Activities http://www.satradehub.org/ Wed, 27 Aug 2014 03:04:04 +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. Success Story: Planting the Seeds of Prosperity http://www.satradehub.org/agricultural-value-chains/sath-content/activities/agricultural-value-chains/success-story-planting-the-seeds-of-prosperity http://www.satradehub.org/agricultural-value-chains/sath-content/activities/agricultural-value-chains/success-story-planting-the-seeds-of-prosperity
In April 2014, USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub supported Agritech Expo, Zambia's first outdoor agricultural event servicing the needs of the entire agricultural value chain. Over 8,000 participants including suppliers, manufacturers, retailers, agents and service providers—attended the event at the GART Research Centre in Chisamba where the latest agricultural technology and farming solutions were showcased to farmers throughout the region in partnership with the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU).
In April 2014, USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub supported Agritech Expo, Zambia's first outdoor agricultural event servicing the needs of the entire agricultural value chain. Over 8,000 participants including suppliers, manufacturers, retailers, agents and service providers attended the event at the GART Research Centre in Chisamba where the latest agricultural technology and farming solutions were showcased to farmers throughout the region in partnership with the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU). Live crop trials, machinery demonstrations, professional consultation and vendor networking were all valuable aspects of the event. The support of the Trade Hub enabled Agritech Expo to expand its reach to serve a broader, regional audience and introduce needed technology and agricultural services to farmers to improve incomes and improve food security. The Trade Hub also sponsored a free technical workshop program training 500 farmers with case studies, business tips and best practices for soil quality, mechanization, increased yields and sustainability.

Zambia's booming agriculture sector accounts for 35% of the national GDP, USD$4.5 billon. The expansion of small-scale farming and the development of emerging and commercial farms are the key contributors to the growth of the sector. Average crop yields across Zambia are 1.5-2 metric tons per hectare, but there is po-tential to achieve 8-10 metric tons per hectare in certain maize varieties. Crop demonstration plots at the Expo showed farmers the difference that quality seed and correct planting techniques can have on productivity, while seventy companies (including ma-chinery, seed, financial services, grain handling, agricultural com-modities, irrigation and livestock exhibitors) demonstrated their products over 24 hectares of expo space. Farmers were able to test-drive tractors, combine harvesters, bakkies and quads themselves in one of eleven working demonstration areas.

"Agritech Zambia 2014 was a dream come true for our farmers and our agricultural sector as a whole," explains Dr. Evelyn Nguleka, president of ZNFU. "Our partnership with the Southern Africa Trade Hub amplified the relevance of this groundbreaking event, especially for our emerging farmers who participated in the hosted workshops." The expo was such a success that a five-year contract with the event organizers has been signed.

USAID's Trade Hub sponsored fifty emerging small-scale farmers to attend the inaugural Agritech Expo. This support gave farmers access to the two day show to help them grow their businesses, increase profits, network within the industry, test machinery and equipment, and see the latest in agricultural technologies and solutions to improve their farms. As part of the expo, the Trade Hub also sponsored a vendor subsidiary program to finance the participation of small-to-medium enterprises from within the SADC region. Eight SMEs were able to attend due to this support, which gave them the opportunity to benefit from direct exposure and business networking within the regional farming community.
USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub supported Agritech Expo, Zambia's first outdoor agricultural event servicing the needs of the entire agricultural value chain.
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Fri, 01 Aug 2014 18:28:17 +0000
Success Story: Source Africa Stitches Up Another Success http://www.satradehub.org/textiles-apparel/sath-content/activities/textiles-apparel/success-story-source-africa-stitches-up-another-success http://www.satradehub.org/textiles-apparel/sath-content/activities/textiles-apparel/success-story-source-africa-stitches-up-another-success
Source Africa 2014 took place June 18-20 in Cape Town, South Africa, supported by USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub and valued partners LTE, the American Apparel and Footwear Association, and the African Cotton & Textile Industries Federation. The pan-African Textiles and Apparel trade show drew 1,185 visitors, up 25% from last year's inaugural event.
Source Africa 2014 took place June 18-20 in Cape Town, South Africa, supported by USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub and valued partners LTE, the American Apparel and Footwear Association, and the African Cotton & Textile Industries Federation. The pan-African Textiles and Apparel trade show drew 1,185 visitors, up 25% from last year's inaugural event. The trade show welcomed 214 exhibitors from 18 countries including South Africa, Mauritius, Egypt, Madagascar, Botswana, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Lesotho, Swaziland, Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Cote d'Ivoire and saw brisk foot traffic on both days of the exhibition.

The textile and apparel industry is one of the most accessible manufacturing industries worldwide and has historically been the cornerstone of industrial development for developing countries. The clothing sector in particular has generated thousands of jobs in the Southern Africa region, 80% of which go to women. USAID is supporting the industry to enhance economic growth in Southern Africa, increase exports and encourage regional integration.

Source Africa 2014 used a sophisticated business-to-business matchmaking system to connect suppliers with buyers most likely to be interested in their product. Early lead generation results a week after the show already clocked in over USD $1 million, even though most sales will only be finalized in the months to come. The trade show was accompanied by a series of well-attended business seminars and panel sessions with key industry figures. Source Africa's four seminars over three days focused on the themes of sourcing requirements for the US market, navigating policies for African trade and intra-African trade, free market agreement policies affecting Africa, and the challenges that African countries are addressing to attract foreign direct investment.

A major theme of Source Africa 2014 was the importance of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and its "seamless renewal," which the Obama Administration has stated an as important goal. CG Erica Barks Ruggles from the US consulate in Cape Town noted at the plenary that AGOA has created over 100,000 jobs in Southern Africa alone since inception. Assistant US Trade Representative for Textiles Gail Strickler gave the key-note address emphasizing the strategic advantage AGOA offers to African companies trading with the U.S. and discussed specific, concrete ways suppliers can maximize those benefits. Abisha Tembo, Chief Director, Clothing, Textile, Footwear and Leather (IDD) from South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry also addressed the session, explaining how the government's industrial policy action plan is designed to increase the growth of the sector.

With enthusiastic participation in the panel sessions, key industry leaders sharing their expertise, a busy exhibition floor and networking opportunities throughout the three days of the show, Source Africa 2014 turned out to be a success on all counts.
USAID is supporting the industry to enhance economic growth in Southern Africa, increase exports and encourage regional integration.
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Fri, 01 Aug 2014 18:07:58 +0000
Lively Debate on Clean Energy Production in Zambia: Roundtable on REFIT http://www.satradehub.org/home/lively-debate-on-clean-energy-production-in-zambia-roundtable-on-refit http://www.satradehub.org/home/lively-debate-on-clean-energy-production-in-zambia-roundtable-on-refit clean energydp Zambia is facing rapidly increasing energy demand resulting from a set of demographic, socio-economic and resource-related factors. With only a 25% electrification level attained to date (and only 3.5% achieved in rural areas), the country confronts a daunting challenge to fulfill its aim of providing universal energy access.
By Alexander Filipov, Director of Clean Energy; and Anand Subbiah and Hans Lindboe, REFIT Consultants

Zambia is facing rapidly increasing energy demand resulting from a set of demographic, socio-economic and resource-related factors. With only a 25% electrification level attained to date (and only 3.5% achieved in rural areas), the country confronts a daunting challenge to fulfill its aim of providing universal energy access. Currently hydro-electricity represents 99% of the country's electricity production. Though Zambia's hydropower resource potential is estimated at 6,000MW, the installed hydropower capacity is only about 1,800MW. Electricity is predominantly consumed by the mining industry (accounting for 68%), while households only use 19% of the total.

clean energydp To facilitate greater production of clean energy, the Trade Hub is assisting Zambia's Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development at the Department of Energy to develop a Renewable Energy Feed-In Tariff (REFIT) Policy for the country. More than 50 countries in the world now use REFIT, a mechanism that enables the government to buy renewable energy from producers at pre-determined prices. REFIT helps reduce the volatility of the renewable energy market and encourages investment and development of renewable energy sources.

The same positive effects are desired for Zambia. Developing a REFIT policy for the country will provide guidance to stakeholders involved in the deployment of clean energy technologies and create an enabling environment for private sector investment in renewable energy power generation.

The Trade Hub conducted the first training, awareness and consultative workshop on REFIT Policy development in Lusaka, Zambia on July 10 and 11 in collaboration with the Department of Energy. The workshop gathered more than 50 representatives: a diverse set of stakeholders including the Energy Regulation Board, Rural Electrification Authority, ZESCO utility, NGOs, academia, donors and the private sector. Over the course of two days, the Trade Hub's Clean Energy Team covered the details of REFIT development, international experience, and specific circumstances in Zambia. The Trade Hub also presented a draft policy outline for discussion and collected stakeholders' comments for a policy that will facilitate investment in renewable energy generation projects all across the country.

This article summarizes the discussion of the existing renewable energy policy environment in Zambia, as well as best practices in REFIT development.

cleanenergy1 Renewable Energy Policy Framework
The government of Zambia promotes renewable energy development through a variety of policy mechanisms. The current legal framework for energy resource management and development is governed by a number of Acts of Parliament, which provide for the establishment of the institutional arrangements for management within the energy sector in Zambia. The four major stakeholders are: The Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development as the principal institution responsible for energy planning and policy development; ZESCO as the implementing agency responsible for electrification projects and power generation, transmission and distribution; the Energy Regulation Board responsible for regulating the energy sector; and the Rural Electrification Authority, which is responsible for improved electrification in rural areas.

Zambian clean energy policies, acts and plans work in unison and support each other. The overarching framework is created by the National Long Term Vision 2030, which provides the basis for interface by all sectors. This vision also sets the direction for short- and medium-term policies and plans. The framework is made operational through the implementation of national development plans (NDPs). In turn, the National Energy Policy 2008 also takes into account the objectives set out in the Vision 2030 and the NDP. This National Energy Policy emphasized the increased benefits of renewable energy power generation and created a general framework for the sector to develop. However, additional frameworks and regulations are required to impact the socio-economic development of the industry.

The development of a dedicated regulatory framework for renewable energy with a strengthened institutional framework and an appropriate and effective financial regime will aid the development of renewable energy in Zambia significantly. The current energy policies have established a policy framework that allows for the formulation of comprehensive and innovative renewable energy regulatory and financing mechanisms (e.g. NEP2008 supports the creation of a feed-in tariff system) that could include REFIT, soft loans, loan guarantees and the provision of tax incentives and waivers on renewable energy capital equipment. Such measures could offer stability in the sector and create an environment to attract private sector participation and foreign direct investment. The new REFIT policy will align with the Vision 2030 and the NDP, and will consider diversification of energy sources. It will also take in consideration other existing policies, the institutional framework, and related market considerations in pursuing the objectives of increased energy supply and rural electrification.

REFIT 101 – Reviewing the Basics
To a large extent, renewable energy (RE) implementation is policy-driven. The primary mechanisms to promote RE are price-based mechanisms (REFIT) or quota-based mechanisms (RE purchase obligations, standards, credits, auctions, etc.). REFIT was first introduced in the United States in 1978 (Public Utility Policies Regulatory Act, PURPA) followed by a quota mechanism known as Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) in 1983. Developed countries like Germany and Spain pioneered innovations in REFIT starting from 1990. Developing countries have adapted from their success: early entrants were India in 1993 and Sri Lanka in 1997. REFITs have been implemented in about 50 countries, though many countries also have quota-based mechanisms in place with appropriate polices and fiscal and financial incentives. For now, REFIT is one of the most prominent economic policies promoting renewable energy technologies in the power sector. No other mechanism has promoted such an explosive growth in renewable energy in the world, and most countries leading the deployment of renewables have adopted REFIT.

cleanenergy2 While REFITs offer guaranteed, nondiscriminatory access to the grid and impose a purchase obligation on utilities, actual compliance with purchase obligations is generally poor due to the weak or unsustainable financial condition of utilities (if the cost of REFIT is not passed on to consumers). A viable and sustainable cost recovery mechanism is critical to the success of REFIT and should be transparent. The success of the RE/REFIT policy depends on a number of other factors, including macroeconomic conditions, institutional structure and capacity, governance (regulatory quality, rule of law, control of corruption, political stability, and government effectiveness), fuels and electricity market dynamics, and capacity of the grid to evacuate intermittent RE generation. Success in the deployment of RE/REFIT policy also depends on removing administrative barriers to obtain licenses and permits, land acquisition, etc.

