Industries Federation (ACTIF) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). We've often blogged about how bullish we are on Africa, and that sense of optimism is only growing as we hear more buzz about Africa.

So it seems that Africa may indeed be the next big sourcing destination. What are the odds?
]]>
Thu, 01 May 2014 14:10:49 +0000
Know Buyer Expectations | Part Two of a Three-Part Series http://www.satradehub.org/textiles-apparel/know-buyer-expectations-part-two-of-a-three-part-series http://www.satradehub.org/textiles-apparel/know-buyer-expectations-part-two-of-a-three-part-series
source-africa-logo This is the second part of a three-part series that Hub Happenings is running as a preamble to the upcoming Source Africa 2014 trade show taking place June 18-20, 2014 in Cape Town. Part One was "Readying Yourself for Source Africa 2014," and the series will conclude with Part Three in the next issue, "Effective Post-Source Africa Activities," which will discuss post-event strategies and activities.Source Africa is Africa's premier Textile, Clothing & Footwear Trade Event and will be held from June 18-20, 2014 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).
By Janine Catlin, Buyer Manager-Poetry and Old Khaki, Cape Union Mart, Cosmas Mamhunze, AGOA, Trade & Investment Specialist, and Mohamed Abou-iiana, Tesxtiles & Apparel Specialist

This is the second part of a three-part series that Hub Happenings is running as a preamble to the upcoming Source Africa 2014 trade show taking place June 18-20, 2014 in Cape Town. Part One was "Readying Yourself for Source Africa 2014," and the series will conclude with Part Three in the next issue, "Effective Post-Source Africa Activities," which will discuss post-event strategies and activities.


Source Africa is Africa's premier Textile, Clothing & Footwear Trade Event (Readying Yourself for Source Africa 2014) and will be held from June 18-20, 2014 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). More than 180 exhibitors from 19 countries are expected to participate this year, as well as international buyers from Africa, the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Buyers are highly visual creatures, so their first impression of your stand and your products will be far stronger than anything you can tell them after that impression has been made. Make a great first impression at Source Africa 2014, and half your job is done. Below are some tips to make that happen:

1. Preshow Preparation
a. Show approximate costings on styles on the stand. Buyers want to know quickly whether they can afford your prices.
b. Show estimated lead times for the various garments - especially those with added operation such as embroidery, washing or other treatments.
c. On handouts or any promotional materials, be sure to list your strengths and the names of any large retailers you currently supply, who the buyers may know.
d. Choose the samples you want to present and make sure there are no holes, broken stitches, loose thread, or checked or striped items that do not match at joints.
e. Every sample must be tagged with some information on the product.

2. Booth Set-up
a. Your displays must be eye-catching without being distracting. Clutter detracts from the message about your company and its core competencies.
b. Segmentation is important. If your company is vertically integrated and produces its own fabric collection for buyer consideration, as well as producing garments to order, show both strengths but keep them separated.
c. If cloth racks are used, do not cram too many on a rack. It must be easy for visitors to slide them from side to side and pick up what they want easily.
d. Display the type of items that you want to attract the most buyers, not the item that you like most. (e.g. if you are targeting casualwear buyers but on the side you also make uniforms, do not display a university graduation gown upfront!)

3. Meeting Visitors
a. Ensure that you communicate exactly what makes your company special and different from the others at the show. Are you vertically integrated? Do you own your own weaving, knitting, dyeing and/or printing capabilities? Do you have a great design center?
b. Mention where you ship your goods from: many companies make use of freight forwarders who consolidate shipments, and if your port is not located in or close to one of their hubs, it will add on to the lead times.
c. Be specific regarding sampling costs: most companies accept that sampling is part of the cost of doing business, and buyers don't expect to be charged for samples. If you do charge, make this known upfront.
d. Buyers often appreciate an offer of tea/coffee or water. Make sure that it is readily available on your stand and that you don't have to send away for it.
e. Introduce yourself when a visitor steps into your booth and then give them a bit of time to look around. Follow up with assistance if they begin to focus on a product or look lost.
f. Always put on a smile.
g. If there are more visitors than the people at the stand can handle, try to extricate yourself for a brief moment to tell the new visitor to wait a moment, but don't overdo it if you are talking to a serious buyer.

The actual exhibition is just two days, and buyers will not have time for all exhibitors. Buyers want to engage with someone eloquent about the company and the samples on display, and they want the opportunity to ask questions that help in decision-making. Staff at your booth must be trained to engage and to represent the company effectively. Seemingly small things like eye contact, handshake and listening do matter. Buyers need 100% attention for a successful show.

NB: The general information shared by Janine does not represent her employer's strategy. It is information from experience gained over the years.
]]>
Thu, 01 May 2014 13:52:53 +0000
Hub Digest: Safeguarding the Environment through Trade Hub Activities http://www.satradehub.org/enabling-environment/hub-digest-safeguarding-the-environment-through-trade-hub-activities http://www.satradehub.org/enabling-environment/hub-digest-safeguarding-the-environment-through-trade-hub-activities trade-hub-logo Environmental health and safety is an important component of USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub activities and objectives, and these concerns support the universal mission to create sustainable development. Sustainability requires that Trade Hub projects and activities incorporate safeguards to protect the environment. Safeguarding the environment means protecting natural resources such as water, air, soil and habitats from degradation for the benefit of both the natural environment and human health.
The Hub Digest offers views from a rotating panel of experts on a wide variety of issues related to trade and economic growth in Southern Africa, including trade facilitation tools and approaches; agricultural productivity and improvements especially in the maize, groundnut and soy value chains; developments in the textiles and apparel sector and regarding AGOA and exports; clean energy; enabling environment reform and initiatives; environmental compliance and gender integration.

Write to info@satradehub.org with your suggestion for a topic or question. Or start a conversation via our Facebook Page – www.facebook.com/satradehub.

By Meg Findley, PhD., Trade Hub Environmental Advisor

trade-hub-logo Environmental health and safety is an important component of USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub activities and objectives, and these concerns support the universal mission to create sustainable development. Sustainability requires that Trade Hub projects and activities incorporate safeguards to protect the environment.

Safeguarding the environment means protecting natural resources such as water, air, soil and habitats from degradation for the benefit of both the natural environment and human health. Degradation of these important resources can occur through chemical contamination, physical removal or a change in their composition that affects the way these important resources interact with other components in nature. Policies and legislation can help guide the way natural resources are protected, and include consideration of the impacts on society, human health and safety.

USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub program objectives incorporate many aspects that safeguard the environment and human health. The project's criteria for working with the selected agricultural value chains of maize, groundnuts and soy include enhancing availability, accessibility, utilization and stability of food supply while protecting the environment and human safety. In particular, there is a significant environmental benefit of the Trade Hub's interventions to increase productivity in agriculture. Through access to new practices, equipment, and technology as well as improved seed varieties, the Trade Hub is supporting a reduction in farmers' reliance on inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides. In addition to being expensive, agricultural chemicals can contaminate soil and water resources if used excessively or incorrectly. Furthermore, occupational exposure to agricultural chemicals from improper handling or excessive use poses health and safety risks.

solar-panel-smaller The Trade Hub also helps to strengthen capacity for regulating the clean energy sector in the region by working through the Regional Electricity Association of Southern Africa (RERA), with positive outcomes that affect environmental legislation. Within this context, the Trade Hub is working with the Government of the Kingdom of Swaziland through the Department of Energy (DOE) under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy (MNRE) to support the development of a Renewable Energy and Independent Power Producer policy (RE/IPP). Developing transparent, robust and predictable clean energy regulatory regimes in the region is critical to attracting investment by independent power producers. An increase in clean electricity generation will contribute to security of supply, climate change mitigation, economic growth, trade competitiveness, poverty reduction and food security in the region. Developing this new energy policy also involves assisting the DOE to incorporate key environmental concerns in policy design as well as to undertake a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the policy and its regulatory framework. In this way, the activity will help ensure that the RE/IPP policy meets the requirements of the environmental laws of Swaziland.

While many positive benefits can be realized through program activities, it is also important to evaluate and predict whether any aspect of planned activities have the potential to cause harm to the environment or human health and safety. Trade Hub activities are therefore screened for negative impacts. For example, before grants are issued to support private sector expansion into new markets or the adoption of improved farming and processing technologies, the proposed activities are reviewed for potential negative impact. Appropriate measures and best practices are identified to minimize or mitigate the potential to cause harm to the environment or human health, reviewed with grantees and incorporated into the grant agreement. Working with stakeholders to understand and implement safe environmental best practices also helps build local capacity in environmental stewardship and health and safety.

Safeguarding the environment today will ensure that the soil, water and other natural resources on which Southern Africa depends for food security and economic growth will be available for tomorrow's needs as well. By promoting improved agricultural practices that lessen dependence on chemical inputs and soil and water resources, as well as enabling energy and trade policies that incorporate environmental considerations, the Trade Hub is helping to pave the way for a sustainable economic future throughout the SADC community.
]]>
Thu, 01 May 2014 13:39:21 +0000
The Critical Role of Stakeholder Participation in the Standards Development Process http://www.satradehub.org/enabling-environment/the-critical-role-of-stakeholder-participation-in-the-standards-development-process http://www.satradehub.org/enabling-environment/the-critical-role-of-stakeholder-participation-in-the-standards-development-process
enabling-environmentpic Standards and technical regulations affect everyone's life in one way or another. For example, when we travel to other parts of the world, we expect such things as our electrical gadgets to plug readily into existing infrastructure. It can be quite inconvenient upon realizing that your computer or mobile phone charger is not compatible with the electric socket in your host country. Many international travelers will attest to the complications they endure due to technical incompatibility issues.
By George Makore, Director of Enabling Environment

Standards and technical regulations affect everyone's life in one way or another. For example, when we travel to other parts of the world, we expect such things as our electrical gadgets to plug readily into existing infrastructure. It can be quite inconvenient upon realizing that your computer or mobile phone charger is not compatible with the electric socket in your host country. Many international travelers will attest to the complications they endure due to technical incompatibility issues.

Besides being important to consumers, standards are pivotal to facilitating trade in today's global village. By using international standards, companies are able to trade internationally without having to worry about adapting the products to suit a particular market. When products are manufactured to specific standards, consumers are guaranteed of the products' fitness for purpose. In addition, standardized products facilitate repairs and promote competition, which can help reduce the product's cost without compromising the quality of the product. Standards are increasingly critical to global trade as well as to the protection of public health, safety and the environment.

However, the important role of stakeholder participation in the standards development process is often underestimated. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) suggests that national participation in the standardization process should be organized under the auspices of the appropriate national standards body (NSB) or standards development organization (SDO), which often is a member of the relevant international standards organization. ISO, a worldwide member body for NSBs, urges national members to ensure that their participation reflects a balance of national interests in the subject matter to which the international standardization activity relates.

Standardization is the means by which society gathers and disseminates information and disciplines its flow for society's benefit and safety. Generally, standards are made by consumers, which we all are, in one way or the other. When a standard is produced without suitable representation either due to apathy or inappropriate representatives on the technical committee, intended users might not use the standard, making the standard a "white elephant" that will just gather dust on the shelf of the NSB or SDO. In extreme cases, lack of effective participation of stakeholders in the national standards development process results in the developed standards being an unintentional barrier to trade.

enabling-environment2 Therefore, standards should be developed by those who know the area in question, the processes and most importantly the problem that the resulting standards intend to solve. ISO refers to those involved in drafting standards as experts. Brunsson, Jacobsson & Associates (2002) argue that standards should be created by people who develop solutions they regard as good for all concerned. Generally, most SDOs or NSBs in Southern Africa experience inadequate stakeholder participation in the standards development process. However, it is important to note that one's lack of participation in the standards development process would not stop a standard from being produced unless there is insufficient interest in the development of that standard: specifically, not having adequate numbers for a technical committee. When a national standard is developed without proper input, that standard will still be binding, especially where the standard ends up being referenced in a technical regulation. Thus the participatory process is an important one.

Governments are expected to facilitate the establishment and effective operations of NSBs as well as supervise a transparent and participatory standards development process by all relevant stakeholders in order for the developed standards to be relevant and accepted by users. An effective NSB is one that facilitates effective stakeholder participation in the development of standards through technical committees consisting of all relevant stakeholders. This includes industry experts, research organizations, consumers, government and non-governmental organizations.

The standards development process should be based on the international principles of due process transparency, balance, openness and consensus. In addition, all World Trade Organization (WTO) members are required to comply with Annex 3 of the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement, which looks at the Code of Good Practice for the preparation, adoption and application of standards. According to the WTO TBT Agreement, "The obligations of members with respect to compliance of standardizing bodies with the provisions of the Code of Good Practice shall apply irrespective of whether or not a standardizing body has accepted the Code of Good Practice."

Generally, standards development projects take over two years to complete, but the benefits derived from participating in the standards development process outweigh the cost. Some of the benefits of involvement in standardization activities include:
  • Access to technical resources;
  • Communication and networking with peers in the industry;
  • Ability to influence the development of the standard;
  • Early access to information that could help shape the market;
  • Providing the participating company a valuable opportunity to have its views included in the standards; and
  • Recognition for participation in the development of a particular standard, since information on who participated in the development of a standard is included in the published standard.
Realizing the importance of effective participation from stakeholders in the standards development process, the United States Government, through its Standards Alliance facility, is providing technical assistance to help developing countries improve their standards development process and private sector outreach. The Standards Alliance facility is a new United States assistance program to support developing countries with implementation of commitments under the WTO TBT Agreement. Under the Standards Alliance facility, the Trade Hub is currently implementing several activities in Lesotho, Malawi and Zambia based on the objectives of the facility aimed at:
  • Developing and providing technical training programs for standards experts;
  • Institutional and organizational capacity building in standards development;
  • Developing and implementing legal and regulatory frameworks for standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment;
  • Developing outreach and communication strategies for increasing public and private sector awareness on the benefits of international standards and conformity assessment procedures; and
  • Establishing or improving the functioning of each country's enquiry point and notification authority.
Specifically in relationship to improving the standards development process and promoting private sector outreach and communication, the Trade Hub is helping Lesotho and Malawi with stakeholder awareness seminars, national roadshows as well as re-launching the Lesotho National Standards and Quality Awards. In addition to the above, the Trade Hub is also assessing the possibility of extending similar assistance to other countries in the region and working on a regional project through SADC Cooperation in Standardization (SADCSTAN).
]]>
Sat, 01 Mar 2014 19:20:38 +0000
Readying Yourself for Source Africa 2014: Part One of a Three-Part Series http://www.satradehub.org/textiles-apparel/readying-yourself-for-source-africa-2014-part-one-of-a-three-part-series http://www.satradehub.org/textiles-apparel/readying-yourself-for-source-africa-2014-part-one-of-a-three-part-series
source-africa-logowhite Participating in a trade show is a significant investment that must generate results at the end of the day to be worthwhile. This means exhibitors have to be well-prepared for the event. Designing a checklist is the starting point, as it acts as a reminder about the important preparatory tasks an exhibitor has to accomplish.

By Mohamed Abou-iiana, Textile & Apparel Specialist and Cosmas Mamhunze, AGOA Trade and Investment Specialist

This is the first of a three-part series that Hub Happenings will be running as a preamble to the upcoming Source Africa 2014 trade show taking place June 18-20, 2014 in Cape Town. This installment will focus on general preparations for participating in Source Africa and will be followed in the next issue by Part Two, Know Buyer Expectations at Source Africa 2014. The series will conclude with Part Three, Effective Post-Source Africa Activities.


Source Africa is Africa's premiere Textile, Clothing & Footwear Trade Event (www.sourceafrica.co.za) and will be held from June 18-20, 2014 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). More than 180 exhibitors from 19 countries are expected to participate this year, as well as international buyers from Africa, the US, Europe and Asia.

Participating in a trade show is a significant investment that must generate results at the end of the day to be worthwhile. This means exhibitors have to be well-prepared for the event. Designing a checklist is the starting point, as it acts as a reminder about the important preparatory tasks an exhibitor has to accomplish. Below is an example of a checklist (not exhaustive):

check-list

Above all else, exhibitors must have clear objectives. Without clear, feasible, meaningful and measurable objectives, it will be difficult to measure the success of the event. Your objectives will direct the entire process from booth selection and design to samples, participation and how you evaluate your participation.

It is important to commit to your participation in time so that you can prepare well, make travel arrangements and hotel reservations. Source Africa attracts large amounts of people, and Cape Town is always busy. Hotels rooms in the vicinity of the CTICC can sell out quickly.

We have seen empty booths because samples didn't arrive or they arrived on the last day of the show. It is important to engage experienced freight forwarders and collaborate with government agencies coordinating pavilions. Potential buyers have no sympathy toward an exhibitor who does not have their product on display. There are always many other competing exhibitors.

source-africa Agencies coordinating national/provincial pavilions need to make sure there are anchor exhibitors in their pavilions. Anchor exhibitors add more credibility to the pavilion and demonstrate what the country can offer. Smaller companies can also learn from the experienced companies. National/provincial pavilions allow companies to gain greater visibility and achieve better economy of scale on related participating logistics.