REFIT can be effective in attracting private investment for renewable energy in the Zambian market with evolving institutional, legal and regulatory frameworks: REFIT provides the price certainty necessary to mitigate some risks (such as regulatory uncertainty or off-take risk). However it cannot mitigate all risks (such as financial crises, frequent or unpredictable regulatory changes, governance issues, grid constraints, etc.).

REFIT in and of itself may not necessarily lead to efficient outcomes. Poor economic efficiency may be due to the use of a complex policy package that provides multiple sources of incentives; poor REFIT design; or policy interactions that introduce unintended economic distortions (such as the use of REFITs in combination with accelerated depreciation or tax breaks in the absence of technology standards). When designing the REFIT policy for Zambia, it is necessary to consider lessons learned in other African countries. For example, some of the deficiencies in the design of REFIT schemes and the implementation process can be explained by conflicting policy targets like affordable power prices and grid stability. Another obstacle to avoid is the unclear allocation of property and other rights, which can lead to time-consuming negotiations of Power Purchase Agreements.

REFIT – Policy Guidance
The REFIT Policy and Awareness workshop in Lusaka triggered a lively discussion of the pros and cons of REFIT mechanism in Zambia. Ultimately the audience embraced the stated recommendations for ways to design an effective, modern REFIT policy.

All participants agreed that a tailor-made approach is necessary. REFIT Policy development in Zambia must be a transparent and streamlined process open to all potential participants. Policy instruments and the regulatory regime should be custom-fit to market conditions. Basic enabling policies and an effective legal and regulatory framework should be in place to implement REFIT; this includes permitting and licensing process, institutional capacity, grid connectivity and RE integration, land procurement, etc. Policy and regulatory mechanisms for the energy sector in general and for renewable energy should be compatible. Policy and regulatory design should be a dynamic process and revisited frequently in response to market changes.

The effectiveness of renewable energy policies and REFIT hinges on sustainable cost recovery mechanisms (cost reflective tariffs, financially sound utilities, and targeted subsidies). Price and quota based instruments should be designed based on sound economic analyses of the power system and market. Quantitative economic analysis will allow for the evaluation of strategies to minimize marginal rents. The conditions of the business environment determine to a large extent the effectiveness of RE and REFIT policy and associated transaction costs. Finally, robust Monitoring and Evaluation is needed to assess performance, reevaluate strategies and revise policies and REFITs.

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Fri, 01 Aug 2014 14:01:24 +0000
HUB DIGEST--National Single Window: A Refresher Course on a Crucial Trade Facilitation Tool http://www.satradehub.org/trade-facilitation/hub-digest-national-single-window-a-refresher-course-on-a-crucial-trade-facilitation-tool http://www.satradehub.org/trade-facilitation/hub-digest-national-single-window-a-refresher-course-on-a-crucial-trade-facilitation-tool tradefacilitationdp The Trade Hub is working closely with the governments of Namibia and Malawi to facilitate adoption of National Single Window (NSW)—a trade facilitation tool that improves the speed of customs clearance and reduces the cost of trade by allowing trade-related documents to be submitted through a single internet portal.
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 Alan Mattern, Trade Hub Strategic Communications Consultant

The Trade Hub is working closely with the governments of Namibia and Malawi to facilitate adoption of National Single Window (NSW)—a trade facilitation tool that improves the speed of customs clearance and reduces the cost of trade by allowing trade-related documents to be submitted through a single internet portal. The Trade Hub will be launching an awareness campaign for NSW to encourage its adoption and fully inform all relevant parties of the processes it requires. Thus it seems like the perfect juncture to look over the basics of this powerful tool, offering a "refresher course" on the intricacies of National Single Window and how it can help the trade economies of Southern Africa.

trade facilitation2 The High Cost of Doing Business Across Borders
The clearance of imports and exports by customs and other agencies is one of the most problematic links in global supply chains. Without proper, coordinated clearances, trade is cumbersome and business cannot flourish. Consequently, a country's economy suffers. In spite of significant effort, border management inefficiencies continue to dampen the competitiveness of developing countries, particularly in Southern Africa.

Companies involved in international trade regularly must prepare and submit large volumes of information and documents to governmental and regulatory authorities to comply with import, export and transit-related regulatory requirements, often through several different agencies, each with its own specific (manual or automated) system and paper forms. This is a burden to both governments and businesses and a barrier to international trade.

The focus of reform efforts goes beyond customs to tackle the systems and procedures employed by other border management agencies such as health, agriculture, quarantine, police, immigration, standards and a myriad of other organizations involved in regulating trade flows. The World Bank states that, in some countries, it is not uncommon for more than 30 different government agencies to play a role in the processing and clearance of goods. The South African supermarket chain Shoprite spends US$6 million per year on customs documentation alone.

tradefacilitaition1 If a stack of paper-based documents needs to be taken to multiple agencies – then examined and approved before the goods are released – it matters little if customs declarations can be processed electronically. Achieving meaningful trade facilitation gains requires a comprehensive approach based on effective information-sharing, streamlining of procedures and genuine collaboration among all border management agencies and the private sector.

Countries that are reluctant to adopt these tools not only limit their own growth and potential, but also hamper other countries' ability to excel. This is particularly important for landlocked Southern African countries like Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zambia and Malawi, which experience some of the highest transport costs in the world. A full 75% of transportation delays come from a lack of facilitation, such as the streamlining of border post procedures.

How does National Single Window Help?
One innovative approach to border processing and clearance is the establishment of National Single Window systems, which allow parties involved in trade and transport to submit electronically all standardized information and documents - import, export and transit - required by regulatory agencies via a single electronic entry point. NSW enables traders to submit documents all at once instead of submitting and processing the same information numerous times to different government entities, including some that are automated and others that still rely heavily on paper. NSW enables an easier, faster and more transparent approval and clearance process, providing significant cost savings to the trading community as well as to governments.

The notion of a single window is not unique to trade. In fact, a cornerstone in many e-government initiatives is the idea that authorities should share information submitted by companies or individual citizens. The concept has been explored and utilized by many governments since the 1990s, but in few environments does it make so much sense and have such a large impact as in the relationship between traders and government authorities in connection to border crossings.

The model for Single Window is based on companies extracting information from their supply chains, formatting it to the needs of governments, then sending it to the concerned authorities. This method of companies "pushing" information is cemented by the Single Window approach chosen by most countries.

Objectives of NSW include:
  • Integrated services through multiple channels any time of day
  • Electronically linked government agencies involved in the trade process
  • Tangible cost savings, benefits and simplified treatment for both business and government via better use of resources
  • Expedited cargo release and clearance via simplification of processes and procedures among controlling agencies
  • Enabling of transparent, predictable border environment while ensuring safety and security through a high performing risk management approach
  • Improvement in methods to counter dishonest practices and reduce independent, selective discretion
NSWs have been implemented on all five continents around the globe for a decade. There is no evidence that the system is any easier to achieve in developed countries than in developing countries. Mauritius and Madagascar were the first and second Southern African countries to go to National Single Window (NSW), followed by Mozambique. Other examples of countries with operational NSWs today are Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal and Togo. Ghana's customs revenue increased by 50% in the first year of NSW implementation and 23% in the following year, and the time and cost of exporting was reduced by 65% – evidence that the benefits of implementing these modern trade facilitation tools far outweigh the costs. In Thailand, NSW helped boost the country's competitiveness ranking from #108 to #10 between 2007 and 2009. Thailand's NSW also saves businesses US$1.5 billion a year.

According to the World Bank's Trading Across Borders Report of 2012, 49 countries were providing a NSW; 20 had NSWs linking all other government agencies (OGAs). In the not-so-distant future, perhaps as many as 100 countries will be providing NSWs, with as many as 60 linking all OGAs, and there could be a handful of regional SWs (ASEAN is already there on the Asian continent). Eventually we may see a globally networked Single Window encompassing and interconnecting different forms of single window models.

NSW is a real success story, particularly in developing countries, many of which have shown significant improvement in their trade facilitation indicators (time and cost savings, greater trade volume, reductions in paperwork, approvals and inspections) after initiating the program. Single Windows are also used in port communities and airport communities.

Benefits for Government
Faster, better service is the main benefit of NSW to government. NSW leads to a better combination of existing governmental systems and processes and promotes a more open, facilitative approach in which governments can operate and communicate with business. Greater transparency and accountability encourage compliance. Traders can submit all the required information and documents through a single entity any time of day. More effective systems are established for a faster, more accurate validation and distribution of this information to all relevant government agencies. Real-time accurate trade data and statistics become the norm. There is better coordination and cooperation between the government and regulatory authorities involved in trade-related activities. Capacity is built in government departments. In times of budgetary restraint the NSW makes administrative sense; it is a way to save resources both for trade and government and increase government revenue.

Benefits for Traders
The main benefit for the trading community is that a NSW provides the trader with a single point for the one-time submission of all required information and documentation to all governmental agencies involved in export, import or transit procedures. There is a 24/7 window for information exchange with government agencies. As the NSW enables governments to process submitted information, documents and the payment of duties, charges and fees faster and more accurately, traders benefit from faster cargo clearance and release times, enabling them to speed up the supply chain. There is less duplication, fewer errors and more access to accurate trade statistics. Importers are able to submit the customs declaration and remit all payments via a retail bank before the actual unloading of the goods, thus reducing their processing time. In addition, improved transparency and increased predictability further reduce the potential for corrupt practices from both the public and private sector.

Benefits for the Public
When the NSW reduces transport and handling time and the costs of goods, then that savings can be passed from traders directly to the buyers of those goods. This savings is not insignificant to citizens in Southern Africa. A greater selection of consumer goods available for purchase may also result from simplifying the business of trading across borders (increased trade). Enhanced trade facilitation through technology also brings new employment opportunities through job creation throughout the trade chain.

tradefacilitation3

Getting to "Yes" on NSW

The logic of the NSW approach is obvious. A National Single Window provides a very practical means of improving border clearance performance. However, the complexity of its implementation should not be underestimated. To put it simply, establishing a National Single Window is not simply a "plug and play" activity. Most of the challenges are not so much associated with technology but rather in convincing individual agencies to collaborate on achieving a collective goal. All around the world, sustainable institutional reform is generally not easy, even when only one government agency is involved. When many agencies are involved, the risks and challenges are multiplied.

A number of critical preconditions need to be in place to launch a National Single Window program, including:
  • A strong business case that is based on a pragmatic assessment of risks, challenges and capabilities
  • A clear, unambiguous mandate from government, backed up with genuine political will
  • Stakeholder engagement, outreach and awareness building efforts from the very beginning—toward both government and the private sector—in order to attain a realistic future vision, reach broad consensus and secure buy-in
  • Agreement on governance structures, including which agency will lead the initiative, with clear roles and responsibilities for all key stakeholders, and obligations and accountabilities for success
  • Stakeholder agreement on at least one visible, high-level "champion" of the NSW, likely representing the government agency leading NSW. This person must become recognized as the source of information on NSW, accepting and promoting NSW and enunciating the what, why, how and when of NSW development. Ideally, there should also be a "champion" from the private sector
  • A practical roadmap with key milestones matched by appropriate human and financial resources
The private sector—especially traders—must be an essential partner in the reform. After all, traders are the ultimate users of the system. It is important for government authorities to respect the diverse interests of different industries and the need for a certain degree of transparency as a minimum condition to allow the business community to coordinate and prepare for consultations. The business community needs to be engaged throughout the entire process in order to ensure that potential gains are realized. In order to build the business case for a NSW the partners must identify the documents that are frequently used by two or several authorities and that are used often enough to allow for a return on the investment.

NSWs may take on many different forms. Each country is unique and must go through the reform process on its own in order to be able to identify in which processes possible gains reside. Many of the steps can proceed concurrently. Depending on their readiness and needs, countries have implemented very different forms of NSWs. Due to complex change management requirements; NSW development typically follows an evolutionary, staged path.