Source Africa is an event designed to build relationships between suppliers and buyers. Suppliers have to make sure they have good quality products, and the stand gives the first impression so it must be clean, designed well, include information such as the company catalogue. Stand staffers should exhibit eagerness to engage with buyers, be proactive and empowered. They must transform information clearly and follow up with conversation.

It takes time to build credibility. Appearing at multiple different shows once is not a smart strategy. Choose a show and commit to appearing up to three times at the same show. Experienced buyers look out and notice companies that return to a show more than once and see that as a sign of a tenacious and stable company.

Acknowledgment:
We thank Joy Donovan of ExpoExpertise, a trade show coach/mentor, who allowed us access to some of her writings demonstrating her considerable expertise on the subject. Joy has over 40 years in the exhibition business as an organizer, stand and display builder, consultant, trainer and exhibitor. Last year Joy conducted training sessions in Botswana, Lesotho and Mozambique to prepare exhibitors for Source Africa.

]]>
Sat, 01 Mar 2014 17:02:01 +0000
Business Process Re-Engineering to Support National Single Window: Who is involved? http://www.satradehub.org/national-single-window/business-process-re-engineering-to-support-national-single-window-who-is-involved http://www.satradehub.org/national-single-window/business-process-re-engineering-to-support-national-single-window-who-is-involved
trade-facilitation1 To reduce the burden and costs associated with international trade transactions, many countries seeking to attract foreign trade and investment are now focusing their efforts on improving border clearance through Business Process Re-engineering (BPR)—a primary driver to enhance regional and international trade. Governments are a major actor in this endeavor; however, BPR also requires a strong collaborative approach to modernize border services and must include the direct engagement and involvement of the private sector to achieve success. Who are these other actors, and what are their roles?

To reduce the burden and costs associated with international trade transactions, many countries seeking to attract foreign trade and investment are now focusing their efforts on improving border clearance through Business Process Re-engineering (BPR)—a primary driver to enhance regional and international trade. Governments are a major actor in this endeavor; however, BPR also requires a strong collaborative approach to modernize border services and must include the direct engagement and involvement of the private sector to achieve success. Who are these other actors, and what are their roles? This article aims to provide a better understanding of how BPR is used to improve trade facilitation in order to attract foreign investment and enhance a country’s economic progress.

Branded film of kamagra refers to the responsible due recourse of the alcohol. http://viagrasuperactive-deutschlandonline.com Like a everyone of cialis who is strolling out for restaurant.
By Brian Glancy, Director of Trade Facilitation

To reduce the burden and costs associated with international trade transactions, many countries seeking to attract foreign trade and investment are now focusing their efforts on improving border clearance through Business Process Re-engineering (BPR)—a primary driver to enhance regional and international trade. Governments are a major actor in this endeavor; however, BPR also requires a strong collaborative approach to modernize border services and must include the direct engagement and involvement of the private sector to achieve success. Who are these other actors, and what are their roles? This article aims to provide a better understanding of how BPR is used to improve trade facilitation in order to attract foreign investment and enhance a country's economic progress.

Generally, the entities involved in trade facilitation can be broken down into three distinct categories according to their interests and needs:
  1. Government Agencies
  2. Intermediaries
  3. Traders
Government Agencies
Under a BPR umbrella, agencies including ministries representing trade, finance/customs, transport, health, agriculture, information and communication technology, plant and quarantine agencies are responsible for developing trade facilitation strategies and reform programs, as well as introducing new legislative and regulatory regimes to ensure the smooth and accelerated flows of goods and information (including documentation) in a secure environment. Customs authorities have a specialized role here as the lead agency in most electronic single window programs that have been implemented to enhance trade facilitation globally. BPR, in tandem with new Information Communication Technologies (ICT), has resulted in the implementation of new programs such as pre-arrival reporting, authorized economic operator (AEO) programs, post clearance audit and other policy adoptions that in effect "time shift" border services away from the point and time of arrival at the frontier to pre and post processes. These new initiatives provide benefits in the form of enhanced revenue collection, precise trade statistics and efficient border administration controls. The culmination of these facilitative programs is represented in the concept of a National Single Window (NSW).

Intermediaries
Intermediaries are the entities that provide trade and transport logistical services within the international trade chain such as customs brokers, freight forwarders, logistics service providers, carriers, port and terminal operators, banks, insurance companies and IT service providers. Intermediaries are the primary private sector actors, and they require swift exchange of information and a transparent regulatory regime in order to comply with the requirements of government agencies and their clients, who are the traders.

Traders
Traders are the source and the target of BPR in the international trade chain. They are the importers and exporters of goods and services, and they are the ultimate users of the services provided by both government and the intermediary sectors. Traders depend on services to be delivered in a transparent and predictable manner, and they want services that supply faster border clearance with reduced delays and lower transaction costs in order to market their goods more cheaply and competitively.

How Does BPR Impact Trade Facilitation?
To reduce the costs and burdens associated with border clearance compliance, international organizations such as UN/CEFACT (the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business) have designed trade facilitation measures that include:
  1. Simplification and harmonization of trade procedures, and the elimination of trade procedures that are unnecessary or duplicative
  2. Coordination of border procedures among all trade-related agencies operating at a border crossing
  3. Simplified payment schemes
  4. Simplified, standardized trade documents
  5. Harmonized data using internationally recognized codes
  6. The use of automation as a service provider
  7. The inspection of goods and persons based on a risk management approach
Successful facilitation measures require not only political and governmental support for policy and procedural direction, but also human and financial resources and an in-depth understanding of existing business processes and the modifications necessary to improve services. Trade facilitation measures cannot be successfully achieved unless the "as is"—the current situation—is well understood, and there is a clear vision and commitment to the eventual desired state.

When Does BPR begin?
BPR starts from the very beginning of the trade facilitation process, and it is the foundation of delivering efficient and effective trade facilitation measures. The following diagram demonstrates where BPR fits into the trade facilitation process:
trade-facilitation
This diagram illustrates the importance of commencing any government modernization or reform process by first analyzing the "as is" in order to understand fully and adequately the modalities required to take government reforms to their desired end state.

Where Does BPR End?
BPR is actually an on-going process that must be continuously re-visited as new processes and technologies emerge to ensure that government services remain modernized and effective for their clients. But government is not alone here. The private sector in the trade environment must also keep abreast of and incorporate new business processes into their activities and embrace change as a means of reducing costs and realizing benefits from enhanced and modernized government services. National Single Window is just one shining example.
]]>
Sat, 01 Mar 2014 16:39:46 +0000
An Interview with Rob about the upcoming Agritech Expo http://www.satradehub.org/home/an-interview-with-rob-about-the-upcoming-agritech-expo http://www.satradehub.org/home/an-interview-with-rob-about-the-upcoming-agritech-expo
One of the reasons, from a regional standpoint, that we are so excited about Agritech Expo is that Zambia is becoming a real hub for emerging commercial agriculture. And it is because Zambia is becoming this hub that it makes sense for us to support regionalisation and to allow the agricultural sectors in Malawi and Mozambique to benefit and learn from this growth as well. Read more
]]>
Tue, 25 Feb 2014 19:54:28 +0000
Hub Digest: Using Income Per Capita to Identify Textiles & Apparel Opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa http://www.satradehub.org/textiles-apparel/hub-digest-using-income-per-capita-to-identify-textiles-apparel-opportunities-in-sub-saharan-africa http://www.satradehub.org/textiles-apparel/hub-digest-using-income-per-capita-to-identify-textiles-apparel-opportunities-in-sub-saharan-africa ta Recent and rapid income growth across all of Asia is driving the industry to start looking elsewhere for opportunities in textiles and apparel manufacturing. Specifically, many eyes in the industry are now focused on Sub-Saharan Africa. As the situation continues to shift and change, it is useful to examine income growth as an important data point to develop a nuanced perspective on the long-term textile and apparel potential of the region.
The Hub Digest offers views from a rotating panel of experts on a wide variety of issues related to trade and economic growth in Southern Africa, including trade facilitation tools and approaches; agricultural productivity and improvements especially in the maize, groundnut and soy value chains; developments in the textiles and apparel sector and regarding AGOA and exports; clean energy; enabling environment reform and initiatives; environmental compliance and gender integration.

Write to info@satradehub.org with your suggestion for a topic or question. Or start a conversation via our Facebook Page – www.facebook.com/satradehub.

By Drew Schneider, Director of Textiles & Apparel

Recent and rapid income growth across all of Asia is driving the industry to start looking elsewhere for opportunities in textiles and apparel manufacturing. Specifically, many eyes in the industry are now focused on Sub-Saharan Africa. As the situation continues to shift and change, it is useful to examine income growth as an important data point to develop a nuanced perspective on the long-term textile and apparel potential of the region.

textiles-and-aparel It is commonly understood in the garment industry that export production for global markets migrates to countries with the lowest labor costs. A quick review of the trade data reveals that there is certainly some truth to this claim, but the premise is difficult to substantiate through wage data alone. One reason for this is that officially-published minimum wage rates are often not the best indicator of actual wages paid. Even if they were, we know that labor costs are a function of both wages and worker productivity. This is important to keep in mind when promoting trade and investment into light manufacturing industries like textiles and apparel.

When company executives and prospective factory investors consider different countries as possible platforms for sourcing garments and building new manufacturing capacity, they look at a combination of factors to estimate labor and other costs of production. A crucial area to consider are standardized measures of income per capita: these measures serve as an informative benchmark for capturing the relative costs of production as well as the relative expectations of a workforce in different locations. Income per capita is also a simple, high-level way of contextualizing opportunities available to sub-Saharan African countries trying to compete against the garment-producing powerhouses in Asia.

Exhibit 1 presents gross national income (GNI) per capita data for the year 2012 for selected garment producing countries in Asia. The table organizes select countries from the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the East African Community (EAC) and Asia into three common income tiers as established by the World Bank:
  • The top group is composed of "upper middle" income countries with GNI/Capita greater than $US 4,000/yr.
  • The middle group is the "lower middle" income countries with GNI/Capita between $US 1,000/yr. and $US 4,000/yr.
  • The bottom group is the "lower" income countries with GNI/Capita less than $US 1,000/yr.
Exhibit 1: Income Categories
table-1


Asian Countries
As the table in Exhibit 1 shows, most garment-producing countries in Asia now appear in the lower middle income category. This is the result of a sustained period of high levels of income growth in Asia, with China leading the way. China's GNI per capita grew by 58% between 2009 and 2012, and in 2010 China made the leap into the upper middle income category. The data for Asia clearly depicts the upward pressure on production costs in China and explains the shifts we have seen in low-value garment production centers away from the wealthier nations towards Bangladesh and Cambodia, the only major Asian producers that are still classified as low income.

While these two countries still represent the low-income end of the region, GNI per capita has also been growing quickly in Bangladesh and Cambodia the past several years, and this rapid income growth is putting pressure on costs at the low end of the industry. The garment industry expects that some of these cost pressures can be eased within the region as opportunities to manufacture in Myanmar mature, but the rapid income growth across all of Asia is also driving the industry to seriously consider sub-Saharan Africa.

SADC Countries
Exhibit 1 depicts the fairly consistent distribution of SADC countries across the GNI categories. As in the case of Asia, the GNI levels are suggestive of the kind of success various countries are having in textiles and apparel production/export. For example, an upper-middle income country such as Mauritius that has been focused heavily on upgrading its industry is now manufacturing higher value products with leaner factories. Mauritius has also focused on functional up-gradation and is now successfully branching into merchandizing, design and branding. The country has diversified into a variety of different market channels including the U.S., EU and South Africa.

Contrast this with Lesotho, a lower middle-income country that is also trying to upgrade its industry. Over the past four years Lesotho's GNI per capita has grown by over 25%; without some form of corresponding up-gradation, Lesotho's industry could become stagnant. In fact, based on the trade data available for the first three quarters of 2013, there is already an outside chance that Lesotho may lose its long-held spot as the number one garment exporter under AGOA.

There are still some countries in the lower income category in SADC that could compete on a low cost basis with Bangladesh. However, the two most likely candidates (Madagascar and Zimbabwe) are not eligible to export under AGOA. This leaves Mozambique and Malawi as the most likely candidates for attracting low-value, commodity-type apparel export manufacturing ventures. Of the two, the opportunities in Mozambique look the most compelling, and this should be a focus country for investment promotion into commodity-type apparel manufacturing and vertically integrated operations, particularly once the political situation stabilizes.

EAC Countries
Finally, Exhibit 1 shows that countries in East Africa are all concentrated in the lower income category. The concentration of countries in this lower income category, along with their large and quickly growing populations, has helped East Africa make a persuasive case to garment producers looking for alternatives to Bangladesh to supply the US market. Kenya's year-to-year comparison numbers through the first three quarters of 2013 suggest that it may top US$300 million in garment exports to the United States in 2013, possibly overtaking Lesotho as the number one garment exporter under AGOA. Since 2009, Uganda's exports of garments to the U.S. have grown by nearly 700%; last year Uganda's garment exports to the U.S. overtook both Malawi and South Africa. In 2011 Ethiopia overtook South Africa to become the third largest exporter of garments to Europe from sub-Saharan Africa, trailing only Madagascar and Mauritius.As Exhibit 2 "Income Growth" demonstrates, per capita incomes in East African countries are also growing more slowly than incomes in Asia and Southern Africa. This helps to give the industry some confidence in terms of the long run viability of sourcing investments in EAC, at least on the issue of being able to control production costs.

Exhibit 2: Income Growth
table-2

Implications for Our Work at the Trade Hub
Of course we need more than the single measure of income per capita to evaluate opportunities for textiles and apparel industries across sub-Saharan Africa. For example, a country with high levels of income inequality like Botswana can still offer low labor costs to prospective investors. But there are risks to that. As Botswana has already shown us over the past decade, there is a limit to the scope and sustainability of pursuing a low cost production strategy in a middle-income country with fairly rapid income growth.

With the exception of opportunities in Mozambique and Malawi that could open up in the future, the primary garment-producing countries in Southern Africa are going to face increasingly stiff competition from the EAC in terms of sourcing to the US market on a pure cost basis. As Exhibit 3 shows, the gap is already narrowing. In order to stay competitive in the US market, countries from Southern Africa need to implement programs that better facilitate trade across borders and invest more decisively in training the workforce and reforming labor markets. Wider and more affordable access to trade finance will also be vital for enabling resident-owned factories to upgrade functionally into higher value activities like merchandising and design.

Exhibit 3: Apparel Exports to the US Market (EAC vs. SADC)
table-3

Because of the trade preferences extended to members of SADC and SACU, Southern Africa countries are unlikely to feel too much pressure from East Africa in terms of sourcing to the South African market. Thus there are clearly opportunities for regional producers, particularly inside SACU, to compete with Asia on a speed-to-market basis for an increasing share of the South African market. However, from a longer-term perspective, there is a risk that the protections SADC has erected for the region's garment industry serve as a disincentive for countries and factories in the region to pursue strategies that make them competitive on a global basis.

In order to continue to grow on a sustainable basis, Southern Africa's textiles and apparel industries need to follow a multi-dimensional development strategy. For lower income countries like Mozambique, investments should be focused around the enabling environment—specifically measures to help attract foreign investors and enable the industry to start up and gain momentum. For lower middle-income countries like Lesotho and Swaziland, the focus should be on upgrading the industry, especially through workforce training and providing access to affordable sources of trade finance. For upper-middle income countries like South Africa and Mauritius, the focus should be on mastering the higher-value functions, facilitating capital intensive manufacturing operations and managing regional supply chains. There are opportunities for every country in the region.