After "Yes": Roadmap to NSW
The Trade Hub has created a prototype phased roadmap that each country can use as a guideline to develop its own personalized roadmap, revising the sequencing of activities based on its individual needs. Roadmap highlights include:
  • Establishment of a National Single Window Task Force representing the public and private sectors
  • Stakeholder consultation and awareness building efforts designed and carried out from inception to completion
  • Determination of the resources and funding sources required to implement a NSW
  • Appointment of a NSW project team representing all trade-related Ministries
tradefacilitation4

A Matter of Trust

Single window significantly impacts the lives and operations of stakeholders in both the public and private sectors. The development of NSW affects numerous government agencies (Finance, Customs, Health, Agriculture, Trade, Transport, Environment, Police and more) and all private sector players involved in trade (manufacturers, importers, exporters, forwarding and clearing agents, banks and transporters). Articulating a clear, cohesive vision and developing a collaborative platform for these multiple stakeholders is a critical undertaking in the process. Broad-based commitment during project design is crucial—from identifying the individual responsibilities and goals of all participating agencies to incorporating a good deal of face-to-face support during implementation. This can represent a challenge, as tight preparation and supervision budgets rarely finance the sort of intensive hands-on approach required.

Not surprisingly, achieving meaningful results in single window systems depends principally on building genuine collaboration between stakeholders. It makes sense to start with activities designed to build trust and understanding between participating agencies. In the end, complete automation is not necessarily required. What is required is concentration on winning hearts and minds, changing prevailing mindsets, then standardizing, streamlining, simplifying and harmonizing practices. The process must allow for responses and opinions, encourage questions and critical debate, and be responsive to suggestions and recommendations to improve the proposal being discussed. Despite the challenges involved, practical examples now exist throughout the world that demonstrate the extent of border reforms possible, even in relatively difficult environments.

Regional NSW Status
The Mozambique Community Network (MCNet), in partnership with the private sector, is actively encouraging its neighbours to follow suit. The Trade Hub is providing technical and financial support to countries including Namibia, Botswana and Malawi to implement NSW, and using the example of Mozambique as both a selling point and learning tool.

Mozambique's NSW is implemented by MCNet, a public private partnership (PPP) mandated by the Government of Mozambique to implement, operate, and ensure sustainability of a Single Electronic Window program for Trade. MCNet includes the following equity partners:
  • Mozambique Government (through Ministry of Finance) - 20%
  • Confederation of Trade Associations – representing about 400 private sector associations - 20%
  • SGS - a private sector multinational firm experienced in NSW financing and implementation - 60%
Some governments may also consider owning and eventually operating their NSW as an alternative to Mozambique's model. However, this requires considerable resources, both human and financial.

Malawi has adopted a Cabinet Memo to implement NSW using a PPP. Laws in the country are now under review with an eye to implementing NSW. To establish a viable NSW environment, business process re-engineering will be introduced as a reform enabler. The Trade Hub continues to promote the NSW concept in Namibia by facilitating public and private sector engagement with Mozambique's successful NSW and providing information and analysis on NSW's effectiveness in boosting trade and country competitiveness, improving risk assessment and increasing government revenue.

It is possible to one day envision a SADC Regional Single Window, representing a commitment to the region's economic development whose merit is vested in its credibility and the fact that it is a system that serves all parties.

Conclusion
Cross-border costs can either make or break an aspiring Southern African business. Trade costs in the region are currently double the global average, which significantly constrains trade-based growth, limits product diversification and increases the price of consumer goods, including food. In some countries within the region, transport and other logistics costs may amount to as much as 55% of the price that a consumer pays for a product. The world average is only 7%, so it is clear that Southern African countries can greatly improve their Doing Business Index (DBI) by reducing their transport and handling costs. It is significant that when countries improve their DBI, they also improve their competitiveness and attract attention from potential international investors. NSWs help ease the flow of goods between countries, speed customs clearance, increase trade, decrease the cost of goods, enhance data collection, reduce human error, generate economic growth and create jobs. The message is clear: although the design and implementation of a modern trade facilitation tool such as the NSW may be a challenging process, the system is imperative for improving competitiveness.

Alan Mattern is a strategic communications specialist with the Trade Facilitation team, researching and preparing communication and awareness strategies on National Single Window for Namibia and Malawi. He fully understands the need for effective stakeholder identification, research, engagement and dialogue in crafting tailored communication strategies. A graduate of Indiana University in Radio and Television, Alan has previously provided assistance to other competitiveness projects in Armenia, Egypt, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. His 24 years of international experience includes East, West and Southern Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Middle East and United States.
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Fri, 01 Aug 2014 12:53:35 +0000
Making Standards Stick: A Workshop in Malawi http://www.satradehub.org/enabling-environment/sath-content/newsroom/hub-happenings-articles/making-standards-stick-a-workshop-in-malawi http://www.satradehub.org/enabling-environment/sath-content/newsroom/hub-happenings-articles/making-standards-stick-a-workshop-in-malawi photo-for-ee-articledp The Trade Hub hosted a two-day workshop July 17-18 in Lilongwe, Malawi outlining guidelines for referencing standards in technical regulations. The workshop emphasized the critical role of standards and technical regulations to global trade and the importance of regulators' participation in the standards development process.
By George Makore, Director of Enabling Environment

The Trade Hub hosted a two-day workshop July 17-18 in Lilongwe, Malawi outlining guidelines for referencing standards in technical regulations. The workshop emphasized the critical role of standards and technical regulations to global trade and the importance of regulators' participation in the standards development process.

photo-for-ee-article The workshop was officially opened by the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Randson Mwadiwa, and attended by over 30 participants from the private sector, government ministries, non-governmental organizations, regulators, local authorities and the Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS). It covered national and international standards as they relate to legislation and discussed technical regulations, including how standards and conformity assessment can be used to improve the transparency, efficiency and effectiveness of regulations in order to promote trade.

Why do standards matter?
Using standards provides assurance of quality, eliminates barriers to trade, addresses consumer concerns, enables economies to compete on equal terms and ultimately provides a marketing advantage. Standards for products and processes help ensure smooth, free, open and fair trade within regions as well as globally. Harmonized regional and international standards allow for the development of economies of scale (for research and development, production as well as packaging), which reduces cost. They also facilitate easy access to markets by ensuring conformity with consumer expectations. Standards increase compatibility among products and provide better information. They 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.

Why is referencing standards in technical regulations important?
Not all standards are mandatory: standards are voluntary upon publication. Standards only become a mandatory legal requirement when they are referenced/incorporated into regulations or law. When a standard becomes compulsory in this manner, the producer of a product or service must demonstrate compliance with the relevant standard before being allowed to sell the product. Putting standards right into legislation is an important way to maintain consistent standards and communicate them to the community; it also reduces the time and money required to enforce regulations.

The workshop concentrated on this crucial relationship between law and standardization, outlining how regulators can incorporate standards when they are developing technical regulations. The workshop provided practical advice and covered the following key concepts:
  • Basic understanding of laws, regulations, standards, conformity and compliance;
  • Introduction to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement;
  • Understanding the WTO regulatory best practice model, including the concept and process of regulatory impact assessment, as well as technical and administrative aspects of the regulation;
  • Identifying the primary ways that standards and conformance measures interface with the law currently and in the WTO / Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) regulatory best practice model;
  • Understanding the different ways in which standards are referenced and used in technical regulations and the impact and consequences of each;
  • Appreciating the role that conformity assessment plays in enforcing regulations (conformity assessment is the process of ensuring that a product or service complies with the requirements of a standard through inspections, certification, accreditation, etc.); and
Sharing practical examples of how to reference standards and conformity assessment procedures while drafting technical regulations.

One key issue discussed at the workshop was whether referencing standards directly in technical regulations will diminish the power of regulators. This is a frequent concern for regulators, who generally possess significant power and influence in their sphere of operations, e.g. vehicle licensing, construction permits, business licensing, etc. Legislating regulations directly is seen as potentially reducing this sphere of influence; however, this is not the case as regulators are still integral to the process and are still responsible for changing and updating the relevant legislation.

The workshop was part of the Trade Hub's technical assistance on standards to Malawi being provided through the MBS under the USAID Partnership for Trade Facilitation (PTF) Standards Alliance program. It is part of the Trade Hub's work to strengthen the legal and regulatory framework for standards and create an effective process for legislating standards in Malawi. The Standards Alliance facility was designed to assist developing countries in effectively implementing their commitments under the WTO TBT Agreement by helping beneficiaries to implement an effective WTO TBT enquiry point, strengthen their legal and regulatory framework for standards, improve the standards development process, and enhance private sector outreach and communication.

The Malawi workshop is the first of three such workshops that the Trade Hub will hold under the PTF program. The other two are scheduled for Lesotho and Zambia in August and November 2014, respectively. Following the training, the Trade Hub will help the countries develop and publish a brochure on guidelines on referencing standards in technical regulations for each country.
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Fri, 01 Aug 2014 12:45:28 +0000
Annual Conference of the Ease of Doing Business Initiative (EDBI) in the Eastern and Southern Africa http://www.satradehub.org/trade-facilitation/sath-content/activities/trade-facilitation/national-single-window/annual-conference-of-the-ease-of-doing-business-initiative-edbi-in-the-eastern-and-southern-africa http://www.satradehub.org/trade-facilitation/sath-content/activities/trade-facilitation/national-single-window/annual-conference-of-the-ease-of-doing-business-initiative-edbi-in-the-eastern-and-southern-africa
Within the context of the Annual Conference of the Ease of Doing Business Initiative (EDBI) in the Eastern and Southern Africa, the Director General of the Mozambique Customs, Guilherme Mambo, made a presentation of the Single Electronic Window, to about 150 delegates from various countries, in the session number 07 of the conference on the topic: "Cross Border Trade".
Within the context of the Annual Conference of the Ease of Doing Business Initiative (EDBI) in the Eastern and Southern Africa, the Director General of the Mozambique Customs, Guilherme Mambo, made a presentation of the Single Electronic Window, to about 150 delegates from various countries, in the session number 07 of the conference on the topic: "Cross Border Trade".

Guilherme Mambo, in his presentation, described the SeW as being a tool instrumental for the increase in the efficiency, efficacy and transparency of the cross border trade, having also said that the technology in itself is not enough to achieve the objectives desired, but the human resources that aim to ensure its full implementation is of extreme importance. Therefore presently the team of the SeW has 142 employees linked to the project in the 65 locations all over the country.

The benefits and gains achieved with the SeW were also not left out in the presentation of the Director General of the Mozambique Customs, emphasizing that it meant a reduction in the time to clear goods from 21 days to hours.

In the closing remarks of his presentation he informed the delegates that the SeW represents a commitment to the economic development of the country whose merit reside in its credibility and on the fact that the it is system that serves all parties, namely the State, Traders, including the region.

Readmore
The SeW represents a commitment to the economic development of the country whose merit reside in its credibility and on the fact that the it is system that serves all parties, namely the State, Traders, including the region.
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Wed, 02 Jul 2014 12:50:38 +0000
Source Africa 2014: Photo Essay of the Pan-African Textiles & Apparel Trade Event http://www.satradehub.org/textiles-apparel/source-africa-2014-photo-essay-of-the-pan-african-textiles-apparel-trade-event http://www.satradehub.org/textiles-apparel/source-africa-2014-photo-essay-of-the-pan-african-textiles-apparel-trade-event 001-trade-hub-bannerdp Source Africa 2014 took place June 18-20 in Cape Town, South Africa, supported by USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub and valued partners LTE, AAFA and ACTIF. The pan-African Textiles & Apparel trade show drew 1,185 visitors—up 25% from last year's inaugural event.
By Trade Hub Communications

001-trade-hub-banner

Source Africa 2014 took place June 18-20 in Cape Town, South Africa, supported by USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub and valued partners LTE, AAFA and ACTIF. The pan-African Textiles & Apparel trade show drew 1,185 visitors—up 25% from last year's inaugural event.

002-erica
Consul General Erica Barks-Ruggles from the US consulate in Cape Town spoke at Source Africa's plenary session, noting that the African Growth and Opportunity Act has created well over 100,000 jobs in South Africa alone since its inception, of which the US government is very proud.

003-general-trade-show-floor

The Source Africa 2014 trade show welcomed 214 exhibitors from 18 countries including South Africa, Mauritius, Egypt, Madagascar, Botswana, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Lesotho, Swaziland, Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Cote D'Ivoire and saw brisk foot traffic on both days of the exhibition.

004-stevey-tailors

Molefi Setaka from Stevey Tailor, Lesotho, was a first-time exhibitor at Source Africa who benefited from the support of the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) to attend the show, network at the events and display quality products to buyers from around the world.

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Kaise Gubula (far left), fashion designer and founder of Kaise Fabrics and Designs, stands next to one of her designs. She is one of the new, young ambitious designers from the Eastern Cape looking to increase the profile of her collection.

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The textile and apparel industry is one of the most accessible manufacturing industries and has historically been the cornerstone of industrial development for developing countries. The clothing sector in particular has generated thousands of jobs in the Southern Africa region, 80% of which go to women.

007-sportswear

A major theme of Source Africa 2014 was the importance of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and how clothing manufacturers can use the trade preference program to their advantage. Sportswear is especially competitive for AGOA-eligible countries to export to the U.S. since synthetic garments generally have a high tariff otherwise.

008-uniform

Uniforms are another item with which companies can take strategic advantage of AGOA due to their high synthetic content.

009-boots

In addition to apparel, footwear suppliers made a strong showing at the event. With normal duty rates to the United States of up to 35% on shoes, footwear exports are a product with which AGOA gives African companies an edge to excel.

010-b2b

Source Africa 2014 used a sophisticated business-to-business matchmaking system to connect suppliers with the buyers most likely to be interested in their product. Early lead generation results are already clocking in over USD $1 million, even though most sales will only be finalized in the months to come.

011-cocktail

At a cocktail reception on the first evening of the show, attendees had the opportunity to network with a wide variety of industry leaders, buyers and experts.

012-gail-w-whole-panel

In addition to the trade show, four business seminars on topics related to the textiles and apparel industry in Africa played for a packed house. Here keynote speaker Gail Strickler of the United States Trade Representative sits on a panel with Steve Lamar of AAFA, Mohamed Kassem of the Egyptian Ministry of Trade and Industry, Abisha Tembo of IDD and Jas Bedi of ACTIF.

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Sascha Breuss, Managing Director and CEO of Zando, South Africa's largest online shopping retailer, gives a presentation during Wednesday's "Navigating Policies for African Trade" session on challenges his company has overcome in different parts of the continent to successfully build their business.

014-question-from-crowd

The audience was very engaged in Source Africa's panel sessions and took advantage of the opportunity to ask the experts questions on a wide variety of topics ranging from government policy to best shipping ports to competing on orders with Asia.

015-denim

With enthusiastic participation in the panel sessions, key industry leaders sharing their expertise, a busy trade show floor and networking opportunities throughout the three days of the show, Source Africa 2014 turned out to be a success on all counts.


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Tue, 01 Jul 2014 14:33:22 +0000
HUB DIGEST -- AGOA Advantages and Opportunities: A Conversation with Gail Strickler, AUSTR http://www.satradehub.org/textiles-apparel/agoa-advatages-and-opportunities-a-conversation-with-gail-strickler-austr http://www.satradehub.org/textiles-apparel/agoa-advatages-and-opportunities-a-conversation-with-gail-strickler-austr gail-at-podium For this month's Hub Digest, Hub Happenings sat down with the Assistant United States Trade Representative for textiles and apparel, Gail Strickler, to discuss textiles and apparel opportunities in Southern Africa and the benefits of AGOA to African companies looking to export to the U.S. Ms. Strickler was in Cape Town as the keynote speaker for Source Africa 2014, the pan-African textiles, apparel and footwear show supported by USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub.
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.

For this month's Hub Digest, Hub Happenings sat down with the Assistant United States Trade Representative for textiles and apparel, Gail Strickler, to discuss textiles and apparel opportunities in Southern Africa and the benefits of AGOA to African companies looking to export to the U.S. Ms. Strickler was in Cape Town as the keynote speaker for Source Africa 2014, the pan-African textiles, apparel and footwear show supported by USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub.

HH: What is your role as the Assistant United States Trade Representative for textiles and apparel, particularly as it relates to Africa?

gail-at-podium GAIL STRICKLER: Since coming to serve as the AUSTR for textiles and apparel in the Obama administration nearly five years ago, my objective has been to use whatever resources, knowledge and opportunity I can to promote the growth and expand the use of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). I hope to explain its benefits and encourage its opportunities to help create a sustainable textile and apparel industry here in Africa. As the chief negotiator for textiles and apparel for the US Trade Representative, I have been inspired by how the industry has grown and continues to thrive despite great shifts in the world trading system: how it is evolving to make more complex and higher-valued products.

HH: It was an honor to have you attend Source Africa 2014 and address key industry leaders and companies that attended. What in your view are the benefits of a show like this?

GAIL STRICKLER: Source Africa is a globally significant textile and apparel event that showcases the productive capacity, energy and strength of this diverse continent. Trade shows like Source Africa are critical for creating connections between local entrepreneurs and foreign markets. Now we need to work together to expand the reach, integration and opportunity for the designers, manufacturers and workers that are this industry here in Africa.

HH: How have African apparel manufacturers taken advantage of AGOA thus far?

GAIL STRICKLER: AGOA has been instrumental in attracting investment, creating jobs and elevating how business is done in Africa. AGOA members export 34% of their apparel exports to the U.S., and AGOA's preference for textiles and apparel boasts one of the highest utilization rates across US preference programs. LDCs, or LDBCs (Lesser Developed Beneficiary Countries) as they are known in the context of AGOA, enjoy even more advantage under the program.

HH: When African textiles and apparel suppliers are looking to break into the US market, what should they consider?

GAIL STRICKLER: First, do what you do well. The US market is very demanding, and very large. The United States consumes 25% of the world's apparel, and buyers are always trying to find new opportunities for sourcing, especially in places that allow them to import duty free, like AGOA countries. US consumers are used to a very high standard in terms of quality and specifications, so make sure you are proficient and efficient at making your products. Look for the best opportunities for duty savings. In other words, look at those products that have the highest tariffs for imports into the US market. Understand how to navigate the HTS (harmonized tariff system) code. HTS is the system under the World Customs Organization that classifies any item imported under the global trading system and lists the duty rate for import into that country. Duty rates on apparel in the U.S. range from 0 to 32% and up to 35% on footwear: these are among the highest duty rates for any product imported into the United States. The reason that footwear and apparel offer such incredible opportunities for AGOA-eligible countries is because these countries can offer American buyers the chance to save up to 35% when buying a product from them versus another country like China. Of course, we believe the key to regional integration is through African exporters being able to create connections with not only US companies but through working with each other to develop a regional supply chain and to take advantage of Africa's natural and human resources.

HH: Do the garments have to come from raw materials produced in that country in order for the LDBC to take advantage of AGOA?

GAIL STRICKLER: Actually the LDBCs may use third party yarns and fabrics, meaning the yarns and/or textiles used to manufacture the garments may come from anywhere in the world as long as the goods are cut and knit to shape and assembled in an LDBC. LDBCs may also export their products from any port in Africa: they don't have to ship directly from their own country to the U.S.

HH: What is the best way for African suppliers to take full advantage of the AGOA preferences?

GAIL STRICKLER: The best opportunity to offer meaningful benefits to US buyers is on those products that have the highest duty rates. Among those products are knit and woven garments that are synthetic-rich, meaning they contain more than 50% synthetic fiber. So for example: 65/35 poly/cotton fabric is a very common blend used in uniforms. These products can receive as much as a 28.2% lower entry cost into the United States than other MFN (Most Favored Nation) countries. There are also high tariffs on synthetic knit garments like those popular for sports and workout clothes, running gear and similar applications. These are items on which AGOA countries can exercise a tremendous advantage.

HH: What is the easiest way to find out the specific HTS codes?

GAIL STRICKLER: A full listing of HTS codes is available online at http://usitc.gov/tata/hts/index.htm. All knit garments are found in Chapter 61 and all woven garments are found in Chapter 62. Some "made-ups" which include bedding, home furnishings, headwear and accessories can be found in Chapters 63 and 64.

HH: Why are US buyers these days more interested in sourcing from Africa?

GAIL STRICKLER: The duty-free advantages into the United States are a huge positive. Africa also has a large, able workforce and a good environmental record overall, something that is becoming increasingly important to US companies. African textile and apparel suppliers can take advantage of USAID assistance to enter the US market, as well as logistics help. Importers are always looking to expand their sourcing base especially when they can do so duty free.

HH: What are some of the challenges for US buyers in sourcing from Africa?

GAIL STRICKLER: One issue is longer delivery times, which can be compounded by additional lead times required if fabric has to be imported first. African is less well-known to US buyers, although that is changing. Ensuring consistent energy supply in their factories will also be important for African companies looking to do business with the U.S. To mitigate longer delivery times, companies can make products with longer lead times such as school and work uniforms, and baby and children's clothing. These items do not experience rapid trend change-over so buyers can place orders further in advance.

HH: Why is the textiles and apparel sector such an important industry around the world and how do tariff advantages help?

GAIL STRICKLER: The impact of a single line of a tariff on producers is significant: a five percent decrease in tariffs can mean the difference between a factory receiving or losing an order. In turn, orders translate to jobs, and jobs to putting food on the table. In the garment industry, at the end of the day, the bottom line is providing dignified work for those seeking employment. We want to broaden our idea of growth, to seek the kind of growth that encompasses not only blunt measures of increased GDP but also the ability of a mother to put her children through school and to feel empowered to speak up in the workplace.

Gail W. Strickler, AUSTR for Textiles and Apparel, joined the USTR after almost 30 years in the textile and apparel industry. Ms. Strickler is responsible for supervising negotiations affecting textile and apparel products, advising the USTR on textile and apparel trade policy matters and working to expand the industry's access to foreign markets.

In the past she served as President and CEO of Saxon Textile Corp and as Vice President of the Global Apparel Division of Duro Textile LLC. Ms. Strickler also oversaw textile research and development programs for The Institute for Textile and Apparel Product Safety, and developed sustainability and environmental strategy programs for brands and retailers.

Ms. Strickler served as president of the Textiles Distributors Association for five years and has served on the board of directors of the National Council of Textile Organizations, the USDA Cotton Board, and the Fashion Institute of Technology's Education Foundation.
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Tue, 01 Jul 2014 13:27:06 +0000
The Experts Weigh In: Source Africa 2014 Plenary Session http://www.satradehub.org/textiles-apparel/the-experts-weigh-in-source-africa-2014-plenary-session http://www.satradehub.org/textiles-apparel/the-experts-weigh-in-source-africa-2014-plenary-session
source-africa-logo The Source Africa 2014 Trade Show in Cape Town on June 18-20 was accompanied by a series of well-attended business seminars and panel sessions with key industry figures. At the plenary session, Erica Barks-Ruggles, the Consul General for the United States in Cape Town, introduced Assistant US Trade Representative for Textiles Gail Strickler, who gave the keynote address discussing the opportunities for apparel manufacturers in AGOA beneficiary countries.
By Sara Sullivan, Head of Communications

The Source Africa 2014 Trade Show in Cape Town on June 18-20 was accompanied by a series of well-attended business seminars and panel sessions with key industry figures. At the plenary session, Erica Barks-Ruggles, the Consul General for the United States in Cape Town, introduced Assistant US Trade Representative for Textiles Gail Strickler, who gave the keynote address discussing the opportunities for apparel manufacturers in AGOA beneficiary countries. Ms. Strickler spoke of the tariff savings a US importer can realize by sourcing in Africa and the need to meet certain standards to secure business from US importers and brands. Abisha Tembo, Chief Director, Clothing, Textile, Footwear and Leather (IDD) from South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry also addressed the session, discussing the South African government's industrial policy action plan for regional development and innovative ways to increase the region's share of the textiles and apparel market.

Source Africa's four business seminars over three days focused on the themes of sourcing requirements for the US market, navigating policies for African trade and intra-African trade, AGOA and other free market agreement policies affecting Africa, and the challenges that African countries are addressing to attract foreign direct investment.

abisha plenary session In Abisha Tembo's address, the Chief Director for Clothing, Textile, Footwear and Leather asked a vital question: how can the sector be more innovative and bring in products that will increase the region's share of the market as an industry? He also addressed the problem of illegal imports and how his office is working with governments and industry to combat the issue. Mr. Tembo described an Industrial Policy Action Plan designed to promote regional development and manufacturing, as transshipment alone does not grow employment.