Drew Schneider is a private sector development specialist with 20 years of experience designing, implementing and evaluating economic growth programs in the United States, Central & Eastern Europe, South Asia and Eastern & Southern Africa. He has managed value chain development efforts across a wide range of industries including textiles & apparel, furnishings, horticulture, aquaculture, tourism and financial services. He focuses on developing technical approaches that anchor development solutions to market demand and draws upon innovations in managements systems, collaboration platforms and analytical methods to leverage the contributions of specialists into strategies and impact-oriented outcomes. He is an enthusiastic supporter of the USAID Forward initiative and writes about improving the business of development at http://www.getseriousaboutresults.blogspot.com
]]>
Sat, 01 Feb 2014 18:15:40 +0000
Zambia’s Agritech Expo Announced for April 2014 http://www.satradehub.org/home/zambia-s-agritech-expo-announced-for-april-2014 http://www.satradehub.org/home/zambia-s-agritech-expo-announced-for-april-2014
agritech-expo-2014 On April 4th and 5th of this year, the inaugural Agritech Expo will be held just outside Lusaka at Chisambo, Zambia. The event will be an all-encompassing professional, outdoor agricultural trade exhibition bringing regional and international agricultural products and service providers to the market. The expo will showcase some of the world's leading companies in seed production, agrochemicals, irrigation, farm machinery, livestock management, financial services, insurance and agricultural commodities. Agritech Expo will feature live crop trials and product demonstrations, including a machinery area where attendees can observe and "test-drive" the latest equipment. The expo is the result of the vision and dedicated efforts of the Zambian National Farmer Union (ZNFU), the Golden Valley Agricultural Research Trust (GART), Musika and events firm Spintelligent.
By Rob Turner, Director of Agricultural Value Chain

On April 4th and 5th of this year, the inaugural Agritech Expo will be held just outside Lusaka at Chisambo, Zambia. The event will be an all-encompassing professional, outdoor agricultural trade exhibition bringing regional and international agricultural products and service providers to the market. The expo will showcase some of the world's leading companies in seed production, agrochemicals, irrigation, farm machinery, livestock management, financial services, insurance and agricultural commodities. Agritech Expo will feature live crop trials and product demonstrations, including a machinery area where attendees can observe and "test-drive" the latest equipment. The expo is the result of the vision and dedicated efforts of the Zambian National Farmer Union (ZNFU), the Golden Valley Agricultural Research Trust (GART), Musika and events firm Spintelligent.

Zambia is a nation on the rise, with an economy projected to be one of the fastest growing in the world. Critical to this growth is Zambia's booming agriculture sector, which accounts for 35% of the nation's GDP and equates to approximately US$4.5 billion in real money. The expansion of small scale farming and the development of emerging and commercial farms are key contributors to the growth of the agriculture sector. As a result, international companies are heading to Zambia to take advantage of and contribute to the opportunity in this developing new agricultural hub.

USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub views the expo as an opportunity to support Zambian agricultural development. In addition, the Trade Hub is leveraging the event as a resource for neighboring countries also working to develop more productive and efficient emerging commercial farming sectors. To support this, the Trade Hub has provided a US$100,000 Strategic Partnership grant to the event to expand its regional reach and impact by including Malawi and Mozambique. Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia are the USG Feed the Future focal countries in the Southern Africa Region The grant will:
  • Partially subsidize attendance for up to 50 emerging commercial farmers and agribusiness suppliers from the region
  • Provide targeted buyer-seller matching for supported attendees
  • Partially subsidize exhibitor fees for up to 10 indigenous SME agricultural technology companies from the region
  • Support a range of on-site technical and management workshops provided free-of-charge to expo attendees

The Trade Hub is excited about this partnership and the potential value the expo offers to agricultural competitiveness in the region. Technologies represented at the Agritech Expo— including seeds, fertilizers, irrigation, storage and ICT—are critical to improving agricultural productivity, farmer incomes and food security. We encourage interested parties to attend the event and welcome any suggestions or referrals for the grant-supported activities above.

Makes it a faulty lipstick easier to irradiation +vit, marginalize, and lock up ali. http://greenmountaincoffeeproonline.biz Kyle busch ended the history hopes when he crashed successfully in the prank.
]]>
Sat, 01 Feb 2014 18:07:37 +0000
The WTO’s Agreement on Trade Facilitation: How Will It Affect Southern Africa? http://www.satradehub.org/trade-facilitation/the-wto-s-agreement-on-trade-facilitation-how-will-it-affect-southern-africa http://www.satradehub.org/trade-facilitation/the-wto-s-agreement-on-trade-facilitation-how-will-it-affect-southern-africa
trade facilitation The "Agreement on Trade Facilitation" (ATF) was the focus of the World Trade Organization's 9th Ministerial Conference held in Bali, Indonesia in December 2013. Trade facilitation has at its core the goal of lowering the transaction costs of doing business in international trade, specifically the cost of clearing goods for import, export and transit and the associated border controls. Trader transaction costs and the administrative burden of trader activities are generally highest in developing and least developed countries, particularly those which are land-locked. The Agreement on Trade Facilitation seeks to compel WTO member nations to remedy this current situation through the adoption of a rules-based system of trade policies and procedures that incorporates modernized business practices and processes, not only for customs authorities but for all government agencies that have a direct impact on international trade.
By Brian Glancy, Director of Trade Facilitation

The "Agreement on Trade Facilitation" (ATF) was the focus of the World Trade Organization's 9th Ministerial Conference held in Bali, Indonesia in December 2013. Trade facilitation has at its core the goal of lowering the transaction costs of doing business in international trade, specifically the cost of clearing goods for import, export and transit and the associated border controls. Trader transaction costs and the administrative burden of trader activities are generally highest in developing and least developed countries, particularly those which are land-locked. The Agreement on Trade Facilitation seeks to compel WTO member nations to remedy this current situation through the adoption of a rules-based system of trade policies and procedures that incorporates modernized business practices and processes, not only for customs authorities but for all government agencies that have a direct impact on international trade. The agreement was accepted in draft form by WTO members on December 11, and it is expected to be ratified and implemented in July 2014. All of the countries in which the Trade Hub works are WTO members and will be bound to implement the ATF within the dates prescribed in the agreement.

What's in the Agreement?
The proposed Agreement on Trade Facilitation comprises two sections. The first section deals with trade facilitation measures and obligations. The second section relates to flexibility arrangements that will allow developing and least developed countries to phase in the agreement's obligations over an extended period of time. During the Bali conference, 12 articles were agreed upon, which are as follows:
  1. Publication and availability of information
  2. Prior publication and consultation
  3. Advance rulings
  4. Appeal or review procedures
  5. Other measures to ensure impartiality, non-discrimination and transparency
  6. Disciplines on fees and charges imposed on or in connection with importation and exportation
  7. Release and clearance of goods
  8. Border agency coordination
  9. Movement of goods under customs control for import
  10. Formalities connected with importation, exportation and transit
  11. Freedom of transit
  12. Customs cooperation
The first group of articles (Articles 1-5) essentially addresses transparency issues and expands on GATT Article X. The second group of articles (Articles 6-12) expands on GATT Articles V and VIII and is mainly concerned with fees, charges and formalities for the import, export and transit of goods. These articles require governments to develop new methodologies and business practices, introduce and expand the use of automation to enhance trade facilitation, and build a modernized border clearance service approach that is primarily based on the acceptance of "risk management" as a cornerstone to a significant reduction of border agency intrusions into the goods facilitation process. The implementation of the agreement fully supports the concept of "time shifting"—a border clearance process that implements both pre-arrival submission of documentation and post-release verification activities as risk-based audit controls—and payment schemes that are supported by security to minimize the impact on traders when goods actually arrive at the border.

What about traders in Africa?
For years, traders have been voicing their concerns regarding the costs and burdens associated with clearing goods through borders. In 2007, a list of common issues emerged from a study of business needs in East, West and Southern Africa. This initiative was carried out by the Business Action for Improving Customs Administration in Africa (BAFICAA) in response to the Commission for Africa Report in 2005. The six key facilitation issues for the African trade community were identified as:
  1. The need for fast-track customs services for compliant and low risk taxpayers and traders
  2. Regular private sector consultation to ensure support and acceptance for the changes and reforms in border administrations
  3. Speeding up the automation of border processes and procedures
  4. A service charter between customs and the private sector setting out expectations, service levels, and quality of service delivery
  5. Elimination of duplication and bureaucracy in post clearance audit and valuation processes
  6. Professional training and standards for the accreditation, certification and licensing of customs clearing agents and professional training for customs services
The Agreement on Trade Facilitation provides remedial action for all six of these issues, all of which have been adequately addressed in the agreement.

How will the Trade Hub support the ATF?
The Trade Hub is well-positioned to support WTO countries in Southern Africa with technical assistance to allow these countries to meet their obligations to the ATF. For example, Articles 1-5 of the ATF deal with transparency issues. The Trade Hub will assist countries in developing a comprehensive communications strategy and action plan to promote public awareness and provide public consultation on border modernization initiatives like National Single Window, enabling access to government information, legislation, documentation and border obligation through systems such as trade repositories and websites.

Articles 6-12 of the ATF focus on border agency formalities and fees. The Trade Hub is working closely with beneficiary countries to introduce modernized border services by giving them a toolkit to manage border process re-engineering efficiently and effectively. Overall, Trade Hub support activities will include training and technical assistance in:
  • Communications Strategy and Plan (supports Articles 1& 2 ATF)
  • Project Management (supports Article 10.3 ATF)
  • Change Management (supports Articles 7, 8 &10 ATF)
  • Business Process Re-engineering (supports Article 9.3, ATF)
  • Readiness Assessments for OGAs to connect to Customs as part of a NSW environment (supports article 10.4.1 ATF)
  • Implementation of a National Single Window environment (supports Article 10.4.1, ATF)
  • Legislative Reviews (supports Articles1 – 12. ATF)
  • One Stop Border Posts (supports Article 8.1 e, ATF)
  • Coordinated Border Management (supports Articles 6 & 8. ATF)

These technical assistance interventions will improve the countries' ability to implement the ATF successfully and sustainably under prescribed conditions and within acceptable time frames. With cooperative and collaborative effort, WTO member countries in Southern Africa will reap the benefits of the agreement in a "win-win" situation for governments and the trade community.

]]>
Sat, 01 Feb 2014 17:59:17 +0000
African Delegation Visits U.S. for Benchmarking Mission on Standards to Improve Trade http://www.satradehub.org/enabling-environment/african-delegation-visits-u-s-for-benchmarking-mission-on-standards-to-improve-trade http://www.satradehub.org/enabling-environment/african-delegation-visits-u-s-for-benchmarking-mission-on-standards-to-improve-trade
ee USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub, in conjunction with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), organized a five-day benchmarking mission to the United States from January 13-17, 2014. The mission brought a delegation of eight designated World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) officials from the national standards organizations of select Southern African countries to the U.S.: two officials came from Lesotho and three each from Malawi and Zambia. The benchmarking mission was hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the U.S. and was part of the Partnership for Trade Facilitation (PTF) Standards Alliance technical assistance.
By George Makore, Director Enabling Environmet

USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub, in conjunction with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), organized a five-day benchmarking mission to the United States from January 13-17, 2014. The mission brought a delegation of eight designated World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) officials from the national standards organizations of select Southern African countries to the U.S.: two officials came from Lesotho and three each from Malawi and Zambia. The benchmarking mission was hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the U.S. and was part of the Partnership for Trade Facilitation (PTF) Standards Alliance technical assistance. The trip was designed to give the delegates an up-close and comprehensive understanding of the functioning of an Enquiry Point and Notification Authority as they prepare to launch similar initiatives in their own countries. In addition to responding to all enquiries for information concerning state and private regulations, standards, and conformity assessment procedures, an effective Enquiry Point maintains a reference collection of standards, specifications, test methods, codes and recommended practices for all WTO member countries.

NIST is the federal technology agency that works with US industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards, while ANSI is the voice of the US standards and conformity assessment system. As explained in their mission statement, ANSI "empowers its members and constituents to strengthen the U.S. marketplace position in the global economy while helping to assure the safety and health of consumers and the protection of the environment."

In November 2011, the US government launched a new initiative, USAID's Partnership for Trade Facilitation (PTF), which is a flexible funding facility to assist developing countries in the implementation of trade facilitation commitments currently subject to WTO negotiations. PTF is a collaborative initiative for practitioners and policymakers involved in trade and transport facilitation. The fund provides technical and financial resources to advance reforms in the global trading system while building the capacity of developing countries in areas of the proposed WTO agreement on trade facilitation.

ee3 The Standards Alliance program is a new US five-year facility to support developing countries in implementing commitments under the WTO TBT agreement announced by the USAID and USTR at WTO in Geneva, Switzerland in November 2012. The objectives of the Standards Alliance program include increased understanding of WTO TBT principles, encouragement of transparency in the development and alteration of technical regulations, and improved implementation of the TBT Agreement's Code of Good Practice for the preparation, adoption and application of standards, with the larger goal of promoting trade and economic development.

The benchmarking visit followed three training sessions held by the Trade Hub on operating an effective WTO TBT Enquiry Point and Notification Authority in December 2013. The sessions were given in Lesotho, Malawi and Zambia and attended by a total over 60 participants from the private and public sector as well as nongovernmental organizations in the three countries. The in-country sessions gave participants an overview of the WTO and TBT agreement and the obligations of WTO members; outlined roles and responsibilities; and explained the operation of the TBT enquiry point.

Once in the U.S., the delegates met with the Director for Technical Barriers to Trade and the Director of African Affairs in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) for a discussion of Standard Alliance activities and other matters of mutual interest. The delegates also spent three days at the NIST Complex in Gaithersburg, Maryland where they visited the Enquiry Point and Notification Authority and were given a guided tour of the facility and a detailed explanation of its day-to-day operations. The Southern Africa delegation also received presentations from various experts from the US standards development organizations and different government officials involved in trade and WTO issues. Most importantly, the visit included demonstration of the U.S. WTO TBT Online Notification Submission System, operation of the WTO TBT Enquiry Point, completion of WTO TBT Notification, overview of good regulatory practices and WTO obligations for transparency. The visit also exposed the delegation to the appropriate tools and resources required to establish an effective WTO TBT Enquiry Point and Notification Authority.

In addition to their comprehensive visit to the NIST Campus, the delegates spent two days at ANSI in Washington DC where they interacted with senior ANSI officials and stakeholders. During the two-day stop, ANSI staff provided the delegates with an overview of ANSI and Standards Alliance activities, while the ANSI stakeholders used the opportunity to highlight their own activities and potential opportunities for cooperation with the SADC country representatives in attendance.Following the successful benchmarking visit, participants returned home to Lesotho, Malawi and Zambia ready to establish effective WTO TBT Enquiry Points and Notification Authorities in their own countries to help benefit traders as part of the region's effort to increase trade and stimulate economic growth.
]]>
Sat, 01 Feb 2014 15:25:21 +0000
Jungle Beat Launches New Processing Line with Trade Hub Grant http://www.satradehub.org/home/jungle-beat-launches-new-processing-line-with-trade-hub-grant http://www.satradehub.org/home/jungle-beat-launches-new-processing-line-with-trade-hub-grant jb-groundnut-launch-21-dp On December 3, 2013, Jungle Beat, Central African Seed Services (CASS), the USAID Southern Africa Trade Hub and USAID/Zambia officiated at the official launch of a new groundnut processing line installed at the Jungle Beat factory in Lusaka, Zambia. The line is part of a partnership deal between Jungle Beat and CASS supported by a USAID Strategic Partnership grant, encouraging South African investment and technology transfer into the region.
jb-groundnut-launch-21 On December 3, 2013, Jungle Beat, Central African Seed Services (CASS), the USAID Southern Africa Trade Hub and USAID/Zambia officiated at the official launch of a new groundnut processing line installed at the Jungle Beat factory in Lusaka, Zambia. The line is part of a partnership deal between Jungle Beat and CASS supported by a USAID Strategic Partnership grant, encouraging South African investment and technology transfer into the region.

The new processing line cleans, sorts and grades groundnuts for the purpose of achieving a uniform, high quality product with aflatoxin levels compliant with export requirements. With a full complement of trained pickers on the conveyor belts, the line can process up to four metric tons of nuts per hour. jungle-beats-new-processing-line Groundnuts arrive from smallholder farmers in bags along with dirt, stones and sticks, and must be cleaned with forced air and gravity separation. The cleaned nuts then move to a grading module that sorts the nuts according to size using oscillating sieves. This process separates the nuts into the uniform commercial sizes required by international buyers. The mechanical grading also removes the shriveled, immature and broken nuts; these damaged kernels harbor the majority of aflatoxin in any lot, and removing them efficiently is vital to achieving a cost-competitive, safe export product.

From here the sized nuts spill onto conveyor belts for a final inspection and picking. The workers remove any discolored or insect-damaged nuts and discard them in a slot next to their station. In smallholder farm production of groundnuts, it is also common for different jb-groundnut-launch-27 varieties to be mixed together; the pickers must also separate these out to ensure that the final product is truly uniform and meets with buyer requirements. The nuts on the conveyor shown here are part of the first export order for the factory. They are destined to be used in Burkina Faso for the manufacture of "PlumpyNut," which is a ready-to-use therapeutic food used to fight malnourishment, especially in child populations. With efficient processing like this, African smallholder-produced groundnuts can supply the humanitarian feeding industry and Africa can receive a double benefit from the aid.

The technology supplied through this grant is only one part of what is needed to create a sustainable business model, with financing a key component as well. Below, USAID Deputy Mission Director Ryan Washburn explains that Jungle Beat secured US$1.8 million in commercial financing with the help of a USAID Development Credit Authority (DCA) partial guarantee that encourages Zambian banks to loan to promising SMEs. Jungle Beat has used this finance to increase procurement from smallholders in order to meet export demand.
jb-groundnut-launch-18
]]>
Wed, 01 Jan 2014 20:17:01 +0000
Learning More About Lesotho: Textiles & Apparel http://www.satradehub.org/home/learning-more-about-lesotho-textiles-apparel http://www.satradehub.org/home/learning-more-about-lesotho-textiles-apparel The Trade Hub recently visited the Kingdom of Lesotho to promote Source Africa 2014 and to administer an industry questionnaire designed to determine regional supply and demand scenarios and to identify companies that can be linked with regional and international markets, especially during Source Africa 2014. Source Africa, the pan-African textiles/apparel/footwear trade show, takes place from May 6-8, 2014 in Cape Town. During the Trade Hub's recent trip, the team visited 23 companies, two key industry associations, and the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC).
By Mohamed Abouiiana, Senior Textiles & Apparel Advisor and Cosmas Mamhunze, AGOA, Trade & Investment Specialist

The Trade Hub recently visited the Kingdom of Lesotho to promote Source Africa 2014 (www.sourceafrica.co.za) and to administer an industry questionnaire designed to determine regional supply and demand scenarios and to identify companies that can be linked with regional and international markets, especially during Source Africa 2014. Source Africa, the pan-African textiles/apparel/footwear trade show, takes place from May 6-8, 2014 in Cape Town. During the Trade Hub's recent trip, the team visited 23 companies, two key industry associations, and the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC).

The industry questionnaire will be administered in other countries throughout the region, and its results will feed into the highly successful Source Africa business-to-business matchmaking program.

Lesotho's Industry

The textiles and apparel sector in Lesotho is estimated to employ well over 30,000 workers, and is the country's main beneficiary sector under the African Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA). According to the USITC statistics below, the sector constitutes 99.99% of the country's exports to the US under AGOA.

lesotho-exports-to-the-us-under-agoa
In Sub-Saharan Africa, Lesotho occupies the top spot in terms of textiles/apparel exports to the U.S. under AGOA. Below is a list of the top ten exporters from 2012 to September 2013:

country
Lesotho is known for producing two main products: denim jeans and knit garments made from manmade fibers. Until last year when it ceded its ranking to Kenya, Lesotho was regarded as the "jeans capital of Africa," producing 26 million pairs of denim jeans a year. Formosa Mill, a state-of-the art denim fabric mill in Maseru produces more than 1.3 million yards of denim fabric a year and 900 tons of cotton and cotton blend yarns.

Lesotho is ranked the 12th largest exporter of cotton men's denim pants to the US. In 2012, more than US$78.2m of denim pants were exported. Lesotho also ranked 18th in women's denim pants (category 348, women/girls slacks), exporting US$57.2m worth. Most of the denim fabric used for export to the US market is manufactured locally while some is imported from China, Pakistan and India. Denim fabric weight ranges between 11-13 oz/yd and is made mainly from open end yarns from African-grown cotton.

The Lesotho textiles/garment industry produces approximately 70 million knitted garments per year. Jackets, pants, blouses, t-shirts, polo shirts and sportswear are a few examples of Lesotho's knit exports to the U.S. In 2012, Lesotho knit garment exports to the US were approximately US$150m: composed of cotton categories 338 (knit shirts men/boys), 339 (women/girl knit blouses) and knit products made of man-made fiber categories 638 (knit shirts men), 639 (knit blouses women), 647 (trousers) and 648 (slacks etc., women/girl). The country also manufactured underwear for the US market. Under AGOA, garments made from man-made fibers benefit from duty exemptions of up to 30%. Knit apparel is made from fabric imported mainly from China, Taiwan, Vietnam and Thailand.

Of the more than 40 factories in Lesotho specializing in both woven and knit garments, most of them are subsidiaries of larger textile and garment corporations with manufacturing operations throughout the globe, with a few locally-owned by residents. Some garment firms have in-house embroidery, screen-printing, heat-transfer processes, and laundry and garment finishing facilities. Although Lesotho factories compete with each other to obtain orders, they also work co-operatively to form a "cluster" that offers a full range of services. Factories operate directly with buyers or through agents in Asia.

From the visits so far, the Trade Hub has made the following observations about the textiles & apparel sector in Lesotho:
  • It is important to develop local or regional agents that can serve as a link between local factories and US buyers. It may take time to establish trust with the US buyers, but it is very important in the long term.
  • Several factories are underutilized and need to move to higher value-added products rather than basic products.
  • Lesotho's apparel sector faces challenges such as the higher vertical integration of the industry.
  • The industry and the government are cognizant of the need for market diversification to incorporate the South African and EU markets, and to indigenize the industry by bringing more local entrepreneurs into the sector.
  • Going forward, the industry will benefit from efforts to develop and train local middle management. Most middle managers are expatriates, who can also play a role through knowledge and skills transfer to locals.
  • Uncertainty around the AGOA and Third Country Fabric (TCF) provision extension beyond 2015 will continue to stall further investments and sourcing decisions. Buyers often place orders around six months in advance.

The Trade Hub strongly believes that there is excellent opportunity for Lesotho's textile/garment industry to continue developing. The availability of labor, trade agreements with the U.S., proximity to the South African market and access to shipping harbors and investment-friendly regulations make Lesotho a textile/apparel manufacturing center in the region. However, the industry faces challenges in terms of vertical integration, diversification of products and markets, indigenization and lack of skilled local middle management. Lesotho can learn from Sri Lanka's experience to increase production of value-added items rather than confining itself primarily to basic products. Promoting industry-supporting services like denim washing, embroidery and printing will also help buyers place more orders in Lesotho. Finally, developing regional or local agents to attract US and international buyers to the region will help replace current agents in Asia and bring trade and growth to Lesotho's economy.

]]>
Wed, 01 Jan 2014 20:09:08 +0000
Hub Digest: Namibia Embarks on Trade Facilitation Reforms http://www.satradehub.org/home/hub-digest-namibia-embarks-on-trade-facilitation-reforms http://www.satradehub.org/home/hub-digest-namibia-embarks-on-trade-facilitation-reforms namibia-workshop The Namibian government is embarking on far-reaching trade facilitation reforms that will position the country as a competitive trading partner: routing imports and exports along the Trans Kalahari Corridor. The reforms will also make Namibia an attractive destination for inward investment in logistics, tourism and services industries.
The Hub Digest offers views from a rotating panel of experts on a wide variety of issues related to trade and economic growth in Southern Africa, including trade facilitation tools and approaches; agricultural productivity and improvements especially in the maize, groundnut and soy value chains; developments in the textiles and apparel sector and regarding AGOA and exports; clean energy; enabling environment reform and initiatives; environmental compliance and gender integration.

Write to info@satradehub.org with your suggestion for a topic or question. Or start a conversation via our Facebook Pagewww.facebook.com/satradehub.

By Brian Glancy, Director of Trade Facilitation

namibia workshop The Namibian government is embarking on far-reaching trade facilitation reforms that will position the country as a competitive trading partner: routing imports and exports along the Trans Kalahari Corridor. The reforms will also make Namibia an attractive destination for inward investment in logistics, tourism and services industries.

USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub is currently engaged with the Namibian government on a number of key modernization projects. These projects support the delivery of trade services that will utilize modernized business processes in tandem with technology solutions. Activities include:
  • Developing web-based access to government ministries and their public information holdings via a "Trade Repository." Traders will be able to obtain information on their rights and obligations related to international trade through a single internet portal.
  • Modernized Customs and Excise Legislation that will allow Namibia to provide border clearance services through the adoption of international agreements and standards such as the Revised Kyoto Convention.
  • Regional information and cooperation through the establishment of a "Connectivity" program through which Namibia and Botswana will share information on trader transactions to reduce the burden on traders by reducing information provision requirements. One country's export becomes another country's import: all performed electronically.
Perhaps the most important project for which the Trade Hub is providing technical assistance and support to the Namibian government is the establishment of a "National Single Window" (NSW) environment. The NSW concept promotes the use of technology and modernized business practices that allow traders to reduce significantly the time and cost associated with meeting their border obligations in the import, export and transit of goods. Currently traders have many ministries to which they must report their goods, many forms and documents to complete, and many compliance verification inspections to undergo in order to get their goods to market. NSW changes all of that by allowing traders to meet their obligations through:
  • the submission of a single transaction package to satisfy all government requirements
  • a single review inspection to satisfy all government agencies, and
  • a single decision process based on simplified, harmonized and standardized data requirements and documentation
The Trade Hub has been actively advocating that the government of Namibia pro-actively engage the private sector as part of its NSW vision through a public awareness program to stress the importance of a collaborative approach to successful trade reform initiatives.

From September 23-28 the Trade Hub attended a private sector workshop in Walvis Bay to promote its activities in Namibia. It was sponsored by the Namibian German Center of Logistics (NGCL), and participants included traders, CFA associations, the Walvis Bay Corridor Group, Namport (marine terminal operator) and TransNamib (rail). Aside from critical government stakeholders, the private sector (trading community) is the ultimate end user of an NSW system.

The Trade Hub made presentations on its respective trade facilitation activities to support the government of Namibia's mandate to enhance trade facilitation through government reforms that offer improved services to traders through automation and business process re-engineering. This mandate has been formally confirmed through the recent approval of a Cabinet Document to commit the government of Namibia to implement a National Single Window environment. With the Cabinet Document now in place, the time is right for government to involve the private sector on the NSW concept and solicit their views and opinions on its potential impacts and benefits.

While government partners now have significant expertise on the concept of NSW and its relevance and requirements, a show of hands during the Trade Hub's presentation highlighted the low level of familiarity within the trading community on NSW. The Trade Hub has offered its assistance to the Namibian government to develop and implement a comprehensive communications strategy and plan to address this issue and offer effective public awareness and consultation events and information services as part of their NSW strategy.

A key consideration in involving the private sector is that in international trade, transport and logistics operators are for the most part already technologically advanced and use automation extensively in delivering services. Their knowledge and experience can be leveraged to support government reforms and introduce new programs and services that will ultimately be introduced to the trade chain.

Overall, the Trade Hub's contribution to the Transport and Logistics Workshop was highly regarded and well-received by the workshop participants, with many attendees requesting follow-up visits to get the message on NSW out to a wider audience. The Trade Hub will continue to offer assistance and support to the Namibian stakeholders where it is needed in implementing NSW and other trade facilitation measures.

A graduate of Niagara College of Applied Arts (Law &Security Administration) and Brock University (Public Administration), Brian Glancy entered the Public Service of Canada as a Customs Inspector in 1978. Brian worked for more than 27 years with the Canada Border Services Agency, completing his public service career as a Deputy Director for Borders Intelligence at Headquarters. He has since served on various international development projects based in Uganda, Afghanistan, Guatemala and Egypt. Brian has extensive experience in the design and development of national programs related to border controls, as well as inspection services via automated and alternate means to provide new services, including brokering, testing, training, evaluation and monitoring services in support of the business mandate.
]]>
Wed, 01 Jan 2014 17:35:48 +0000
Lesotho, Malawi and Zambia to Establish TBT Enquiry Points http://www.satradehub.org/enabling-environment/lesotho-malawi-and-zambia-to-establish-tbt-enquiry-points http://www.satradehub.org/enabling-environment/lesotho-malawi-and-zambia-to-establish-tbt-enquiry-points
photo-for-ee-article-dp USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub is providing technical assistance support to Lesotho, Malawi, and Zambia on the operation of an effective World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Enquiry Point and Notification Authority. The first phase of technical assistance involved capacity building workshops that took place December 4-6 in Blantyre, Malawi; December 9-11 in Lusaka, Zambia; and December 16-18 in Maseru, Lesotho involving 20, 18 and 24 participants respectively.
By George Makore, Director of Enabling Environment

USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub is providing technical assistance support to Lesotho, Malawi, and Zambia on the operation of an effective World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Enquiry Point and Notification Authority. The first phase of technical assistance involved capacity building workshops that took place December 4-6 in Blantyre, Malawi; December 9-11 in Lusaka, Zambia; and December 16-18 in Maseru, Lesotho involving 20, 18 and 24 participants respectively. The workshops equipped participants with a deeper understanding of the functioning of an effective enquiry point and notification authority, and were facilitated by a U.S.-based consultant with over 30 years of experience working in standards and WTO TBT Enquiry Points. In all three countries, participants came from the national standards bodies (NSBs), trade and consumer associations, and other interested private and public sector stakeholder groups.

The technical assistance is part of the Standards Alliance program under the Partnership for Trade Facilitation (PTF) facility and was provided in response to the requests of Lesotho, Malawi and Zambia for assistance. The Standards Alliance program was announced by USAID and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) at WTO in November 2012 and is a US facility to support developing countries in implementing commitments under the WTO TBT agreement. PTF is a collaborative initiative for practitioners and policymakers involved in trade and transport facilitation. It provides technical and financial resources to advance reforms that help businesses participate in the global trading system while building the capacity of developing countries in areas of the proposed WTO agreement on trade facilitation.

The WTO TBT agreement requires each WTO member to set up a national enquiry point and notification authority. An enquiry point is a single contact point to which requests for information by other WTO member enquiry points, individuals and organizations from other countries and domestic stakeholders in public and private sectors can be made. In addition to responding to all enquiries for information concerning regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures, an effective enquiry point maintains a reference collection of standards, specifications, test methods, codes and recommended practices. A notification authority is a government authority responsible for implementation of provisions concerning notification procedures at the national level.

The Trade Hub-sponsored capacity building workshops involved presentations, group exercises and group discussions to demonstrate the usefulness of establishing and operating an effective TBT Enquiry Point and Notification Authority. The three-day program in each country gave participants an overview of the WTO and TBT agreement and the obligations of WTO members; outlined roles and responsibilities of both the enquiry point and notification authority; explained the operation of the TBT enquiry point, enquiry point and notification authority operations and management; and dissected information flows and relationships. On the final day of the training, participants discussed the crucial next steps required to ensure a fully functioning enquiry point and notification authority for their country.

Based on feedback obtained by the Trade Hub, the participants felt that the workshops equipped them with useful information on how to address WTO TBT issues, while enquiry point staff indicated that knowledge gained will help revive the operations of their currently struggling enquiry points. Some participants indicated that although they were working on an enquiry point, this was the first time they had received technical assistance on enquiry point operations, which would significantly enhance their capacity to do their work.

One participant from Malawi stated: "I have gained new knowledge which will help Malawi fulfill her obligations as a WTO member." Another participant added that "It has reinforced the need for consultation when developing technical regulations which is my daily work," and a standards manager and TBT National Enquiry Point desk officer in attendance shared that the workshops had been a significant eye-opener.

Following the workshops, eight designated enquiry point officials from the NSBs of Lesotho, Malawi, and Zambia will undertake a five-day benchmarking mission hosted by the American National Standards Institute to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the U.S. to gain a deeper understanding of an effective enquiry point and witness its operations first-hand. Going forward under the same PTF facility on standards assistance, several technical assistance activities have already been approved for implementation in Lesotho and Malawi. These include:
  • Capacitating and strengthening the Lesotho and Malawi National Enquiry Point and Notification Authorities through the provision of IT equipment and information materials.
  • Developing guidelines on referencing standards in regulations and a two-day workshop on the need to reference standards in technical regulations.
  • Development and publication of a booklet on guidelines for referencing standards in technical regulations.
  • Providing technical expertise to help Lesotho develop a strategy and structure of their NSB as well as a national quality and food safety policy.
  • Conducting awareness seminars to stakeholders to inform them on the functions of the enquiry point and the benefits derived from accessing information from the enquiry point.
The above technical assistance is expected to help strengthen the legal and regulatory framework for standards and improve the standards development process in the three countries in particular and the Southern Africa region in general.
]]>
Wed, 01 Jan 2014 17:30:37 +0000
Laying the Groundwork for Solar Photovoltaics in Zambia http://www.satradehub.org/clean-energy/laying-the-groundwork-for-solar-photovoltaics-in-zambia http://www.satradehub.org/clean-energy/laying-the-groundwork-for-solar-photovoltaics-in-zambia
solar-panel-rural-area Zambia has a range of primary energy sources, including hydropower, coal, forest biomass and renewable sources. Among renewable sources, hydro and solar resources are the most significant, followed by biomass and wind energy potential. Zambia's total demand currently exceeds internal generation, primarily as a result of a growing mining and farming sector. There is also high demand for electricity coming from the population, although only about 22% of the households currently have access to modern energy services.
By Alexander Filippov, Director of Clean Energy

Zambia has a range of primary energy sources, including hydropower, coal, forest biomass and renewable sources. Among renewable sources, hydro and solar resources are the most significant, followed by biomass and wind energy potential. Zambia's total demand currently exceeds internal generation, primarily as a result of a growing mining and farming sector. There is also high demand for electricity coming from the population, although only about 22% of the households currently have access to modern energy services. In a situation like Zambia's, renewable energy solutions can provide additional clean energy capacity to the national grid and also be particularly useful in the remote rural areas. Nevertheless, despite the high potential for electricity generation from renewable energy sources, their use in Zambia remains low. The major barriers for renewable energy usage have been the relatively high cost of electricity generated from renewable resources, lack of clear renewable energy policies and tariffs, and low capacity to develop and implement economically feasible projects. This is where the USAID Southern Africa Trade Hub is assisting.