Mr. Tembo also introduced the idea of National Clusters and how they can benefit development by bringing in technology to be shared across the industry and confronting issues affecting the sector, specifically mentioning the National Fashion Council, National Leather & Footwear Council, and the Textile & Cotton Sustainable Clothing Cluster.

In his address Mr. Tembo emphasized the importance of coordinating with the private sector and made the role of government clear: "As government, we don't provide employment. We facilitate an environment conducive for industry to create decent and sustainable jobs." He also mentioned that some of the brightest brains are now coming into the textiles and apparel industry in Southern Africa and ended with a note of hopefulness on the opportunities in the sector.

After Mr. Tembo's speech, the Consul General for the United States in Cape Town, Erica Barks-Ruggles, addressed the attendees, welcoming them to Cape Town and mentioning the benefits of AGOA before introducing the session's keynote speaker. Noting that AGOA emphasizes mutual benefit through trade and free markets, Ms. Barks-Ruggles observed that the trade preferences program has "created well over 100,000 jobs, and the US government is very proud of that."

gail plenary session In her keynote address to the session, Assistant US Trade Representative for Textiles Gail Strickler reiterated that the Obama Administration is committed to a seamless renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which is currently set to expire on September 30, 2015. "AGOA 2.0," as she called it, will form part of the discussion during the upcoming U.S-Africa Leaders' Summit that will take place in August in Washington DC and run concurrently with the 13th AGOA Forum. She noted that the US government has the opportunity, in the lead-up to the summit, to define the elements of a renewal package that will effectuate the Administration's commitment while taking into account the lessons of the last 14 years of administering the program and changes in the global trading system over that time.

Exports from Africa to the U.S. under AGOA have grown by 500%, from $8.15 billion in 2001 to $53.8 billion in 2011, of which the Textile and Apparel Industry amounted to almost $1 billion. Despite this remarkable growth, the current African share of the US market amounts to only 1%, meaning that there is ample opportunity for African manufacturers to increase their exports to the United States.

The latest findings of the United States International Trade Commission (2014) suggest that AGOA's impact on foreign direct investment has been strongest in the apparel and footwear industry. The program's trade benefits and eligibility criteria appear to have motivated AGOA beneficiary countries to improve their business and investment climates.

Ms. Strickler emphasized the strategic advantage AGOA offers to African companies trading with the United States and discussed specific, concrete ways suppliers can maximize those benefits. As she noted, "With duties as high as 32%, apparel importers want your products, and you are learning to satisfy their demands." Ms. Strickler also raised the issue of Corporate Social Responsibility as an increasingly important factor for international buyers and consumers: a significant point since Africa offers the opportunity for American buyers to feel confident about workers' rights and environmentally-friendly work practices.

In her speech Ms. Strickler spent some time discussing the importance of the textiles and apparel industry as a catalyst for industry globally and a sector with a multiplier effect that changes the livelihoods of the community around it. She spoke both in her capacity as a trade expert but also drew on personal experience: explaining that her own grandmother, orphaned at 16, found employment and betterment for herself and her siblings by working in an apparel factory in New York in the last century. "There are 300,000 garment workers employed in factories that utilize AGOA," she continued on to say. "A job is not merely the extraction of labor, and our ultimate goal is that these jobs created through AGOA would be increasingly productive, skill-building and sustainable, becoming a channel through which more entrepreneurs, ideas and technology are birthed."

Ms. Strickler stated that the goal of the U.S. government is to make AGOA's impact lasting: not just to encourage African companies to trade with the United States but to build institutional and trade capacity so that African goods can be sent around the world. The AUSTR concluded her talk with a look to the future: "We envision a program that helps to diversify not only the types of products that sub-Saharan Africa exports but also the markets it targets...I believe we will see the skills and wages of workers rise, that we will see the export of high quality, diverse products out of Africa, and that those changes—just like a single factory—will have a multiplying effect for all of Africa."
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Tue, 01 Jul 2014 13:00:00 +0000
Getting Deals Done: A Packed Trade Show Floor at Source Africa 2014 http://www.satradehub.org/textiles-apparel/getting-deals-done-a-packed-trade-show-floor-at-source-africa-2014 http://www.satradehub.org/textiles-apparel/getting-deals-done-a-packed-trade-show-floor-at-source-africa-2014
trade-show-dp Source Africa 2014 offered a whirl of activity over three days and presented multiple opportunities for its guests to network, learn, and engage: including expert panel sessions, a cocktail reception, a lively fashion show hosted by Enterprise Mauritius and speeches by leading industry figures and government officials.
By Sara Sullivan, Head of Communications and Thapelo Manale, Communications Coordinator

Source Africa 2014 offered a whirl of activity over three days and presented multiple opportunities for its guests to network, learn, and engage: including expert panel sessions, a cocktail reception, a lively fashion show hosted by Enterprise Mauritius and speeches by leading industry figures and government officials. Against the backdrop of these exciting events, the real business of Source Africa 2014 took place on the trade show floor where 214 exhibitors displayed products ranging from evening gowns to baby clothes, uniforms to leather handbags, parachutes to fancy dress pumps so that buyers from around the world could sample the best textiles, apparel and footwear Africa has to offer in one convenient location in beautiful Cape Town.

USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub supported a cutting-edge online matchmaking system implemented by Outsmart Marketing that created customized match-ups between buyers and suppliers. These meetings were carefully tailored based on industry questionnaires and valuable pre-show input to maximize efficiency and ensure that the right potential partners were brought together during the event. In total, 395 meetings were arranged, and early lead results from Source Africa 2014 have already been reported at over US$1 million even though the majority of sales will take a few months to finalize.

anton Suppliers from 18 countries exhibited at Source Africa, including Gelvenor Textiles, a South African company that produces technical fabrics for military and defense purposes, medical and government services, corporations and schools. Here Anton Poplett, Development Manager at Gelvenor, describes the benefit of Source Africa 2014 and how the trade show makes it "convenient and easier to buy a quality reliable product [regionally] instead of importing from China."




Anton Poplett
Business Development Specialist
Gelvenor Textiles
View Video

mokhethi Source Africa exhibitors were arranged on the trade show floor in "country pavilions," increasing their visibility and benefitting from strength in numbers. Various investment promotion agencies spearheaded this effort, including the Lesotho National Development Corporation, which supported 16 companies from the flourishing textiles and apparel sector in Lesotho to attend the event. Here Mokhethi Shelile, Head of Investment Promotion from LNDC, explains the purpose of the organization and why attending Source Africa is such a good strategy for companies looking to build exposure.


Mokhethi Shelile
Head of Investment Promotion
Lesotho National Development Corporation
View Video

jeremy Jeremy Youmens, the Chairman of the Zimbabwe Clothing Manufacturers Association, also came to Source Africa and explained how ZCMA is committed to growing the clothing industry in Zimbabwe back to its full height. The Zimbabwe Pavilion at Source Africa 2014 had six booths showcasing a variety of products. Watch as Youmens describes how "the interaction among all the different countries and players has been fantastic" at the trade show.





Jeremy Youmens
Chairman
Zimbabwe Clothing Manufactures Association
View Video

martie Source Africa 2014 was also attended by companies looking to support the textiles and apparel industry. Here Martie Gunter, Brand and Retail Communications Manager from DyStar and Color Solutions International, describes how CSI helps suppliers match color shades with 100% accuracy and how the company finds Source Africa of tremendous value for making contacts with brands and retailers, meeting with new up-and-coming designers, and building upon existing relationships.




Martie Gunter
Brand and Retail Communications Manager
DyStar and Color Solutions International
View Video

With the second annual Source Africa trade show a success, participants are already looking towards next year's event to be held in Cape Town in June. Feedback from Source Africa 2014 has been extremely positive, with retailers contacting the Trade Hub to express their satisfaction with deals made and their appreciation for a valuable event.

"Source Africa had its best showing yet – the number, variety and caliber of participants this year was the highest I've seen, and it was a pleasure to attend such a well-organised and professional show. Well done!"— Cape Union Mart

"If you're in textile and clothing don't miss out!"
— Bernstein Clothing, Zimbabwe

"Source Africa provides a fundamental insight into the textile, apparel and footwear industries." —Twenty 1, South Africa

"SOURCE AFRICA IS SUCH AN EYE OPENER, WILL MAKE IT PART OF MY DIARY EVERY YEAR!" —Olben Collection, Kenya

"Source Africa gave us a huge opportunity to promote our Recycled Polyester Fibre, which is mainly made from plastic bottles. So many visitors and exhibitors were astonished by this appearance. It was also a great opportunity to network and meet new people within the industry." —Propet Fibre

"IT WAS THE BEST EXHIBITION I HAVE EVER PARTICIPATED IN, LOCALLY OR INTERNATIONALLY." —The House of Conee

"The Source Africa exhibition is a great platform for small enterprises in general. It can grow to be one of the biggest shows in Africa where will see companies gradually grow their businesses and develop the economy not only of South Africa but other countries as well." —Ekurhuleni Jewelry Project

"It was a well-organized show which turned out more sales leads than expected. We will definitely sign on for next year." —Leo Garments

"One can never underestimate the power of networking platforms. If you are in the footwear or clothing manufacture industry, Source Africa is one of those must-attend events. Not only for your brand's vital visibility but to open yourself to potential strategic partnerships." —Galago, South Africa

"The show was extremely organized and a pleasure to be a part of!"
— Eddels Shoes

"SOURCE AFRICA 2014 WAS ALL WE EXPECTED AND MORE. WE HOPE TO BE BACK NEXT YEAR!" – Melco


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Tue, 01 Jul 2014 12:53:02 +0000
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.

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Fri, 13 Jun 2014 17:55:04 +0000
Greening the Future of Energy in Swaziland http://www.satradehub.org/home/greening-the-future-of-energy-in-swaziland http://www.satradehub.org/home/greening-the-future-of-energy-in-swaziland sera-dp Developing transparent, robust and predictable clean energy regulatory regimes in Southern Africa is critical to attracting the investment of Independent Power Producers (IPP) in the sector. To assist with this, USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub is working with governments, regional institutions and individual country energy regulatory agencies to strengthen capacity for regulating the clean energy sector.


By Alexander Filippov, Director of Clean Energy

Developing transparent, robust and predictable clean energy regulatory regimes in Southern Africa is critical to attracting the investment of Independent Power Producers (IPP) in the sector. To assist with this, USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub is working with governments, regional institutions and individual country energy regulatory agencies to strengthen capacity for regulating the clean energy sector. An increase in IPP clean electricity generation will contribute to security of supply, climate change mitigation, economic growth, trade competitiveness, poverty reduction and food security in the region.

sera-group The Trade Hub's Clean Energy team has continued their work supporting clean energy development in Swaziland. In collaboration with the Swaziland Energy Regulatory Authority (SERA) in January, we completed a review of the Electricity Industry Cost of Supply Study (COSS), which was previously developed by Swaziland Electricity Company (SEC). Reviewing the Cost of Supply Study was a critical step in the tariff review process. The Trade Hub's assistance also helped prepare SERA to undertake future reviews of similar studies themselves.

A Cost of Supply Study is required for a utility to determine the full costs of providing electricity for various categories of customers at different points in the supply chain and within different geographical areas. It is used by the utility to determine its internal cost structure so that it can better control its costs, manage its business on a commercial basis, improve customer service and enhance financial performance. At the same time, the Cost of Supply Study is used by the regulator to inform its policy decisions, develop the utility's revenue requirements and set appropriate tariff levels that enable the utility to improve service and meet demand growth over time.

In February and March 2014, USAID's Trade Hub conducted two workshops for SERA discussing the review of the Swaziland Electricity Cost of Supply Study. The first workshop was held internally at SERA and allowed a deep technical discussion of the tariff-setting process. The second workshop was organized jointly by SERA and the Trade Hub in order to discuss the review process and results with a broad audience relevant to the energy sector. More than 35 participants came from SERA, the US Embassy in Swaziland, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy, Swaziland Electricity Company, Swaziland Standards Authority, Swaziland Water and Agricultural Development Enterprise, Swaziland Water Services Corporation, Consumer Association, Federation of Swaziland Employers & Chamber of Commerce, USA Distillers and more than ten private sector industries dealing with sugar, biomass and solar energy projects. The workshop built important understanding among the stakeholders that the Cost of Supply Study and SERA's tariff methodology supplement each other and help SERA and the utility to introduce cost reflective charges. The participants learned about various tariff methodologies and approaches to determine the cost of electricity supply.

Overall, the review confirmed that the Electricity Cost of Supply Study conducted by SEC is based on reasonable assumptions and satisfies the key objectives of a typical cost of supply study. The study showed that the estimated long-run marginal cost is higher than current average tariffs in Swaziland, suggesting that future tariffs in Swaziland will likely increase to recover the incremental costs of additional electricity infrastructure. It was recommended that future work in Swaziland should focus on addressing key market structure issues that act as a barrier to achieving cost reflective tariffs. Currently, tariffs in Swaziland are not unbundled, which makes it difficult to encourage cross-border competition and accurately recover costs from IPPs.

clean-energy pic1 An important recommendation given at the workshop was to develop a subsidy framework. Such a framework should be developed by the Ministry of Energy in consultation with SERA, SEC and key stakeholders including customers and private generators. It will guide the industry in terms who will receive subsidies, who will pay subsidies and how to set the mechanisms for collection and disbursement.

The workshop also provided recommendations for enhancements to the existing Cost of Supply Study methodology. The Trade Hub's recommendations went beyond the study review and identified a number of industry projects and initiatives that fall outside the scope of a typical Cost of Supply and yet have inter-linkages with the study.

A post-workshop evaluation revealed that the participants found the workshop very useful and informative on the renewable energy and independent power producer policy issues facing the country. Some attendees mentioned that the workshop not only addressed concerns but also triggered awareness of other issues that would require further action. In particular, the participants noted the need to develop an Integrated Electricity Resource Plan for the country, the need for a cost reflective electricity tariff that would encourage investment and job creation, and the need for more interaction between the government and domestic industries that could potentially become IPPs. The work helped SERA adjudicate the next tariff increase applications by the Swaziland Electricity Company and was an important step in improving the clean energy landscape and potential of the country.
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Sun, 01 Jun 2014 14:35:19 +0000
HUB DIGEST The WTO’s Agreement on Trade Facilitation: How the Trade Hub is Helping http://www.satradehub.org/home/hub-digest-the-wto-s-agreement-on-trade-facilitation-how-the-trade-hub-is-helping http://www.satradehub.org/home/hub-digest-the-wto-s-agreement-on-trade-facilitation-how-the-trade-hub-is-helping trade-facilitation-dp The main outcome of the World Trade Organization's 9th Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia, in December 2013 was an Agreement on Trade Facilitation. Trade facilitation essentially concerns the cost of clearing goods for import and export, and it is important because it has a major impact on lowering trade transaction costs.
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 Brian Glancy, Director of Trade Facilitation

The main outcome of the World Trade Organization's 9th Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia, in December 2013 was an Agreement on Trade Facilitation. Trade facilitation essentially concerns the cost of clearing goods for import and export, and it is important because it has a major impact on lowering trade transaction costs. Despite the major attention given to the cost of border controls over the last 10-15 years, goods continue to be delayed at borders around the world for days (or even weeks), slowing trade flows and adding costs to business that are often passed on to consumers. Trade transaction costs are highest in developing countries, which are the least able to carry this additional burden.

trade-facilitation2 The average cost of trading is higher in least developed countries (LDCs) due to remote location, being land-locked or having poor transport infrastructure. For instance, in LDCs it costs on average 43% more to move a container across the border than in other developing countries. These costs affect small and medium-sized enterprises disproportionately, as SMEs often lack the means and capacity to comply with complex rules. In addition, the high costs of compliance with customs and border procedures and other non-tariff measures represent significant costs in relation to their smaller volumes of trade. This makes them uncompetitive as suppliers and hampers their integration into regional and global value chains.

The Agreement on Trade Facilitation will be binding on all 159 WTO Member States at the level of all border agencies, and not just customs authorities. However, because there are implementation concerns among some developing countries, and especially LDCs, the agreement includes some flexibilities, including provision for technical assistance for its implementation. The Trade Hub is focusing our technical assistance activities to support SADC member countries to comply with several key areas of the Agreement on Trade Facilitation, and we are well-positioned to provide this assistance. Let's take a look at the agreement and determine where Trade Hub activities are being targeted.

There are 12 Articles provided with the Agreement on Trade Facilitation. These articles are as follows:

Article 1: Publication and availability of information

Article 2: Prior publication and consultation

Article 3: Advance rulings

Article 4: Appeal or review procedures

Article 5: Other measures to enhance impartiality, non-discrimination and transparency

Article 6: Disciplines on fees and charges imposed on or in connection with importation and
Exportation

Article 7: Release and clearance of goods

Article 8: Border agency coordination

Article 9: Movement of goods under customs control intended for import

Article 10: Formalities connected with importation and exportation and transit

Article 11: Freedom of transit

Article 12: Customs cooperation

The Trade Hub has already completed significant activity related to the issues identified in Article 8 of the agreement, which places an obligation on Member States to ensure that the authorities and agencies responsible for border controls and procedures for import, export and transit of goods cooperate with one another and coordinate their activities in order to facilitate trade. Article 8 recommends that such cooperation and coordination should include:

a. Alignment of working days and hours. When border authorities on either side of a border open at different times, the border is closed for longer than necessary, a problem that can easily be avoided by alignment. Until recently, the Songwe River border crossing between Malawi and Tanzania both operated from 06:00 until 18:00, without taking into account the one hour time difference between the two countries. Alignment has been achieved by altering the crossing times in Tanzania by one hour from 07:00 until 19:00 and greatly enhancing efficiency.

b. Alignment of procedures and formalities. When different border agencies operate independently of each other, delays occur as traders have to comply separately with uncoordinated requirements. Coordination helps to ensure that clearance of goods can be achieved more quickly and efficiently. Data harmonization and document alignment are also important examples of how procedures and formalities can be coordinated.

c. Development and sharing of common facilities. Efficiencies can be achieved if border agencies share common facilities, such as buildings. For example, with co-location in verification sheds, inspections can be carried out together.

d. Joint controls. When agencies independently require a physical inspection to verify the contents of a consignment, it causes delays. Sharing of data and other coordination of controls improves the process.

e. Establishment of one stop border post control. A number of countries have gone down the route of creating "one-stop border posts" (OSBP), which involve closer cooperation between the border agencies operating at a particular border.

The Trade Hub engaged Malawi in providing a Coordinated Border Management program and the establishment of Joint Border Committees to improve and align border clearance services.

Of the other 11 articles contained in the Agreement on Trade Facilitation, the Trade Hub is currently developing a number of technical assistance interventions to support compliance in three key areas, which are:

Article 1: Publication and availability of information

The issues covered by Article 1 are:
  1. Publication
  2. Information available through the Internet
  3. Enquiry points
  4. Notification
The main obligations of Article 1 are that Member States are required to publish "promptly" a wide range of specific information related to the requirements and procedures for clearing goods for import or export. This includes procedures, forms and documents; rates of duty and taxes; rules for the classification and valuation of goods for customs purposes; rules of origin; transit restrictions and procedures; penalties; appeal procedures; trade agreements; and tariff quota administration arrangements. In addition, Member States are required to publish this information on the Internet - notably procedures, forms and documentation, together with information on national enquiry points, which must be designated and notified to WTO.

Previously, GATT Article X had referred specifically to only some of these requirements (such as customs valuation and classification, rates of duty, taxes and other charges). These additional, specific transparency requirements should assist business in obtaining up-to-date information about all import and export procedures and requirements.

The Trade Hub is engaged with the Government of Namibia in establishing an online "Trade Repository" to enable traders to obtain all of the information they need to comply with trade related legislation, including the provision of legal and regulatory texts, procedures for the international movement of goods, and copies of documents that must be submitted for the clearance of imported, exported, and transit goods, for all trade-related agencies.

Article 2: Prior publication and consultation

The agreement imposes new obligations on Member States to consult traders and other interested parties prior to introducing new or amended laws or regulations related to the movement, release and clearance of goods. It also provides for regular consultations between border agencies, traders and other stakeholders within its territory.

Business has often complained that it is not able to obtain sufficient access to border agencies for consultations on customs and other border matters (although the position varies considerably between countries). Contributory factors may include suspicions held by some border agencies about stakeholders' compliance levels and traders' concerns regarding the integrity of border officials responsible for enforcing compliance. Ensuring regular consultations will help reduce those anxieties, and afford traders and border officials an opportunity to discuss the most efficient and least burdensome approaches to achieving regulatory objectives.

The Trade Hub is engaged with the Governments of Namibia and Malawi to develop a comprehensive Communications Strategy and Plan for the implementation of a National Single Window public awareness campaign. Technical assistance interventions include public consultations, communications themes and messages, targeting trade stakeholders within government and the private sector, and providing forums for the launch of their single window vision and plans.

Article 10: Formalities connected with importation and exportation and transit

This substantial article aims at minimizing the incidence and complexity of import, export and transit formalities and at decreasing and simplifying documentation requirements. It covers the following:

1. Formalities and documentation requirements. Once the Trade Facilitation Agreement has come into force, Member States will be required to review their formalities and documentary requirements for import, export and transit, and make sure they are geared towards rapid release and clearance of goods and reducing compliance costs and time for traders. They must also be using the least trade restrictive measures available, and eliminate those no longer needed.

2. Acceptance of copies. The agreement encourages Member States where appropriate to accept paper or electronic copies of supporting documents and to oblige government agencies to accept copies, including where applicable from the government agency that holds the original, rather than from the trader.

3. Use of international standards. The agreement encourages Member States to follow best practice in the form of international standards (such as the recommendations of UN/CEFACT, although this source is not specifically referred to in the agreement), and to participate in the review and development of international standards.

4. Single Window. Member States will be required to use their best endeavors to establish or maintain a single window for the submission of documentation and/or data requirements for import, export or transit, and to simplify procedures so that information that has already been supplied via the single window should not be asked for again by another border agency participating in the single window. Member States are also required, to the extent possible and where practical, to make their single windows electronic.

The single window environment, in which a trader would only once input all the data required for import, export, or transit, provides an ideal trade facilitation tool. Yet such systems, if they are to work properly, require a commitment by all the relevant border agencies to participate.

The Trade Hub is actively engaged with the Governments of Malawi and Namibia in the establishment of a National Single Window for traders. The Trade Hub's activities include capacity building interventions such as Project Management training, Change Management training, Business Process re-engineering, Data Standardization, Harmonization and Simplification, and Readiness Assessments for Other Government Agencies (OGAs).

The Trade Hub will continue to work with SADC member countries to provide value-added technical assistance interventions that modernize border clearance services, reduce the costs and burdens to traders associated with meeting their border clearances, and assist SADC member countries to comply with their obligations to comply with the Agreement on Trade Facilitation so that trade transaction costs are decreased and trade improved throughout the region.

Brian Glancy entered the Public Service of Canada as a Customs Inspector in 1978 where he served for 27 years. Since leaving the Canada Border Services Agency, Brian has worked on 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.
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Sun, 01 Jun 2014 13:57:00 +0000
Photo Essay: Zambia’s Agritech Expo Focuses on Emerging Farmers and Draws 8,000 Participants http://www.satradehub.org/home/photo-essay-zambia-s-agritech-expo-focuses-on-emerging-farmers-and-draws-8-000-participants http://www.satradehub.org/home/photo-essay-zambia-s-agritech-expo-focuses-on-emerging-farmers-and-draws-8-000-participants dp-agritech-expo On April 4-5, USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub supported Agritech Expo, Zambia's first outdoor agricultural event servicing the needs of the entire agricultural value chain. Over 8,000 participants—including suppliers, manufacturers, retailers, agents and service providers—attended the event at the GART Research Centre in Chisamba where the latest agricultural technology and farming solutions were showcased to farmers throughout the region in partnership with the Zambia National Farmers Union.