Government plays a critical role in creating the enabling environment for renewable energy generation on a large scale. In Zambia, the government has been contributing to this through their National Energy Policy that makes provisions for increased use of renewable energy. Mechanisms for promoting and regulating renewable energy use include the Rural Electrification Act, Electricity Act, Energy Regulation Act and the Rural Electrification Master Plan.

The Trade Hub is assisting the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development (MMEWD) of Zambia to develop a Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff (REFIT) Policy that will facilitate investment in electricity generation from renewable sources. The Trade Hub is simultaneously building the required capacity of relevant stakeholder institutions involved in administering REFIT and processing clean energy Independent Power Producer (IPP) transactions. These institutions include the Rural Electrification Authority (REA), the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) and the power utility ZESCO Ltd.

MMEWD recently invited the first bids for construction of solar and mini grids in three rural provinces on a build-own-operate (BOO) basis. Accordingly, the Trade Hub implemented a technical assistance training program for MMEWD and other stakeholders in Zambia to build their capacity to evaluate and procure solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems in order to expand energy access in rural areas not connected by the national electricity grid.

The capacity building was organized in two phases between July and November 2013. The objectives of Phase 1 of the training program were the following:
  • Provide basic understanding of the principal planning, policy, technical, implementation, financing and tariff-related issues of solar PV energy systems.
  • Understand the needs of stakeholders.
  • Encourage participants to share their knowledge and experience with solar PV systems and procurement of energy services from private sector project developers.
  • Prepare participants for Phase 2 of the training program focused on the evaluation and procurement of bids to install solar PV systems in off-grid areas.
During the first workshop in Lusaka, the Trade Hub provided training on the fundamentals of the following: planning for installation of solar PV mini-grid systems; enabling policies and regulations; design criteria for solar PV mini-grids; project implementation arrangements; financing options; and related costs and tariffs. The participants from MMEWD, REA, ERB and ZESCO actively engaged in the Q&A and discussions and provided insights based on their experiences. Zambia has not previously procured small solar PV systems on a large scale from private developers for expanding energy access in rural areas, and there is a wide gap of knowledge and experience that needs to be filled to develop stakeholder capacity in developing RFPs, evaluating bids, and negotiating contracts and tariffs. The workshop participants were eager to investigate the tariff setting process, and they were also keen to learn about feed-in tariffs (FIT) for renewable energy systems.

Phase 1 of the Trade Hub's training served as a primer for participants to develop a basic understanding of solar PV systems and prepared the audience for the second phase of the solar PV procurement capacity building exercise. The second phase focused on the entire cycle of procuring solar PV energy systems from private project developers, and it was built upon the assessment conducted during Phase 1 to ensure that the training was in correlation with participants' needs.

The objectives of Phase 2 of the solar PV capacity building were to strengthen the energy institutions' capacity to prepare IPP tender documents; evaluate IPP proposals; and negotiate power purchase agreements in order to accelerate the penetration of clean energy in Zambia. The second workshop in Lusaka focused on imparting practical knowledge that stakeholders can use to procure solar PV systems and addressed the following topics:
  • Fundamental understanding of solar PV mini-grid systems, the typical business models and implementation mechanisms, financing options and analysis of technical and financial viability.
  • Training in the entire project development process from conducting feasibility studies to preparing Expressions of Interest, pre-qualifying bidders, preparing RFP and inviting bids, and evaluating proposals.
  • Fundamentals and principles of tariff design for mini-grid systems.
  • Fundamentals of contracting arrangements, the issues to be addressed and negotiated, risks to be mitigated and post-contract project monitoring

Phase 2 of the training also included a series of individual meetings that took place after the second workshop with the representatives of all four agencies that participated in the training. The discussions enabled the participants to consider the training topics through the prism of the agencies' everyday tasks. By the end of the training, stakeholders were equipped to competitively procure and install solar PV systems with the participation of private sector partners.

The Solar PV Project Evaluation capacity building program will feed into further collaboration between the Trade Hub and the government of Zambia. The design and implementation of feed-in tariffs for renewable energy systems requires a systematic study that examines the policy, regulatory, technical, financial and implementation issues to design FIT systems that meet specific policy imperatives and objectives of the country and the utility. Representatives of the Department of Energy and the Trade Hub are beginning to develop the REFIT Policy. The Trade Hub will further work with the Energy Regulation Board on preparation of the feed-in tariffs for selected renewable energy technologies. In addition, the Trade Hub will help build the capacity of the Rural Electrification Authority to implement the Rural Electrification Master Plan.

The Trade Hub is working with governments and regional institutions, such as SADC and the Regional Electricity Association of Southern Africa (RERA), to strengthen capacity for regulating the clean energy sector throughout the Southern Africa region. Developing transparent, robust and predictable clean energy regulatory regimes in the region is critical to attracting IPP investment in the sector. An increase in IPP clean electricity generation will, among other things, contribute to security of supply, climate change mitigation, economic growth, trade competitiveness, poverty reduction and food security in the region. Current REFIT work done by the Trade Hub in Zambia can be expanded and adopted to other countries in the regions that face similar challenges in accelerating renewable energy investment.
]]>
Wed, 01 Jan 2014 17:24:08 +0000
Jungle Beats to increase peanut butter output http://www.satradehub.org/agricultural-value-chains/sath-content/newsroom/the-trade-hub-in-the-news/jungle-beats-to-increase-peanut-butter-output http://www.satradehub.org/agricultural-value-chains/sath-content/newsroom/the-trade-hub-in-the-news/jungle-beats-to-increase-peanut-butter-output JUNGLE Beat Limited Zambia is expected to increase production of peanut butter to about 100,000 tonnes annually after the acquisition of new processing equipment. Company managing director Peter Nieuwoudt said Zambia should take advantage to fill the gap of reduced groundnut production in South Africa to export to that country.]]> Fri, 06 Dec 2013 05:00:21 +0000 Trade Hub Assesses Its Approach to Gender Mainstreaming http://www.satradehub.org/home/trade-hub-assesses-its-approach-to-gender-mainstreaming http://www.satradehub.org/home/trade-hub-assesses-its-approach-to-gender-mainstreaming
new-logo-squared Adopting full gender equity and equality is increasingly recognized as a necessity for achieving increased economic growth, competitiveness and food security in the Southern Africa region. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization determined that women's equal access to and control over productive resources would increase agricultural production yields by 20-30%, which could, in turn, increase the total agricultural output in developing countries by up to 4% and reduce the number of hungry individuals in the world by 12-17%.
By George Makore, Director of Enabling Environment

Adopting full gender equity and equality is increasingly recognized as a necessity for achieving increased economic growth, competitiveness and food security in the Southern Africa region. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization determined that women's equal access to and control over productive resources would increase agricultural production yields by 20-30%, which could, in turn, increase the total agricultural output in developing countries by up to 4% and reduce the number of hungry individuals in the world by 12-17%.

In addition, USAID has made a strong commitment to ensuring that gender is effectively integrated in all USAID-funded projects. The USAID Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Policy released in March 2012 notes that gender inequality remains a significant challenge across every development priority worldwide. In January 2012, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton observed that "Achieving our objectives for global development will demand accelerated efforts to achieve gender equality and women's empowerment. Otherwise, peace and prosperity will have their own glass ceiling."

Since the inception of the current USAID Southern Africa Trade Hub in September 2010, the project has adopted and implemented a gender integration approach to ensure that gender issues are incorporated at all levels. In order to increase awareness of the gender implications of its activities, the Trade Hub trained its staff on gender integration and periodically reports on all its gender activities. However, until recently not much had been done to analyze the effectiveness of this approach to gender mainstreaming.
The United Nations Economic and Social Council defines gender mainstreaming as:

"The process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programmes, in any area and at all levels. It is a strategy for making the concerns and experiences of women as well as of men an integral part of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic and societal spheres, so that women and men benefit equally, and inequality is not perpetuated. The ultimate goal of mainstreaming is to achieve gender equality."

Bringing gender issues into the mainstream was established as a global strategy for promoting gender equality in the Platform for Action adopted at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, China in 1995. The strategy highlighted the necessity of ensuring that gender equality is a primary goal in all areas of social and economic development.

gender-audit In an effort to assess progress made in gender mainstreaming and to identify successes and critical gaps as well as challenges to its gender integration efforts, the Trade Hub carried out a comprehensive internal gender audit from January to March 2013. This internal research was intended to identify perceptions of gender equality and integration at the Trade Hub, offer a forum for discussing gender and provide a holistic picture of gender relations at all levels of the project. It was also designed to offer recommendations for addressing gaps and improving integration activities throughout the project.

The audit used methodologies, tools, lessons learned and procedures from previous gender audits conducted by the USAID and United Nations. In addition to analyzing data collected between January and March 2013, the audit also assessed gender processes at the Trade Hub since the inception of the project, and every effort was made to guarantee that the data used was up-to-date, accurate and relevant. Data was largely collected through a participatory approach with interviews, focus groups and a questionnaire to assess staff perceptions and opinions concerning gender.

The audit noted that:
  • Gender integration is increasingly being recognized as important at the Trade Hub;
  • Over 62% of Trade Hub staff attended the gender trainings held in October 2012 and January 2013;
  • The Trade Hub has integrated several measures into its monitoring, evaluation and reporting systems to ensure that gender is mainstreamed into these processes;
  • Most staff expressed a gradual positive change in staff interest and the will to integrate gender into their work;
  • Management should actively promote and prioritize the project's gender integration approach and highlight expected results to all staff through written and verbal communications;
  • The appointed Trade Hub Gender Focal persons value their role and would like the opportunity to further develop their capacity to lead gender integration efforts;
  • Trade Hub personnel would benefit from additional gender integration tools such as manuals, techniques and handbooks to assist them in carrying out their gender integration activities; and
  • No staff has encountered or heard about any sexual harassment cases occurring at the Trade Hub.
In addition, the audit highlighted the need to develop a formal gender integration policy that clearly articulates the project's gender integration approach and how this work is the responsibility of all staff. The report also advocates ongoing and advanced training as a means to further ignite and maintain the passion and participation of the staff.

In line with the USAID Policy on Gender Equality and Female Empowerment statement that "long term, sustainable development will only be possible when women and men enjoy equal opportunity to rise to their potential," going forward the Trade Hub will strive to integrate gender at all levels by developing the capacity of technical teams and implementation partners and continue increasing awareness of gender implications.

The Trade Hub plans to partner with local firms offering gender integration services in developing context-specific and user-friendly manuals and tools that staff can use to incorporate gender considerations in their work. The Trade Hub will also ensure that all its implementation partners are equipped with necessary skills and tools to integrate gender into their work and promote women's inclusion and participation. In addition to regular reporting on gender initiatives, technical teams will be urged to continue collecting gender-disaggregated data to monitor women's participation in Trade Hub activities.
]]>
Sun, 01 Dec 2013 21:45:57 +0000
HUB DIGEST Cash Crop Systems for Commodities: Contributing to Food Security in Southern Africa http://www.satradehub.org/agricultural-value-chains/hub-digest-cash-crop-systems-for-commodities-contributing-to-food-security-in-southern-africa http://www.satradehub.org/agricultural-value-chains/hub-digest-cash-crop-systems-for-commodities-contributing-to-food-security-in-southern-africa img 1465 Across the Southern Africa region, the private sector makes significant investments in the production of cash crops such as sugar, cotton and tobacco sold for a profit on the open market. These investments include out-grower networks that provide input financing, agronomic extension services and marketing services to smallholder farmers producing the cash crops. In the food crop sector, investment comes predominantly from governments in the form of large-scale input subsidy programs, underfunded extension services and in some cases government purchases. The expansion of private investment into food production would relieve pressure on government budgets and contribute to greater food security throughout the region.
The Hub Digest offers views from a rotating panel of experts on a wide variety of issues related to trade and economic growth in Southern Africa, including trade facilitation tools and approaches; agricultural productivity and improvements especially in the maize, groundnut and soy value chains; developments in the textiles and apparel sector and regarding AGOA and exports; clean energy; enabling environment reform and initiatives; environmental compliance and gender integration.

Write to info@satradehub.org with your suggestion for a topic or question. Or start a conversation via our Facebook Page – www.facebook.com/satradehub

Cash Crop Systems for Commodities: Contributing to Food Security in Southern Africa
By Rob Turner, Director of Agriculture

ag Across the Southern Africa region, the private sector makes significant investments in the production of cash crops such as sugar, cotton and tobacco sold for a profit on the open market. These investments include out-grower networks that provide input financing, agronomic extension services and marketing services to smallholder farmers producing the cash crops. In the food crop sector, investment comes predominantly from governments in the form of large-scale input subsidy programs, underfunded extension services and in some cases government purchases. The expansion of private investment into food production would relieve pressure on government budgets and contribute to greater food security throughout the region.

As the demand and prices for food rise, there are forces encouraging cash crop companies to explore food crop production support. Of primary concern in the short term is the competition that food crops exert on their producer base. Secondarily, food crop investment is becoming more economically viable in light of predicted demand; farmers are inclined to allocate more of their land to food production and less to cash crop production. If cash crop companies can offer a diversified contract, they can keep more of their producer base engaged.

Certain cash crop companies have incorporated some support to food crops within their out-grower systems. For the most part, however, these activities are limited to input financing for food security planting (e.g. providing some maize seed and fertilizer to a tobacco grower to ensure household food security), rather than commercial production agreements. USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub is currently supporting a South African company, NWK, to pilot the introduction of soybeans into its cotton out-grower network in Zambia as a secondary commercial crop. In this model, NWK will contract soybean production and provide grower services on the same basis as its cotton contracts. The Trade Hub is providing grant support to reduce the upfront investment in field staff agronomic training on soybeans, first year seed supply, soil testing and GIS mapping.

The pilot phase is underway, and NWK is hopeful for a successful outcome. NWK views this investment as a low risk, win-win strategy of leveraging the existing cotton out-grower network to produce grains and oil-seeds for trade and processing. The current pilot is targeting 920 farmers out of a cotton grower database of 112,000 farmers. There is significant opportunity for scaling up.

Managing Risk
The primary commercial risk, which has constrained contract farming in food crops in the past, is side-selling. In this scenario, the producer takes upfront financing from the contractor (for example, in the form of seed and fertilizer), receives agronomic advice and support, but then sells his crop to another buyer to obtain a higher price or to avoid repaying his/her finance. In cash crops, this risk is limited due to the smaller number of buying firms and the relatively organized nature of the industries. Under the current Trade Hub/NWK model, the expectation is that soybean side-selling will be reduced because soybeans will be an integral part of a contract that also includes cotton. If the producer does not honor his/her soybean contract, then he/she will lose the less liquid cotton market.

From the farmer's standpoint, the risk is that large contracting companies will use their relative financial and market power to squeeze farmers and extract unfair terms. For this reason, USAID support should include the development of clear contracts that detail farmer costs (including finance and marketing) and set a price with a minimum producer profit. This shouldn't preclude different contract variants based on commodities and market conditions, but all contracts should clearly spell out requirements, costs and services and provide farmers with the information they need to make an informed decision.

img 1471 One important factor affecting the use of cash out-grower networks for food crops is government activity. Contract farming is widely supported by regional governments and is formally encouraged in Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) compacts. However, government intervention in "strategic" staple food markets is a serious impediment to private sector investment in those crops. The ad-hoc implementation of export bans, floor prices and other interventions create uncertainty and volatility in the market. Significant private investment in maize is unlikely as long as government intervention is so prevalent.

Advantages to Farmers
One of the primary advantages of contract farming is that it provides access to finance for smallholder farmers. Generally, financial institutions in the region are very interested in increasing their agricultural lending, but their production finance is extremely low due to the high risk and high cost of lending to smallholders. If this is further broken down and we consider lending for food crop production, the level will be even lower. Even among mission-driven financial institutions, generally the majority of their smallholder finance is devoted to cash crop production because of the structured, off-take agreements and company organization. Increased food crop contracting, alongside cash crop production, could leverage additional bank financing to food production.

Dual crop production with the adoption of new technologies makes financial sense for the farmer in terms of return, with general advantages to the farmer including:

• Higher productivity from financed inputs and improved extension services
• Improved awareness of standards and market requirements
• Adoption of a commercial-oriented approach to farming food crops

Gender and Environmental Impact
Across much of SADC, men are largely responsible for commercial agriculture (cash crops and the marketing of excess food crops), and women are responsible for the food crops for household consumption. There is certainly a risk that the commercialization of food production at the smallholder level may push women out of control of that resource. However, the formalization of agreements with farmers offers the opportunity to include wives explicitly in contracts and to mandate that women (who generally work the fields) are present for extension trainings and field agent farm visits. This move would empower women with increased knowledge and training, and lead to higher incomes.