By Thapelo Manale and Sara Sullivan, Trade Hub Communications

vice-president3
On April 4-5, USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub supported Agritech Expo, Zambia's first outdoor agricultural event servicing the needs of the entire agricultural value chain. Over 8,000 participants—including suppliers, manufacturers, retailers, agents and service providers—attended the event at the GART Research Centre in Chisamba where the latest agricultural technology and farming solutions were showcased to farmers throughout the region in partnership with the Zambia National Farmers Union.

workshop3
The support of the Trade Hub enabled Agritech Expo to expand its reach to serve a broader, regional audience and introduce needed technology and agricultural services to farmers throughout Southern Africa to improve incomes and improve food security. The Trade Hub also sponsored free technical workshop programs that offered case studies, business tips and best practices for soil quality, mechanization, increased yields and sustainability. Above, emerging commercial farmers attend a session on successful crop diversification.

unveiling-milestone3
The Vice President of Zambia, Dr. Guy Scott, presided over Agritech Expo and even took a ride on one of the tractors during a field demonstration. Here, along with the President of ZNFU Dr. Evelin Nguleka and the CEO of ZNFU Ndambo Ndambo, Dr. Scott unveils the official milestone for the expo commemorating the event.

agritech-expo3
Average crop yields across Zambia are 1.5 - 2 metric tons per hectare, but there is potential to achieve 8-10 metric tons per hectare in certain maize varieties. Crop Demonstration plots at the Expo showed farmers the difference that quality seed and correct planting techniques can have on productivity.

afgri3
Seventy companies, including machinery suppliers, seed producers, agrochemicals, financial services, grain handling, agricultural commodities, irrigation and livestock exhibitors exhibited their products over 24 hectares of expo space. Farmers were able to observe and test-drive tractors, combine harvesters, bakkies and quads themselves before buying in one of eleven working demonstration areas. Above, AFGRI, the regional retailer for John Deere tractors, conducts field demonstrations showing how the tractors effectively plow, cultivate and apply fertilizer.

b.a.s.f3
Live crops trials, machinery demonstrations, professional consultation and vendor networking were all valuable aspects of the event. Here a B.A.S.F Agro Chemical Company field technician explains the benefits of their product to a farmer in attendance.

emerging-farmer3
Zambia's booming agriculture sector accounts for 35% of the nation's GDP, which equates to around $4.5 billon. The expansion of small scale farming and the development of emerging and commercial farms are the key contributors to the growth of the agricultural sector. Here an emerging commercial farmer inspects a groundnut plant from a live crop trial.

ischool3
As part of the Agritech Expo, the Southern Africa Trade Hub sponsored a vendor subsidiary program to finance the participation of small-to-medium enterprises from within the SADC region. Eight SMEs were able to attend due to this support, which gave them the opportunity to benefit from direct exposure and business networking within the regional farming community. Above, one of the supported SMEs, iSchool, demonstrates a Zedupad educational tablet program called "iFarm." iFarm was designed by farmers to help with crop and livestock disease identification, livestock productivity and farm management technology.

lit-tazewell3
USAID Deputy Mission Director Littleton "Lit" Tazewell facilitated a discussion on the importance of supplier relationships in developing agricultural value chains at the Agribusiness Congress, a one-day conference that took place as part of the Expo. Panel sessions covered key issues including export and import regulations, crop diversification, innovative finance and supplier relationships, and offered designated networking opportunities for delegates and exhibitors.

50-emerging-farmer3
Fifty emerging small scale farmers from throughout the region were sponsored by the Trade Hub to attend the inaugural Agritech Expo. USAID enabled their participation by subsidizing accommodation and per diems, giving the farmers access to the two-day show to help them grow their businesses, increase profits, network within the industry, test machinery and equipment, and see the latest in agricultural technologies and solutions.


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Thu, 01 May 2014 16:04:08 +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?
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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.
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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.

Meg Findley is a water resources and environmental management specialist with a background in water resources, watershed management, USAID environmental compliance regulation 22 CFR 216, and climate adaptation in the African, Asian, and Latin America-Caribbean regions. She earned her Ph.D. in Aquatic Ecology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and brings over 15 years of experience developing technical guidance tools and/or leading technical implementation teams in environmental impact assessment, integrated water and coastal resources management (IWRM), and climate change and adaptation on USAID projects. Meg is a member of the Trade Hub's Enabling Environment Team and currently conducts environmental reviews for project activities.
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Thu, 01 May 2014 13:39:21 +0000
Success Story: African Delegation Visits U.S. http://www.satradehub.org/enabling-environment/sath-content/activities/enabling-environment/success-story-african-delegation-visits-u-s http://www.satradehub.org/enabling-environment/sath-content/activities/enabling-environment/success-story-african-delegation-visits-u-s
Consistent standards for products and processes help ensure smooth, free, open and fair trade. Harmonized standards through-out a region facilitate easy access to markets, increase compatibility among products and provide better information. When consistent standards are applied, consumers can have confidence in the quality, safety and health features of the product.
Consistent standards for products and processes help ensure smooth, free, open and fair trade. Harmonized standards through-out a region facilitate easy access to markets, increase compatibility among products and provide better information. When consistent standards are applied, consumers can have confidence in the quality, safety and health features of the product.

However, Southern Africa currently only enjoys 94 harmonized standards across the region, with each country maintaining thou-sands of their own standards that do not translate well across borders. Some countries have no published standards at all. The wide variety of standards makes it difficult for the private sector to do business in the region or expand operations to other countries.

USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub is assisting the governments of Lesotho, Malawi and Zambia with the critical issue of improving the standards development process. One of the ways the Trade Hub is helping is to assist the countries in establishing effective Technical-Barriers-to-Trade Enquiry Points in each country. In addition to responding to all enquiries for information concerning state and private regulations, standards and conformity assess-ment procedures, an effective Enquiry Point maintains a reference collection of standards, specifications, test methods, codes and recommended practices for all World Trade Organization (WTO) member countries. Housing a library of standards in the same location streamlines product and process development, enabling the private sector to make products compatible for the region.

The Trade Hub, in conjunction with the American National Stand-ards Institute, organized a five-day benchmarking mission to the United States with a delegation of eight officials from the national standards organizations of Lesotho, Malawi and Zambia. The trip was designed to give the delegates an up-close, comprehensive understanding of the functioning of an Enquiry Point and Notifica-tion Authority as they prepare to launch similar initiatives in their own countries. During the visit to the U.S., the delegates spent three days at the National Institute of Standards and Technology Complex learning about and observing the operations of the US Enquiry Point.

"Before the US visit, I thought an effective Enquiry Point required at least two full-time employees and huge library space," ex-plained Fred Sikwese, MBS Director, Standards Development. "I now realize that the Malawi Bureau of Standards can operate ef-fectively using existing staff, and once fully computerized, all we would need is a small office and internet."

The trip was very successful at opening the eyes of the delegation to the requirements and inner workings of an effective Enquiry Point, which, once adopted in Lesotho, Malawi and Zambia, will give users access to crucial information and help facilitate trade throughout the region.
USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub is assisting the governments of Lesotho, Malawi and Zambia with the critical issue of improving the standards development process.
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Tue, 01 Apr 2014 19:52:01 +0000
Success Story: Increasing Storage to Improve Lives http://www.satradehub.org/agricultural-value-chains/sath-content/activities/agricultural-value-chains/success-story-increasing-storage-to-improve-lives http://www.satradehub.org/agricultural-value-chains/sath-content/activities/agricultural-value-chains/success-story-increasing-storage-to-improve-lives
Small farmers in rural Zambia face many hardships when attempting to sell their grain. Long distances to market, non-competitive pricing and the lack of immediate payment hinder farmer incomes and dampen food security in the country.
Small farmers in rural Zambia face many hardships when attempt-ing to sell their grain. Long distances to market, non-competitive pricing and the lack of immediate payment hinder farmer incomes and dampen food security in the country.

Through a Strategic Partnership Grant, USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub is supporting AFGRI Limited to improve grain storage and structured trade in Zambia. AFGRI, a diversified agri-services company, buys maize and soy from farmers and other traders, offering either instant payment or high-quality storage for their grain. Catalyzed by the grant from USAID, AFGRI was able to build a storage depot in Patauke in the eastern province of Zambia that enabled the company to purchase 4,000 tons of grain this season, as opposed to 1,200 tons the previous season. The satellite depot feeds into the company's main silo operations in Lusaka and Kabwe, offering farmers in Eastern Zambia a market for their maize and soy.

The grant from USAID financed a new office at the depot to house a laboratory and necessary materials, including moisture and grading equipment, to ensure that grain is stored properly with the maximum value retained. Post-harvest losses due to inadequate moisture control, pests and diseases are a significant problem in the country, making grain management important. Due to rigorous controls, AFGRI's post-harvest losses average only 2% while other storage providers have a much higher loss ratio of up to 35%.

The grant follows USAID's model of stimulating private sector investment into the grain sector in a sustainable way. Improvements are being made as a result of the grant that will further increase the capacity and effectiveness of the depot. Two electronic weigh bridges will be installed soon that automatically weigh grain as it is driven across by truck. This eliminates the need to move grain manually onto a platform scale and the "double-handling" of the product. An additional depot is being planned for Northern Zambia as well to take advantage of that rich farming area. The Trade Hub is also advising Afgri Zambia how to leverage competitive financing to increase their capacity to buy more grain from small farmers in remote areas throughout the country.

With the help of USAID, AFGRI is now able to reach out to more farmers throughout the country, offering a quality market for grain and ready cash for paying necessary household expenses and investing back into their farms. "Through [USAID's] help I am sure my grandchildren will be able to go further," notes small scale farmer George Sacara, who sold his maize to AFGRI. "We have seen that the future will be bright."

By strengthening an effective private sector partner, USAID is improving grain storage in Zambia and increasing structured trade, which helps farmers, contributes to food security and encourages exports by helping the country establish a surplus of grain.
USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub is supporting AFGRI Limited to improve grain storage and structured trade in Zambia.
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Tue, 01 Apr 2014 19:46:14 +0000
HUB DIGEST: Rural Electrification in Zambia http://www.satradehub.org/home/hub-digest-rural-electrification-in-zambia http://www.satradehub.org/home/hub-digest-rural-electrification-in-zambia clean-energy Access to modern energy sources such as electricity remains unacceptably low in much of sub-Saharan Africa at about 31% of total population. This is also the case in Zambia where the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) has been tasked with increasing access from the current low levels of 5% to 51% in the next 16 years [1] [10] (see Table 2). This is an ambitious target, but reflects the importance government attaches to rural electrification, as a means to deliver socio-economic development to the people of Zambia residing in remote areas of the country.
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 Romance Sampa, Energy Advisor

clean-energy1 Access to modern energy sources such as electricity remains unacceptably low in much of sub-Saharan Africa at about 31% of total population. This is also the case in Zambia where the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) has been tasked with increasing access from the current low levels of 5% to 51% in the next 16 years [1] [10] (see Table 2). This is an ambitious target, but reflects the importance government attaches to rural electrification, as a means to deliver socio-economic development to the people of Zambia residing in remote areas of the country. This article discusses some of the key issues that must be addressed to strengthen the ability of REA to fulfill its mandate.

Table 1: Access to electricity in Zambia

clean-energy2
Source: Central Statistical Office Living Conditions Monitoring Survey Report 2006 – 2010. Lusaka.

There are several areas that require concerted effort and commitment by all stakeholders involved in the rural electrification program. These include human resource management and technical capacity building, as well improvements in the policy, regulatory and institutional framework. These issues are interconnected and require a holistic approach. For instance, developing the technical ability of REA staff in isolation of a supportive policy, financial framework or needed tools will not lead to an effective REA or electrification program.

What is Rural Electrification?
Rural electrification is defined in different ways by various authors and may be country-specific. In general, however, it may be defined as the provision of electricity infrastructure and power to populations in rural and remote areas that currently are not served. In these locations people instead rely on traditional energy sources for their daily energy needs. In some countries, the concept of rural electrification is further narrowed to refer to the provision of electricity to villages and thus is referred to as "village electrification."

In Zambia, rural electrification refers mainly to the provision of electricity infrastructure to so-called "Rural Growth Centers" (RGC) [1]. These are rural community centers that have a minimum cluster of socio-economic infrastructures such as schools, health centers, trading markets, police post and post office, etc. usually serving a catchment area of villages of roughly 15 to 20 kilometers radius from the RGC.