In terms of environmental impact, specifically in the case of the NWK/Trade Hub pilot, the introduction of soybeans into cotton rotation will sustainably improve soil fertility and reduce the need for chemical fertilizers. However, extension services provided by contracting companies will likely be focused on maximization of commercial return rather than conservation outcomes. For this reason, as part of the scaling activity, donors will need to educate contracting companies on the benefits of climate smart technologies, especially in rain-fed smallholder settings. This model could provide a channel for faster scaling of these technologies.

Across the region the potential scale for the use of cash out-grower networks is enormous. SADC figures from 2011 put the total land under production of cotton, sugar and tobacco at almost 2.5 million hectares. The share of smallholder participation in these value chains varies across countries. In Zambia, for example, an estimated 20% of sugarcane is produced by smallholders, while in Malawi the estimate is less than 5%. Regardless of these percentages, it is clear that the utilization of even a relatively small percentage of this hectarage would generate significant food crop returns and function as an important piece of the food security solution for Southern Africa.

Rob Turner is a development professional with more than 12 years of experience in the design and management of MSME and agribusiness development projects. His focus has been on the development of market linkages and commercially sustainable services which support MSMEs and small holders to grow and successfully exploit market opportunities. Rob has managed USAID and USDA projects in the Newly Independent States (NIS) of the former Soviet Union, South East Asia and Africa focusing on value chains including grains and legumes, horticulture, bamboo and aquaculture. In recent years Rob has developed particular interest and experience in the application of ICT to reduce transaction costs and improve the competitiveness of rural MSMEs. Rob has a Masters in International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and is married with two children.

Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of USAID or the Trade Hub.

]]>
Sun, 01 Dec 2013 21:25:40 +0000
Source Africa: Opening Doors for Tanzania’s Textiles & Apparel Sector http://www.satradehub.org/home/source-africa-opening-doors-for-tanzania-s-textiles-apparel-sector http://www.satradehub.org/home/source-africa-opening-doors-for-tanzania-s-textiles-apparel-sector
tanzania The textiles and apparel industry from Tanzania had a strong showing at Source Africa 2013, USAID's flagship pan-African Textiles and Apparel Trade Promotion Event. Now, more than six months after the event, it is clear that Tanzania's participation in Source Africa has led to strengthened public-private and regional cooperation throughout the sector.
By Gina van Schalkwyk, Communications Advisor


The textiles and apparel industry from Tanzania had a strong showing at Source Africa 2013, USAID's flagship pan-African Textiles and Apparel Trade Promotion Event. Now, more than six months after the event, it is clear that Tanzania's participation in Source Africa has led to strengthened public-private and regional cooperation throughout the sector.

The International Business and Trade Tanzania Initiative (IBUTTI) and the African Cotton and Textile Industries Federation (ACTIF) collaborated to launch a March 2013 campaign coordinating participation in the first-ever Source Africa event in Cape Town April 3-5, 2013. After the meeting, IBUTTI worked with the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Tanzania Trade Development Authority to secure a Tanzanian pavilion at Source Africa.

IBUTTI was founded in 2011 by University of Dar es Salaam business and trade students to support Tanzanian exporters with the necessary skills and knowledge to expand Tanzania's exports. For Source Africa 2013, IBUTTI took on the role of registering companies in textile, apparel and footwear to go to Cape Town and participate in the Tanzanian Pavilion. A total of seven companies participated in the pavilion.

One of these firms, Vaa na Africa, was rewarded for its long trek from Dar to Cape Town with 150 orders for its textile wallets and 500 orders of kikoi cloth. Kikoi is a brightly colored striped cloth traditionally worn in East Africa as a skirt, which is now being transformed into a variety of stylish items such as handbags, shirts, beach towels and dresses.

source-africa-2013-210 Vaa na Africa Managing Director, Benny Kisanji, tells the story of the firm's participation in Source Africa 2013: "We are a very young company and prior to Source Africa had never participated in any international forum. It was rather difficult to attend due to limited financial capacity so we had to travel by road to Cape Town. This required five days without resting, but fortunately we were able to participate for the last two days of the trade show. During the exhibition we were able to showcase our products to different business people from various countries in and outside Africa. We also learned new enterprising skills, addressed different challenges and above all received various orders for our products from all over the world due to our high quality standards."

Participating in Source Africa 2013 under the Tanzanian Pavilion meant that Vaa na Africa's delayed arrival in Cape Town due to budgetary constraints did not compromise the value of their efforts. "In the Tanzanian Pavilion, I and fellow exhibitors from Tanzania arranged Vaa na Africa's products in their place and assisted in answering a few questions until Ben arrived," explains Deogratias Mbona, Chief Executive Officer of IBUTTI. The Tanzanian Pavilion, which was led by the Acting Director General of TanTrade, Jaquiline Maleko, also included participants from Mohamed Enterprises Limited, Malongo Designs, Binti Africa, A-Z Textiles and the Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO).

Source Africa 2013 also resulted in the establishment of a working relationship between IBUTTI and the Fashion and Design Institute (FDI) of Mauritius. IBUTTI and FDI have now signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will enable FDI to bring their services to Tanzania. "The Textile and Apparel sector in Tanzania requires the services of FDI to get the competitiveness it needs in order to do well in AGOA and other markets," explains Mbona.

IBUTTI's working relationship with ACTIF was also strengthened at the event. IBUTTI is now a member of ACTIF and has been contracted to conduct a survey to analyze the level of stakeholder awareness in Tanzania's CTA value chain on AGOA and its benefits, as well as the impact of AGOA on their businesses.
]]>
Sun, 01 Dec 2013 17:33:39 +0000
Swaziland: Developing a Framework for Clean Energy http://www.satradehub.org/home/swaziland-developing-a-framework-for-clean-energy http://www.satradehub.org/home/swaziland-developing-a-framework-for-clean-energy
ce The Trade Hub is working with governments and regional institutions such as SADC and the Regional Electricity Association of Southern Africa (RERA) to strengthen local capacity for regulating the region's clean energy sector. Developing transparent, robust and predictable clean energy regulatory regimes in the region is critical to attracting the investment of Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in the sector. An increase in IPPs' clean electricity generation will, among other things, contribute to security of supply, climate change mitigation, economic growth, trade competitiveness, poverty reduction and food security in the region.
By Alexander Filippov, Director of Clean Energy

The Trade Hub is working with governments and regional institutions such as SADC and the Regional Electricity Association of Southern Africa (RERA) to strengthen local capacity for regulating the region's clean energy sector. Developing transparent, robust and predictable clean energy regulatory regimes in the region is critical to attracting the investment of Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in the sector. An increase in IPPs' clean electricity generation will, among other things, contribute to security of supply, climate change mitigation, economic growth, trade competitiveness, poverty reduction and food security in the region.

Swaziland's power supply relies largely on imported electricity. To satisfy the country's 204 MW power demand, over 80% of electricity is purchased from ESCOM in South Africa and EDM in Mozambique. Four hydropower plants provide the rest of the power demand balance in the country. Even with energy imports, the electricity supply is not adequate for the country's growing economic needs. According to estimates, only 40% of urban areas and 4% of rural areas are electrified, and the overall electrification rate is approximately 27%.

Swaziland has abundant renewable energy resources to help address this shortfall, including an overall hydro potential estimated at 200 MW. Other sources include solar and wind energy, as well as biomass, particularly bagasse. At the present time, bagasse—a by-product of the sugar mills—is a major source of electricity self‐generation in the sugar industry. Pulp and saw mill industries also use wood waste to produce electricity to partially cover their own needs. One sugar factory entered into a power purchase agreement with the Swaziland Electricity Company and is now selling excess electricity from its generation plant to the grid.

The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Swaziland Energy Regulatory Authority (SERA) have been receiving an increased number of inquiries from potential independent power producers who would like to establish electricity generation plants and sell electricity to the national grid. Accordingly, the government of Swaziland through DOE under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy (MNRE) sought USAID Trade Hub support in developing a Renewable Energy and Independent Power Producer (IPP) Policy. The policy will 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.

During the week of October 28, the Trade Hub's Clean Energy team jointly with DOE launched the development of the Renewable Energy and IPP policy, which will provide guidelines to various stakeholders and IPPs in developing the clean energy sector in Swaziland. The policy development will also include conducting a Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment (SESA). More than fifteen government organizations, non-government agencies and private companies invited by DOE to be members of the Policy Steering Committee participated in consultations with the Trade Hub's experts.

The policy will introduce changes to existing frameworks, particularly the National Energy Plan, and especially in regards to enhancing RE & IPP contents. The new policy will also set goals and targets for renewable energy development and IPPs and will describe the roles of energy sector stakeholders such as MNRE/DOE, SERA, Swaziland Electricity Company and others. It will include a governance structure, procurement rules and tentative implementation schedules, as well as licensing and enforcement rules.

ce2 This work will be carried out during the next 12 months. It will begin with a review of the National Energy Policy and strategies of 2003, existing energy legislation and current renewable energy and IPP initiatives such as the National Development Plan, Renewable Energy Rapid Assessment Study and the Swaziland Investor Roadmap. The Draft Policy will be developed jointly by MNRE/DOE and the Trade Hub with inputs from SERA, Swaziland Electricity Company (SEC), Investment Promotion Authority and other members of the Steering Committee. Two consultative and validation workshops are planned to ensure strong national participation and maintain the transparency and comprehensiveness of the policy development process.

An important part of the policy development will be conducting a strategic environmental and social assessment. As defined by OECD Development Assistance Committee, SESA is "a range of analytical and participatory approaches that aim to integrate environmental considerations into policies, plans and programs (PPPs) and evaluate the inter linkages with economic and social considerations." This aspect of policy formulation assures that environmental and socio-economic concerns are addressed in policy, planning and programs. It considers management of cumulative impacts, supports sustainable growth and ensures the coordination of development assistance efforts. Conducting SESA is recommended by development banks, and agencies recommend conducting SESA for all policy development. It is also required by §31 of the Swaziland Environmental Management Act of 2002.

The Renewable Energy and IPP Policy SESA will include broad public participation in order to ensure policy transparency. Its joint development by the Trade Hub and DOE will also provide capacity building for DOE and other energy sector stakeholders in preparation for similar policymaking activities in the future. SESA will inform the actual policy and key decision makers of the environmental alternative options, and its development will include review of current energy regulations and legislation that will inform establishment of the environmental and socio-economic baseline. The SESA document will propose several options for environmental and socio-economic impacts depending on the energy sector development scenarios.

]]>
Sun, 01 Dec 2013 15:19:51 +0000
Making Trade Facilitation Work: the Impact of Business Process Re-Engineering http://www.satradehub.org/trade-facilitation/making-trade-facilitation-work-the-impact-of-business-process-re-engineering http://www.satradehub.org/trade-facilitation/making-trade-facilitation-work-the-impact-of-business-process-re-engineering bpr2 The concept of trade facilitation is receiving unprecedented attention and is at the heart of numerous initiatives within the border agency world. It has become the number one substantive issue within the WTO negotiations forum, and it is the cornerstone of most customs modernization programs. Trade facilitation is also a significant issue within the wider aid-for-trade and capacity building initiatives for developing countries. But what does trade facilitation really mean?
By Brian Glancy, Acting Director of Trade Facilitation

The Trade Hub's mandate is to provide technical assistance to promote economic growth, international competitiveness, inter-regional trade and food security through trade in Southern Africa. As part of this mandate, the Trade Facilitation Team is developing a number of modern trade facilitation concepts and tools to support our core goals and enhance capacity building and sustainability for governments in trade facilitation for the region. At the core of modern trade facilitation is change management and business process improvement, commonly referred to as business process re-engineering (BPR).


Introduction
The concept of trade facilitation is receiving unprecedented attention and is at the heart of numerous initiatives within the border agency world. It has become the number one substantive issue within the WTO negotiations forum, and it is the cornerstone of most customs modernization programs. Trade facilitation is also a significant issue within the wider aid-for-trade and capacity building initiatives for developing countries. But what does trade facilitation really mean?

bpr The WTO defines trade facilitation as "The simplification, harmonization, standardization and modernization of trade procedures, where trade procedures are the activities, practices and formalities involved in collecting, presenting, communicating and processing data required for the movement of goods in international trade."

The term "trade facilitation" is largely used by institutions that seek to improve the legislative and regulatory interface between government agencies and traders at national borders. It is a concept that can help improve border management and offset the additional burden on legitimate traders. It seeks to reduce the time and costs associated with border controls based on the idea that legitimate traders will benefit from their continuing compliance, and allow government agencies to focus their attention on high risk commodities and traders. To achieve enhanced trade facilitation, it is essential that government agencies focus their attention on the actual "processes" that are currently in place, assess their continued viability, and undertake a carefully thought out business process re-engineering, or BPR.

What is BPR?

BPR is the fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business processes to achieve dramatic improvements and critical contemporary measures of performance such as cost, quality, service and speed. BPR advocates that governments go back to basics and reexamine their very roots. BPR is not about small improvements: its aim is comprehensive change for the better.

What is a Process?

A business process is a series of steps designed to produce a product or service. It includes all the activities that deliver a "result" for a given client or stakeholder. In order for BPR to be effective, processes need to be "mapped" as the mapping process identifies the current "as is" for business processes. The "as is" must be fully mapped in order to design the "to be" roadmap for reengineering the government business functions. BPR at its heart is a cyclical and ongoing process to achieve continuous improvement.

The BPR Cycle

There are five main steps to the BPR design, which are:

  1. Prepare – BPR requires governments to establish a dedicated cross functional team. In the case of trade facilitation BPR, cross functional teams would be comprised of representatives of all the agencies that administer cross border trade related legislation. The team would identify what its goals and objectives are, and develop strategic goals and outcomes
  2. Map and Analyze – This step requires the BPR team to create process models of the current situation: the "as is." In the border clearance environment, this would include all activities related to the final release of goods from government controls into the commerce of the country. This would include document handling, approval requirements, payment methodologies and inspection requirements. The purpose of this mapping activity is to identify disconnects, duplications and value added processes. This exercise also requires agencies to perform a "root cause analysis" to all border clearance activities with a view to eliminating all activities and processes that do not have value in facilitating trade. It requires government agencies to ask the "W5" (Who What When Where Why). In the trade facilitation arena, this often results in the reduction or elimination of paper documents, a reduction in the number of approvals required and a significant reduction in the number of intrusive physical inspections of goods based on a concept of "risk management."
  3. Design the "To Be" process – This step requires government agencies to establish performance benchmarks to the processes that will be radically changed as a result of the BPR exercise. Reengineered processes must be simulated and validated as facilitative, cost effective, and actually achieving a significant reduction on the costs and burdens associated with trader compliance in meeting their border clearance obligations. One of the most effective means of enhancing trade facilitation at borders relates to the aspect of "When."
  4. Implement the Reengineered Process – Customs modernization initiatives globally have implemented programs whereby traders are able to meet their border clearance obligations before the goods physically arrive at the border, and meet their obligations under compliance verification after the goods have been released into the commerce. This concept is known as "time shifting." By allowing traders to submit all of their documentation prior to arrival, the shipment need only be subject to verification inspection prior to release. Payments of the applicable duties, taxes, fees, charges and levies can be made periodically instead of on a transactional basis. Documents can be verified for compliance as part of a post clearance audit process.
  5. Monitor and Improve – As mentioned earlier, BPR is a cyclical and ongoing process to achieve continuous improvement in providing effective trade facilitation-oriented services.
The Impacts of BPR in the Trade Facilitation World
BPR is a tried, tested and true means of enhancing trade facilitation at national borders. BPR activities have resulted in their acceptance as a valuable customs modernization program, and their results are reflected in WCO trade facilitation recommendations under GATT Articles V, VIII, and X.

BPR has paved the way for the introduction of modernized government services that utilize simple rules and procedures, the alignment of procedures to international conventions, time release measures, paperless business transactions, government transparency in service delivery with a view towards client service and the engagement of the trading community in the design and implementation of new trade facilitation services.
BPR has enhanced border security through the introduction of risk management techniques, preferred treatment of authorized low risk traders, the cooperation and mutual recognition of controls between agencies and governments, and electronic reporting systems. It is the foundation for the introduction of trade facilitation concepts such as the National Single Window (NSW).

Both business and government stakeholders stand to gain from trade facilitation's harmonization, simplification and standardization objectives through BPR initiatives. It seeks to find improvement within the trade and border agency environment and reduce the transaction costs and burden between government and business.

How can the Trade Hub help?
The Southern Africa Trade Hub's role in supporting BPR for its beneficiaries is multi-faceted. One key activity is developing the BPR plan and assisting governments in executing it. Determining the "as is" will be achieved through activities such as readiness assessments for OGAs, border process and ITC diagnostics for ministries that will participate in the NSW environment, and analysis of trade documentation including licenses, permits and certificates for all trade-related ministries.