According to the 2010 population census, Zambia has a population of 13 million (2.6 million households), of which 8 million live in rural areas.

What can be gained from investing in rural electrification?
Rural electrification programs have been adopted in many developing countries including Southern Africa because they are viewed as key to socio-economic development [3]. The benefits of rural electrification are well-researched and documented, and they include poverty reduction [4].

Rural electrification through solar power in particular has many benefits, including improved literacy through access to lighting and modern information technology, increased economic activities arising from access to electricity, and improved provision of health services resulting from the provision of electric powered equipment and machinery. Solar energy also contributes to a reduction in carbon emissions as well as enhancing leisure and entertainment prospects.

According to the World Bank, the benefits of rural electrification are quantifiable and significant, and include improved indoor air quality, enhanced knowledge and fertility reduction. Rural electrification also has long-term impact on home businesses, while off-grid electrification solutions have demonstrable environmental benefits. The World Bank further states that willingness to pay is high, exceeding the average supply cost where grid connection is feasible [7].

Specific benefits to Zambia from rural electrification include improved delivery of social services such as health and education, and a reduction in the time and effort women and children spend on collecting firewood and other fuels to meet daily energy requirements [12].

Why should rural electrification be considered a priority development program?
The power infrastructure in the rural areas of Zambia is well behind that of other African countries [5]. According to the Central Statistics Office Living Conditions Survey Report 2006 and 2010, national access to electricity is about 23%. Only 5% of rural households are connected to electricity compared to 53% of urban households. The irony is that Zambia is better endowed with hydropower potential than most African countries with an estimated 6,000 megawatts (approximately 1,700 megawatts are installed).

Rural electrification is particularly important for uplifting quality of life in Zambia because 77.9% of the rural population is below the poverty line, and 70% is engaged in agricultural activities. Kerosene/paraffin, at 37%, was the main source of lighting energy in 2010, and use of candles was 22% of total lighting energy in rural areas. Eight-one percent of rural households continue to use firewood as the main source of cooking energy [10].

What are the issues?
Key challenges stand in the way of accelerated rural electrification that need to be overcome through a concerted capacity building program. While Zambia's Sixth National Development Plan (2011 – 2016) set an ambitious plan to increase rural access to 51%, this has not been matched by the release of financial resources to implement the program [6]. According to REA, increasing rural electricity access from 3.1% in 2006 to 51% by 2030 will require an estimated US$ 1.1 billion (or US $50 million annually).

Zambia is a large country with a land area of 752,612 square kilometers and a low population density. These features pose economic and business challenges in regards to particular rural electrification technology options such as extending the grid to remote, sparsely populated areas. Many remote areas, as a result, have relied on diesel generators at a high cost due to transport costs of the imported fuel. There are also issues of affordability and willingness to pay due to the poverty levels in rural areas.

What is the current approach to rural electrification?
The National Energy Policy of 1994 advocated for the electrification of production and social institutions such as schools and health centers through national grid extension, development of mini-hydro power stations and solar photovoltaic systems [8]. Zambia's revised National Energy Policy of 2008, among other measures, called for the provision of subsidies and integrating rural electrification in existing development programs [9]. Based on this policy, REA is applying three technologies identified in the Rural Electrification Master Plan (REMP), namely National Grid Extension, Solar Energy and Mini-Hydro. The electrification program based on solar began in 2007, and REA has accordingly been installing solar photovoltaic installations at various public and social organizations.

Renewable energy options
Current renewable energy contribution (excluding large scale hydropower) to the country's energy mix is still insignificant despite Zambia's ample renewable energy resources. The National Energy Policy of 1994 and 2008 identified solar (thermal and photovoltaic), mini/micro-hydro, biomass (agricultural residues, forestry residues, industrial/municipal organic wastes, energy crops and products and animal waste) as energy available to Zambia [8][9].

Although solar power, with a potential output of 4.5 kWh/m2/day, is increasingly being used, its contribution to the total national energy supply remains very low. Renewable energy has, however, a very high potential to contribute to the social and economic progress of rural communities especially due to abundant sunshine to generate power and increase electricity access in rural areas. These technologies are especially suitable in areas where population is dispersed, and the load is relatively small and unsuitable for grid inter-connection.

Is the environment for rural electrification enabling?

Policy, legal, institutional framework:
Government has consistently formulated energy policies such as the National Energy Policies of 1994 and 2008 that are supportive of rural electrification. Currently, there are efforts to create, with the support of the Southern Africa Trade Hub, a Renewable Energy Feed-in policy to guide and incentivize public and private sector stakeholders to engage and develop the renewable energy sector and increase access to electricity. It is anticipated that the policy will guide the design of appropriate regulatory frameworks, tariffs and incentives for the private sector to develop renewable energy technologies such as solar, small hydro and biomass. These technologies would be perfectly suitable for decentralized deployment in rural and remote areas. There is also a clear need for a policy on mini-grids, tariffs and subsidies for developing mini-grids.

Zambia's current Rural Electrification Act provides a legal framework and establishes the institutional framework to implement the program. Overall, the energy legal framework (Energy Regulation Act, Rural Electrification Act and similar legislation) needs to be reviewed to remove potential conflicts and take account of the particular socio-economic conditions in the rural areas. The Energy Regulation Act as it now stands needs to be reviewed to consider light-handed regulation and special tariffs for rural areas if investment and the electrification program are not to be hampered.

In addition, the role of public energy organizations in the rural electrification program needs to be further clarified. Currently, REA is mandated to deliver electricity infrastructure development below 10 megawatts on a non-profit basis. The national power utility, ZESCO, operates on a commercial basis. The Office for Promoting Private Power Investment (OPPPI) is involved in promoting private sector power projects above 10 megawatts, while the Department of Energy responsible for government energy policy formulation has also been involved in the implementation of renewable energy projects in rural areas. A diagnostic review of the energy institutional structure is necessary to outline roles and responsibilities and to ensure the efficient use of institutional, technical, financial and human resources.

Capacity building:
REA is a relatively new organization hampered by inadequate knowledge. Well-planned and coordinated programs are needed to address any shortfalls in the organization in the face of the challenges mentioned above and other emerging issues. The organization is currently not operating at full capacity. Out of 33 technical vacancies only 14 have been filled, primarily as a result of budgetary constraints [11]. There is also general acknowledgement that due to capacity challenges some rural electrification schemes may not be of the desired quality and service. Capacity building is additionally required in the identification and development of renewable energy based mini-grids.

Resource mobilization and coordination:
It is estimated that REA requires approximately US$ 50 million per year to increase access to electricity in rural areas to 51% by 2030 from its current low level of 5%. Annual allocations through parliamentary appropriations have been significantly below requirements thus far. If the rural electrification program as laid out in the REMP is to succeed given these tight budgetary constraints, new and innovative approaches will be needed to raise the required resources. Ideally the rural electrification program can learn more about resource mobilization and coordination from organizations with relevant experience in the country's health, education, water and sanitation sectors. In these sectors the government and cooperating partners are coordinating internal and external resources to improve the sectors, and they have mobilized communities to manage and maintain facilities. In addition, rural electrification must be integrated into existing rural development programs.

Conclusions
Rural electrification is a key component of the socio-economic development of rural Zambia, but much needs to be done to build and enhance the capacity of the Rural Electrification Authority to carry out its mandate. The country will require enabling policies, as well as regulatory and business tools to incentivize private sector involvement. These tools should be used in tandem with effective coordination of external and internal technical support to ensure integration across all rural development programs.

References
[1] Rural Electrification Authority
[2] Central Statistical Office, 2010 National Census Report.
[3] Barnes, D. F.; Khandker, S. R.; Samad, H. A. 2010. Energy Access, Efficiency, and Poverty: How Many Households Are Energy Poor in Bangladesh? World Bank
[4]"Khandker, S. R.; Samad, H. A.; Ali, R; Barnes, D. F. 2012. Who Benefits Most from Rural Electrification? Evidence in India. World Bank, Washington, DC.
[5] "Foster, Vivien; Dominguez, Carolina. 2011. Zambia's Infrastructure: A Continental Perspective. World Bank. © World Bank.
[6] Sixth National Development Plan (2011 – 2016), Ministry of Finance, Lusaka
[7] http://web.worldbank
[8] National Energy Policy 1994, Ministry of Energy and Water Development, Lusaka
[9] National Energy Policy 2008, Ministry of Energy and Water Development, Lusaka.
[10] Central Statistical Office, 'Living Conditions Monitoring Survey Report 2006 – 2010.' Lusaka.
[11] Anand Subbiah, (2014), Solar PV Training Report, Southern Africa Trade Hub.
[12] Haanyika, C. H., (2008), 'rural electrification in Zambia: A policy and institutional analysis. Energy Policy 36 (2008), pp 1044 - 1058

Romance Sampa is an Energy Economist by profession. He has been involved in the energy and water sectors in Zambia and the region in various capacities for more than 25 years. As Energy Advisor at The Trade Hub Romance is responsible for capacity building projects and works in close collaboration with SADC and the Regional Electricity Regulator Association (RERA). Romance has served as Permanent Secretary for 10 years in several Ministries in Zambia which he directed and led major energy and water sector reforms and institutional developments such as the establishment of the Energy Regulation Board. Romance has a BA in Economics (Portsmouth, UK), Post Graduate Diploma in Energy (Surrey, UK) and Development and a Master of Science in Energy Economics in (Surrey, UK). Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of USAID or the Trade Hub.

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Sat, 01 Mar 2014 20:51:42 +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).
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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.

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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.

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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.
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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
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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
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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.

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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.

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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.
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Sat, 01 Feb 2014 15:25:21 +0000
Success Story: Preparing Zambia for Clean Power http://www.satradehub.org/clean-energy/sath-content/activities/clean-energy/success-story-preparing-zambia-for-clean-power http://www.satradehub.org/clean-energy/sath-content/activities/clean-energy/success-story-preparing-zambia-for-clean-power
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 generation capacity is about 2,000 megawatts, and only 3.5% percent of its rural population has access to electricity. The country has an ambitious plan to raise that figure to 15% by 2015, even as the demand for electricity grows due to increasing mining and agricultural activities, which have easily outstripped supply. One important solution is to increase the contribution of renewable energy—clean sources of power that are particularly effective in remote rural areas—to the country's energy mix. Zambia is well-endowed with renewable energy resources including biomass, small hydro, solar, geothermal and wind. However, apart from large-scale hydro, the contribution of renewable energy to the national energy supply has been very small up to this point.

To help Zambia achieve its renewable energy goals, USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub is working with the Department of Energy through the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development (MMEWD) to develop policies that will encourage investment in clean energy sources and train the country's officials to solicit and evaluate bids for solar power solutions.

Specifically, the Trade Hub is helping MMEWD develop a Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff (REFIT) policy that will guide decisions on the design of electricity tariffs from renewable energy technologies, the nature of contracts established and the details of compensation: all of which will help Independent Power Producers finance renewable energy investments. Simultaneously, the Trade Hub is improving the ability of the relevant energy institutions to administer the policy and undertake clean energy procurement transactions. The assistance aims to fill the knowledge gap and pave the way for the widespread use of photovoltaic technology.

As part of the process, the Trade Hub launched a technical assistance training program in which MMEWD and other energy sector stakeholder, such as the Rural Electrification Authority (REA), Energy Regulation Board (ERB), Office for Promotion of Private Power Investment (OPPPI), and power utility ZESCO were trained to evaluate and procure solar photovoltaic energy systems for the expansion of energy access in rural areas not connected to the national grid.

An August 2013 workshop in Lusaka covered every aspect of solar PV energy systems, including planning for installation, required policies and regulations, design criteria, implementation arrangements and financing options; it was followed up by a second phase workshop in November. Zambia recently invited the first bids for construction of solar and mini grids in three rural provinces. With the support of USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub and the procurement training provided, the country will be ready for them.

USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub is working with the Department of Energy through the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development (MMEWD) to develop policies that will encourage investment in clean energy sources and train the country's officials to solicit and evaluate bids for solar power solutions.
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Wed, 01 Jan 2014 20:32:17 +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.
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Wed, 01 Jan 2014 20:17:01 +0000