These activities will allow governments to create the necessary "toolkit" to design new processes, simplify, standardize and harmonize service delivery, and guide them to the final "to be" end-state, ensuring that capacity and sustainability are achieved through monitoring and continuous improvement.
By Brian Glancy, Acting Director of Trade Facilitation
]]>
Sun, 01 Dec 2013 15:05:40 +0000
Hub Digest: Stimulating Trade through Standards Development http://www.satradehub.org/home/hub-digest-stimulating-trade-through-standards-development http://www.satradehub.org/home/hub-digest-stimulating-trade-through-standards-development eefinal Standards for products and processes help ensure smooth, free, open and fair trade within regions as well as globally. However, Southern Africa currently only enjoys 94 harmonized standards. Compare this to the over 6,770 standards for electro technical products alone in the European Union and it becomes immediately clear that the region can make significantly more progress in this area.
The Hub Digest offers views from a rotating panel of experts on a wide variety of issues related to trade and economic growth in Southern Africa, including trade facilitation tools and approaches; agricultural productivity and improvements especially in the maize, groundnut and soy value chains; developments in the textiles and apparel sector and regarding AGOA and exports; clean energy; enabling environment reform and initiatives; environmental compliance and gender integration.

Write to info@satradehub.org with your suggestion for a topic or question. Or start a conversation via our Facebook Page.

Stimulating Trade through Standards Development
By George Makore, Director of Enabling Environment

eefinal Standards for products and processes help ensure smooth, free, open and fair trade within regions as well as globally. However, Southern Africa currently only enjoys 94 harmonized standards. Compare this to the over 6,770 standards for electro technical products alone in the European Union and it becomes immediately clear that the region can make significantly more progress in this area. Intra-regional trade in the EU was over 60% in 2010 (Eurostat), compared to only 18.5% within SADC in 2009 , while Southern Africa's share of total world trade is less than one percent. This correlation is not incidental.

Why Do Standards Matter?

Harmonized regional and international standards allow for the development of economies of scale (for research and development, production as well as packaging), reducing cost. They also facilitate easy access to markets by ensuring conformity with consumer expectations. Standards increase compatibility among products and provide better information. Standards promote competition by allowing comparison of prices of similar products, and when standards are applied consumers can have confidence in the quality, safety and health features of the product

The simplest definition of a standard is a document containing a set of rules or guidelines for activities or their results. Generally national standards are developed through the consensus of users by a recognized standards making body. There are product specific standards, e.g. for cement or bread, and system standards, e.g. ISO 9001 for quality management system or ISO 14001 for environmental management system. If a cement standard is not harmonized, and a standard bag of cement in Botswana is 48kg but 50kg in South Africa, or the labeling requirements in the two countries are different, trade between the two countries will be hampered.

eefinal2 Compliance with standards is voluntary except where the standards are written into national legislation, at which point they become mandatory and known as technical regulations. Although compliance with standards is voluntary, non-compliance can severely restrict market access as consumers and buyers will simply not be interested in purchasing your goods, or may require costly convincing of the desirability of your product.

Worldwide standards are central to the development and commercialization of new technologies as well as the facilitation of regional and international trade. Over 80% of world merchandise trade is affected by standards.

In the short term, meeting international standards may appear costly and require resources. But in the long-term, the product becomes marketable and more cost-effective to make because it can be produced to exact accurate specification. Without meeting a market's standards you cannot export. If the European Union standard, for example, requires that a bottle of water contain 750ml, your water has to be this size or you will not be able to sell it to the EU.

Besides being a powerful marketing tool for any organization (the seal of a standards body is often accepted by consumers as a clear indication of quality), standards increase access to new markets, help reduce cost and enhance productivity. Effective standardization provides comparative advantage, promotes competitiveness and increases profitability.

Why Doesn't Southern Africa Already Have Harmonized Regional Standards?

Given the clear benefits of harmonized standards, why are there fewer than 100 harmonized standards in the Southern African region and many countries with no published standards at all?

Although not all countries have published standards, there is no lack of standards in the region. According to the SADC Cooperation in Standardization (SADCSTAN) website, South Africa leads the pack with over 5,000 published product standards, followed by Zimbabwe with over 1,090 standards. Malawi has published 404 standards, Zambia 300, Mauritius 140, Botswana 116 and Mozambique 11 standards. Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland have not yet published any standards. Where standards are in place, they usually differ from one SADC country to another because they have been inherited from different colonial powers or have developed in isolation.

Obstacles to nationally published standards include inadequate technical and financial capacity, lack of funding, and insufficient support from relevant stakeholders: particularly the private sector and consumers. The lack of support is primarily due to a lack of awareness of the importance of participating in the standards development process.

While there has been marked progress in the development of national standards in most of the SADC countries in recent times, progress with harmonization of standards in the region has been fairly slow. As is the case with national standards development, the most significant obstacle to harmonization of standards throughout the region is cost. The cost of moving from one system to another is not small: consider moving an entire country from square electrical plugs to round ones, for example. This cost has to be shared by government, industry and the public at large, entities that all must be convinced of the benefits of standardization. Given this reality, inertia can easily develop around the issue of standardization.

Towards Harmonized Regional Standards

The absence of standards in some countries in Southern Africa creates an opportunity to ensure that new standards are developed in harmony across the region and in line with standards required by important current and future international trading partners.

In recognition of the importance of harmonized regional standards to boost intra-regional trade, the SADC Standards body, SADCSTAN, was created in 2011 to promote the coordination of standardization activities and services in the region, with the purpose of achieving harmonization of standards and technical regulations in support of the objectives of the SADC trade protocol (with the exception of legal metrology regulations, handled by SADC Cooperation in Legal Metrology [SADCMEL]).

SADCSTAN's basic premise is that harmonization of standards and technical regulations within SADC will: 1) eradicate Technical Barriers to Trade and encourage a freer flow of goods and services within SADC; 2) boost trade between SADC member states, and 3) keep products that do not comply with SADC standards out of the region.

National Standards Bodies make up the membership of SADCSTAN, which is tasked to:
  • Promote regional cooperation in the development of harmonized standards and technical regulations;
  • Facilitate the exchange of information on existing standards, draft standards and technical regulations among members; and
  • Facilitate the adoption of regional standards by member states.
SADCSTAN's work has so far resulted in the harmonization of 94 standards across the SADC region. The body's efforts are, however, hampered by lack of funding and technical capacity.

Standards should Facilitate, not Inhibit Trade

As standards are developed and harmonized in Southern Africa, protectionist measures and actions should be avoided. Countries can intentionally use standards to protect local products by setting standards or technical regulations with which imported products will not be able to comply. The World Trade Organization Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (The WTO TBT Agreement) urges that the non-discrimination principle be observed throughout the standards development process to ensure that WTO Members avoid discrimination between imported and locally produced products. As all SADC countries are WTO members (with the exception of Seychelles), the countries of the region are expected to comply with this agreement.

In order to facilitate trade flows, governments need effective national standards setting bodies, transparent and participatory standards-setting processes, up-to-date laws and regulations coupled with effective and up-to-date information portals. By encouraging and participating in this process, Southern Africa can help "set the standard" and encourage greater trade throughout the region.

USAID Partnership for Trade Facilitation Initiative Support Standards Assistance through the Trade Hub

Realizing the ever-increasing importance of standards in facilitating trade, the USAID Southern Africa Trade Hub, with support from USAID Washington's Partnership for Trade Facilitation (PTF) initiative, is providing Lesotho, Malawi and Zambia with technical assistance and capacity building support on standards. We want to make the standard development process more effective by getting the users of the standards (primarily businesses) involved from the beginning. Private sector involvement in the standards development process is critically important. While governments do make mandatory standards and apply them to their countries, these standards are usually based on existing ones developed by the private sector. It is therefore the private sector that we need to convince first about the crucial importance of standards and the long-term benefits.

This support will enhance the standards development and technical regulations processes of the three countries and help establish an effective TBT Enquiry Point based on the World Trade Organization (WTO) TBT Agreement and Code of Good Practice, which requires each WTO member to set up a national enquiry point and notification authority. In addition to responding to all enquiries for information concerning state and private regulations, standards, and conformity assessment procedures, an effective Enquiry Point maintains a reference collection of standards, specifications, test methods, codes and recommended practices for all WTO member countries.

Take, for example, a sugarcane manufacturer in Swaziland interested in exporting to the United States. That company can contact their national Enquiry Point to find out about all the technical regulations related to sugar in the U.S. such as pesticide residue limits or labeling in calories as opposed to kilojoules. This is useful information for the company to take into consideration upfront to avoiding unnecessary costs later and to prevent the necessity of further testing upon arrival. An enquiry point would also let you know whether genetically-modified agricultural products would be accepted for import into South Africa (yes) or into Zambia (no).

Partnership with NIST and ANSI

Under the same PTF facility, the Trade Hub has partnered with the United States' National Institute on Standards and Technology (NIST) and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to provide Lesotho, Malawi and Zambia in particular and the region in general much-needed international support on capacity building and technical assistance on standards.

In November 2013, ANSI will visit the region for a needs assessment meeting with the Southern African Development Community Cooperation in Standardization (SADCSTAN). The objective of the visit will be for ANSI to understand SADCSTAN's standards assistance requirements with a view to identify possible areas of cooperation, capacity building and technical assistance.

In collaboration with NIST, the Trade Hub is organizing a three-day training on establishing an effective WTO TBT Enquiry and Notification to take place in December 2013 for the above three countries. The training will be for a maximum of 20 participants in each country with participants being drawn from the standards body as well as the private and public sector. In addition to the above, a total of eight designated enquiry point officials from the three national standards bodies will undertake a five-day benchmarking visit to NIST in January 2014 to examine and learn from the functioning of an effective enquiry point.

Anticipated Outcome

It is expected that the PTF standards assistance will help strengthen the legal and regulatory framework for standards, improve the standards development process and establish an effective TBT enquiry point in the three countries in particular and in the Southern Africa region in general. Assistance to SADCSTAN will result in improved harmonization of standards and technical regulations in the region.

George Makore has worked in the corporate communications sector for over 20 years. He joined the Trade Hub on July 30, 2012. George has diplomas in public relations, business management, and communications, a graduate diploma in marketing management, a bachelor of technology degree in marketing, and an MBA from Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom. In 2007/8 he attended an Advanced Professional Training Program in Germany offered by Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) where he did courses in Six Sigma (Green Belt), European Foundation for Quality Management Assessor and ISO 9000 Quality Management Systems Lead Auditor training.

Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of USAID or the Trade Hub.
]]>
Tue, 01 Oct 2013 16:24:32 +0000
Exploring Yarn Production: Investment Mission to Mozambique http://www.satradehub.org/home/exploring-yarn-production-investment-mission-to-mozambique http://www.satradehub.org/home/exploring-yarn-production-investment-mission-to-mozambique textile-n-apparel A recent trip to Mozambique has confirmed opportunities for investment in cotton yarn production in the Nampula Province.

The Southern Africa Trade Hub visited the cities of Nampula and Nacala as part of its efforts to increase investment in the textile and apparel value chain in Southern Africa. The visit was designed to garner greater understanding of the Mozambican government's strategy to promote investment in the province and assess opportunities for cooperation with USAID's Trade Hub.
By Mohamed Abou iiana, Ph.D, Senior Textiles/Apparel Advisor and Gina van Schalkwyk

A recent trip to Mozambique has confirmed opportunities for investment in cotton yarn production in the Nampula Province.

The Southern Africa Trade Hub visited the cities of Nampula and Nacala as part of its efforts to increase investment in the textile and apparel value chain in Southern Africa. The visit was designed to garner greater understanding of the Mozambican government's strategy to promote investment in the province and assess opportunities for cooperation with USAID's Trade Hub. In particular, the team analyzed opportunities and challenges facing the establishment of textile manufacturing operations, examining factors such as the availability of raw materials, water and power supply, and related infrastructure.

Mozambique's cotton production and regional demand

Nampula Province has a population of 4.6 million people and accounts for approximately 70% of Mozambique's national cotton production. According to the Mozambique Cotton Institute (IAM), Mozambique has produced an average of 85,000 tons of seed cotton per year over the last decade. Cotton is an important crop for Mozambique's economy. It is the country's seventh largest foreign currency earner and stands third among the agricultural commodities, supporting the livelihoods of more than a million rural citizens who earn cash directly from this crop. The government of Mozambique maintains production of cotton as one of its priority sectors, both in terms of public funds investments for research and policy-making, and in policy incentives for investors. At present there are no operational spinning factories in the country, all of Mozambique's cotton is exported as lint, primarily to India, China and Mauritius.

One example of the area's potential for growth can be seen in the example of Nova Texmoque Lda, based in Nampula. Nova Texmoque is the only operational textile firm in the province; it has dyeing and printing equipment in place and a workforce of 500 people. The company finishes around six million meters of capulana cloth annually (a traditional fabric primarily used as wraps by women) using undyed greige fabric imported from Tanzania, but it has the capacity and equipment to produce 12 million meters of capulana per year. The market for capulana in Mozambique is estimated at 42 million meters annually, the majority of which is imported from Asia. With greater local yarn availability and better enforcement of existing import controls, Nova Texmoque could invest in more fully integrating its factory and increase production levels to the full capacity of 12 million meters per year; doubling the size of its workforce.

Local fabric demand extends beyond the popular capulana. Nova Texmoque's CEO Ajit Kulkarni points out that most cotton yarn counts commonly used for weaving or knitting (in the 16-30 Ne range) can be produced from local cotton. Products like cotton shirts, pants, t-shirts, polo shirts, denim and home textiles are a few examples of what can be produced. Local availability of yarn would also boost plans to revive dormant textile operations across the country such as Riopele, Mundotextil, Mundifios and Crispim Abreu.The most obvious potential market for Mozambican yarn production is Southern Africa, which presently imports most if its yarn from Asia. In 2011, SADC countries imported US$120 million of cotton yarn. Assuming a price of around US$4,000 per ton, SADC annual imports of yarn translates into 30,000 tons of lint cotton. This is roughly equivalent to the amount of cotton lint that the ginneries in Mozambique export in an average year.

A bright future for Nacala

Over the longer term, investments in spinning capacity are essential for Mozambique to realize the tremendous potential it has to develop a textiles and apparel industry in Nacala. The government of Mozambique has established a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) around Nacala and has attracted many investors undertaking key infrastructure projects to strengthen the Nacala Corridor. A new airport under construction in Nacala is designed to accommodate 500,000 passengers per year as well as 4,600 tons of cargo on 3.5 kilometers of runway with provision for future expansion. US$1.5 billion is also being invested in a new container terminal at Nacala port, which will increase efficiency and capacity, and attract new shipments. Several power generation projects are underway, the first of which is expected to be completed by 2016. A new dam is also under construction, and a rail link is almost completed that will connect the port with suppliers in Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique through the Nacala Corridor.

textile-n-apparel-final Buoyed by the huge population of Nampula (over 4 million in a country of 24 million) and gas/mining developments to the north, the city of Nacala has become a growth pole in the province and in Mozambique as a whole. Nacala has significant plans for tourism development and is already looking for foreign direct investment in the sector, along with associated infrastructure and service industries. As these infrastructure projects in Nacala are starting to mature, industry has an opportunity to diversify away from construction and into manufacturing. The government of Mozambique is planning to establish a 500-hectare Industrial Free Zone inside the Nacala SEZ, complete with rail links to the port's container terminal. The size of the available labor force, the plentiful supplies of cotton produced all along the Nacala Corridor (which are currently being exported with no value addition) and the incentives for foreign investors to locate export processing facilities in the planned Industrial Free Zone combine to create an opportunity for the textiles and apparel industry. This powerful investment opportunity warrants further attention and investigation.
]]>
Tue, 01 Oct 2013 15:58:34 +0000
Helping to Eliminate Aflatoxin in Malawi http://www.satradehub.org/agricultural-value-chains/helping-to-eliminate-aflatoxin-in-malawi http://www.satradehub.org/agricultural-value-chains/helping-to-eliminate-aflatoxin-in-malawi aflatoxin2 In partnership with processing company AfriNut, USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub conducted two training sessions in Lilongwe to demonstrate to participants from the groundnut processing sector in Malawi important low-cost technology measures for eliminating aflatoxin. The aflatoxin reduction training demonstrated best practices in post-harvest aflatoxin management for use in value-added peanut products.
By Joshua Muradzicua, Groundnuts Value Chain Specialist and Thapelo Manale

In partnership with processing company AfriNut, USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub conducted two training sessions in Lilongwe to teach participants from the groundnut processing sector in Malawi important low-cost technology measures for eliminating aflatoxin. The aflatoxin reduction training demonstrated best practices in post-harvest aflatoxin management for use in value-added peanut products.

aflatoxin2 Aflatoxin consumption is a serious health risk, causing stunted growth in children and liver problems. It is estimated that exposure to aflatoxin accounts for approximately 40% of the burden of diseases in developing countries, especially in East and Sub-Saharan Africa. Aflatoxin contamination results from poor storage and handling conditions, which produce molds that develop into the toxin. Some African countries attempting to export raw and processed groundnut products to developed countries have suffered detentions of their goods due to high levels of aflatoxin. The restrictions on aflatoxin for export is 4 ppb, but raw groundnut from the region can have up to 15 ppb, more than triple the allowable amount.

A total of 43 participants from both public and private sector of the groundnuts processing industry attended the Trade Hub training in Malawi, which will also be held in Zambia and Mozambique. Participants were given pre- and post-training evaluation questions to determine their level of knowledge regarding aflatoxin and to obtain baseline data to assess the value of the training. The training covered methodology, case studies, background information on mycotoxins, and principles and strategies for mitigation, detoxification and removal. The training was conducted at AfriNut's processing plant and included lab testing for aflatoxin, data analysis, reporting and follow-up discussion of results.

aflatoxin1 During the training, groundnut samples were collected for aflatoxin analysis at various stages to demonstrate the technology available to eliminate contaminated peanuts. The training required participants to practice the hands-on work themselves: calibrating the roasting equipment, setting parameters for roasting to specific visual colour and quality end points, and conducting mechanical de-skinning techniques.

The technology could be applied in household preparations as well. As participant Mercy Butao, Intervention Manager from Malawi Oilseeds Sector Transformation (MOST) shared: "I found it interesting that some of the techniques can even be applied at home for food safety." African diets use substantial amounts of peanuts, and some households prepare significant amounts at one time to provide a ready supply of peanut butter for various household dishes. Rural households are also exposed to higher levels of aflatoxin by consuming peanut off-grades left over from graded nuts for sale. This significant health concern can be mitigated by using the low cost methods demonstrated at AfriNut, as some of the methods are suitable for household level processing and can be conducted with ordinary kitchen implements such as frying pans and clay pots to roast the nuts to the desired level. De-skinning can be done manually when the nuts are correctly roasted. The methods could be disseminated through all nutrition programs in Africa and present a unique opportunity to make a significant difference in improved health.

The Trade Hub's partnership with AfriNut to provide trainings has proven to be very effective and highly valued by participants. As Henry Gaga, Food Technology Specialist at Technoserve noted: "I just facilitated a national aflatoxin control and testing training in August of this year, and I am scheduled to run regional trainings later this year that will include the blanching knowledge gained from this training." By increasing the knowledge of experts such as Gaga, the Trade Hub amplifies the value of each training series and helps disseminate these important low-cost techniques more widely throughout the region.
]]>
Tue, 01 Oct 2013 15:46:39 +0000
Nakonde Border Assessment Shows Sustained Improvements http://www.satradehub.org/coordinated-border-management/nakonde-border-assessment-shows-sustained-improvements http://www.satradehub.org/coordinated-border-management/nakonde-border-assessment-shows-sustained-improvements nakonde In September the Southern Africa Trade Hub conducted an assessment of the efficiency of border operations at the Nakonde border post between Zambia and Tanzania, which showed a further reduction in the 2012 border crossing times.
By Lawrence Kubanga, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist

In September the Southern Africa Trade Hub conducted an assessment of the efficiency of border operations at the Nakonde border post between Zambia and Tanzania, which showed a further reduction in the 2012 border crossing times. The following chart represents our findings, compared with average crossing times at this border in 2011 and 2012.

nakonde2

These assessments form part of the Trade Hub's Coordinated Border Management program, which is designed to encourage better cooperation and coordination among agencies working at the borders, in order to simplify the clearance of goods and reduce the time goods spent at the border. In Southern Africa, cross border trade is hampered by numerous, long and inconsistent clearance processes at border posts and sea ports, contributing to congestion, corruption and high inefficiencies. Consequently, transportation and logistics account for at least 14% of the price of goods in the region: double the global average of 7%.

The recent border assessment was conducted to establish current crossing times for commercial goods across Nakonde, to assess progress made in addressing key border challenges and to identify new challenges in the goods clearance chain. On average, 130 loaded import trucks and 70 loaded export trucks cross the Nakonde border every day. Commercial traffic also includes numerous vehicles imported into Zambia and empty trucks returning to base.

nakonde Improvements at the border are primarily attributed to improved cooperation between different border agencies at Nakonde and cooperation with Tunduma on the Tanzanian side. To mitigate the fact that the border only allows one-directional traffic while the main building at Nakonde border is being completed, officers on both sides of the border assess the volumes of traffic due to cross and extend working hours accordingly to accommodate them.

Although the 2013 improvements might seem marginal, maintaining the significant gains recorded in 2012 has been important. Godwin Punungwe, Director of Trade Facilitation at the Trade Hub explains: "Our target for improvement in Year 3 of the Hub was 15%, but at Nakonde the improvement was 23% this year, which even exceeds the target for improvement for Year 4, which was 20%. Maintaining the significant improvement achieved in Year 2 and improving it slightly in Year 3 is an achievement in itself. At other borders it has been not uncommon to see improvements one year followed by deterioration of the situation the following year."

Remaining challenges need to be addressed to further reduce border crossing times. These include the limited amount of parking space for commercial vehicles that results in all import and export goods being held outside the border until clearance is complete; the volume of informal trade in restricted and unrestricted goods taking place at the border; and congestion caused by large volumes of pedestrian and other private traffic at the border.

The Trade Hub's assessment also identified some positive developments that are expected to further reduce border crossing times once fully implemented:
  • The Zambia Revenue Authority and Tanzania Revenue Authority reached an agreement to extend daily border hours by two hours to cater for an additional number of trucks to cross.
  • Zambia will shift to Automated Systems for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) World on December 31, 2013 to improve the goods clearance system. This will be followed by the introduction of three central clearance points for all commercial goods in Zambia. Central Clearance will in the medium to long term reduce border crossing time, although in the short term times may increase while staff adjust to the new system.
  • A legal instrument is being developed to empower the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) as the lead agency at Zambia's ports of entry, deputized by Immigration. Effectively replicating CBM, this will empower ZRA to coordinate activities and processes at the border.
  • Border agencies at Nakonde will migrate to a new building by February 2014 to create room for two-lane (bidirectional) traffic through the border. With that kind of infrastructure put in place, the border's day-to-day functions should have major improvements going forward which will be reflected in reduced crossing time at the two borders.
  • Three more private parking spaces have been commissioned to supplement the existing dry port.

The improvements are primarily driven by the Joint Border Committee (JBC) established through the CBM program consisting of representatives from the public and private sectors involved in customs clearing and border crossing formalities. The Nakonde JBC is implementing a revised action plan, developed with Trade Hub assistance, to sustain improvements and address challenges on an ongoing basis.

]]>
Tue, 01 Oct 2013 15:19:19 +0000
More Firms Look to Africa http://www.satradehub.org/textiles-apparel/sath-content/newsroom/the-trade-hub-in-the-news/more-firms-look-to-africa http://www.satradehub.org/textiles-apparel/sath-content/newsroom/the-trade-hub-in-the-news/more-firms-look-to-africa Retailers and brands are looking beyond Asia, toward Africa, says Haggar's VP of Global Sourcing Tony Anzovino. His firm is opening factories in Ghana to produce slacks and other apparel items....]]> Wed, 18 Sep 2013 19:17:50 +0000 Learning from Our Neighbors: Clean Energy Study Visit to ECOWAS http://www.satradehub.org/home/learning-from-our-neighbors-clean-energy-study-visit-to-ecowas http://www.satradehub.org/home/learning-from-our-neighbors-clean-energy-study-visit-to-ecowas
ce USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub partnered with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat and its subsidiary institutions, the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) and the Regional Electricity Regulators Association (RERA), to engineer a study visit from September 9-12 of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Secretariat in Abuja, Nigeria. The visit also included stops at the West African Power Pool (WAPP) in Cotonou, Benin and the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERERA) in Accra, Ghana.
By Romance Sampa, Trade Hub Energy Advisor

USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub partnered with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat and its subsidiary institutions, the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) and the Regional Electricity Regulators Association (RERA), to engineer a study visit from September 9-12 of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Secretariat in Abuja, Nigeria. The visit also included stops at the West African Power Pool (WAPP) in Cotonou, Benin and the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERERA) in Accra, Ghana.

The purpose of the visit was to glean new information and share experiences about the management of successful clean energy programs, particularly clean energy governance. This includes regulation of the Electricity Supply Industry (ESI), implementation of regional power generation and transmission projects, and the promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

ECOWAS offers an excellent learning opportunity for SADC energy policy makers due to its similar institutional structures and composition. Like SADC, ECOWAS is a Regional Economic Community comprised of 15 Member States using English, French and Portuguese as official languages. The primary difference is that ECOWAS has invested more authority in its regional institutions to coordinate and implement its energy program, while SADC's equivalent energy institutions are loose associations rather than regional authorities. SADC is in the process of reviewing the energy institutional framework and transforming the mandate of the SADC Energy Division, RERA and SAPP into effective coordinators and implementers of regional energy projects and programs. The study visit was thus perfectly timed to inform the ongoing restructuring process at SADC.

The delegation consisted of Freddie Motlhatlhedi, Senior Programme Officer, Energy, SADC; Odala Matupa, Programme Officer, Power, SADC Secretariat; Zethu Mackenzie, RERA Portfolio Committee on Capacity Building and Information; Lawrence Musaba, Coordination Centre Manager, SAPP; and Romance Sampa, Energy Advisor, Southern Africa Trade Hub.

The visit offered SADC, RERA and SAPP energy officials an opportunity to examine:
a) The successful experiences ECOWAS has had in policy dialogue, structures, instruments for facilitating consensus and mobilizing commitment at the highest political level to achieve regional power sector objectives;
b) How WAPP is organized and structured to be able to coordinate implementation of regional energy infrastructure projects;
c) The activities of ERERA, its structure and mandate, particularly for regional renewable energy projects; and
d) How renewable energy and energy efficiency are incorporated into the broader Electricity Supply Industry (ESI) in the West African region.

The visitors noted a number of similarities and differences between SADC and ECOWAS and their subsidiary institutions. ECOWAS has in place established structures, decision-making processes and instruments for managing the power sector, as well as secured commitment at the highest political level. Regional energy infrastructure projects are approved by the Heads of State for implementation. Energy institutions such as WAPP are therefore mandated to mobilize financial resources from multilateral financing institutions and banks on behalf of the region and monitor implementation by national energy entities. This is a key factor in their success and has significantly accelerated implementation of projects.

The delegation explored many specific areas in order to gather as much helpful information as possible to take back to the SADC region, including: the tenets of the ECOWAS Energy Protocol; institutional arrangements; channels of reporting and communication; hierarchy and authority of regional energy institutions vis-à-vis national institutions; Regional SE4ALL Initiative programs; capacity issues; the structure of WAPP and ERERA and governing instruments; WAPP and ERERA's main focus, aims and objectives; project implementation and execution; the financial contributions of Member States and other obligations; resource mobilization for regional projects; and levels of tariff and tariff setting.

In the regulation of the electricity supply industry (ESI), ECOWAS has created a regional Regulatory Authority, ERERA, while SADC has only established an association of regulators. Deriving its authority from the ECOWAS Energy Protocol, ERERA has relatively more authority to oversee energy regulation in West Africa than RERA, which is an association. As SADC moves to transform RERA into a regional Energy Regulatory Authority, there are important lessons to draw from the ERERA experience.

The delegation also examined the legal framework ECOWAS utilizes for the energy sector, which consists of the amended ECOWAS Treaty of 2007 and Energy Protocol. These instruments are recent, dynamic and enforceable, and they incorporate the management of emerging issues. In comparison, the SADC Energy Protocol that came into force in 1996 is fairly outdated and less able to guide SADC Energy Institutions on emerging energy issues and needs such as clean energy and climate change concerns.

In terms of renewable energy and energy efficiency, ECOWAS has created a center of excellence for promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency in the region, called ECREEE (ECOWAS Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Centre) based in Cape Verde, while SADC is just in the process of finalizing a Regional Renewable Energy Strategy and Action Plan and beginning the process of establishing a renewable energy and energy efficiency center. SADC will benefit from the exchange of information as it works through the initial stages of setting up a similar center. In addition, the ECOWAS region has fully embraced the UN Sustainable Energy for ALL (SE4ALL) initiative and has developed a Regional SE4ALL Program spearheaded by ECREEE. SADC has yet to develop institutional arrangements for renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives.

One area in which ECOWAS was able to learn from SADC's energy institutions is in the creation of a competitive electricity market. WAPP's mandate includes convening investment forums to raise finance for regional energy infrastructure projects to ensure security of power supply in West Africa. SAPP's mandate, in comparison, does not include implementation of regional energy projects but rather the development and optimization of a competitive electricity market in the region. WAPP indicated that creation of a competitive regional electricity market is their next stage of development, and they will be looking to SAPP for assistance to build capacity for developing a competitive West African electricity market.

The study tour was a success, and it is anticipated that the lessons learned will contribute significantly to the ongoing policy dialogue and proposals to restructure SADC Energy Institutions into effective tools for sustainable development in the region.
]]>
Sun, 01 Sep 2013 17:40:20 +0000
Agricultural Value Chains Case Study: Jungle Beat http://www.satradehub.org/grants-program/agricultural-value-chains-case-study-jungle-beat http://www.satradehub.org/grants-program/agricultural-value-chains-case-study-jungle-beat
jungle-beat In January 2013, The Trade Hub awarded a grant of US$100,000 to Central African Seed Services (CASS) to purchase equipment for a first-of-its-kind groundnut processing facility in Lusaka, Zambia. The cleaning, sorting and grading equipment purchased by the grant has enabled Jungle Beat, CASS's long-time Zambian partner, to export surplus Zambian groundnuts to South Africa for the first time, spurring significant growth in production.
By Kevin Kabunda, Trade Hub Private Sector Engagement Specialist

In January 2013, The Trade Hub awarded a grant of US$100,000 to Central African Seed Services (CASS) to purchase equipment for a first-of-its-kind groundnut processing facility in Lusaka, Zambia. The cleaning, sorting and grading equipment purchased by the grant has enabled Jungle Beat, CASS's long-time Zambian partner, to export surplus Zambian groundnuts to South Africa for the first time, spurring significant growth in production.

Across Southern Africa, USAID missions have identified groundnuts (peanuts) as a strategic crop for improved small holder farmer income and food security. In the 1960's, Sub-Saharan Africa supplied as much as 90% of world groundnut exports, but currently the region only accounts for about 2%. Global exports of raw groundnuts reach approximately US$1bn per year. The EU is the largest importer, averaging between 600 – 700,000 metric tons per year and accounting for 42% of world imports.

In the traditional groundnut-producing countries of Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia, groundnuts are a predominantly smallholder crop, often produced on less than a hectare. Farmers generally use unimproved seed and poor post-harvest handling, which contributes greatly to high levels of aflatoxin contamination. Aflatoxin is a poisonous substance created by fungi that is extremely detrimental to the health and development of consumers who eat contaminated nuts. Aflatoxin also impacts the reputation of these countries as they try to develop an export industry to raise the value of their production and put more money in the pockets of small holder farmers.

Addressing the problems of competitiveness in the groundnut sector requires investment at all levels. At the country level, USAID and other donors are training hundreds of thousands of small holder farmers in agronomic and post-harvest practices and developing effective market linkages between producers, traders and processors. At the regional level, the Southern Africa Trade Hub is facilitating commercial linkages between South African buyers and companies from the region to bring more aflatoxin-compliant groundnuts into the lucrative formal export markets.

Within the Southern African context, regional countries have a great advantage at the moment. Due largely to rising labor costs and competing crops, South African production of groundnuts has dropped over the last ten years from an average of 120 – 140,000 mt / year to approximately 40,000 mt in 2012. South African processors and exporters are scrambling to develop new reliable sources of supply nearby. In addition to domestic processing needs, South Africa has established international markets that account for about 20,000 mt of exports per year.

Through the Trade Hub's Strategic Partnership Grants, USAID is encouraging South African partnership and sourcing from the region. The Trade Hub's value chain approach is to use upgrading strategies: working with lead firms to overcome obstacles to export. In the first pilot activity, grant funding was used to catalyze improvements in product quality through supporting investment in grading and sorting technology with a firm off-take agreement from the South African partner, CASS.

jungle-beat2 Initial results from the grant have been extremely positive. Based on the technological capacity to grade and meet export requirements, and the firm off-take agreement that was integral to the grant project, the local partner, Jungle Beat Zambia, has been able to source US $1.8 million in commercial working capital finance. This is expected to increase the company's smallholder procurement from approximately 2,700 mt last year to more than 5,000 mt this year, demonstrating how smallholder production can link into regional and global supply chains.

This is precisely the outcome that USAID is looking for – to facilitate commercial arrangements that are able to leverage private sector funding and grow because they meet market requirements. Sustainable improvement in the sector's competitiveness requires more than individual transactions, but these commercial successes are necessary to demonstrate market potential and encourage investment. Learning from this success in Zambia, the Trade Hub will look for opportunities to replicate this model in other countries in the region.
]]>
Sun, 01 Sep 2013 17:33:32 +0000