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Our People: Mohamed Abou-iiana. Ph.D. http://www.satradehub.org/home/our-people-mohamed-abou-iiana-ph-d http://www.satradehub.org/home/our-people-mohamed-abou-iiana-ph-d mohamed-abou-iianaDr. Abou-iiana is Textiles & Apparel Senior Advisor at the Southern Africa Trade Hub. A native of Egypt, Dr. Mohamed Abou-iiana has more than 25 years of industrial experience in the textiles and apparel industry in the United States, Romania, Macedonia, Mexico, Egypt, West and Southern Africa. He holds a Ph.D. in Textiles/Apparel from North Carolina University State University, USA, and a Masters in Textiles/Apparel from Leicester Polytechnic, UK.
Mohamed Abou-iiana. Ph.D., Textiles & Apparel Senior Advisor

Dr. Abou-iiana is Textiles & Apparel Senior Advisor at the Southern Africa Trade Hub. A native of Egypt, Dr. Mohamed Abou-iiana has more than 25 years of industrial experience in the textiles and apparel industry in the United States, Romania, Macedonia, Mexico, Egypt, West and Southern Africa. He holds a Ph.D. in Textiles/Apparel from North Carolina University State University, USA, and a Masters in Textiles/Apparel from Leicester Polytechnic, UK.

Dr. Abou-iiana was a professor at the Philadelphia College of Textiles, Philadelphia in the United States for seven years, teaching and training students on textiles/apparel manufacturing, quality, product development, international standards and design. Prior to that, he worked as Assistant Vice President of Unity Mills, a vertical textiles/apparel manufacturer and the second largest thermal wear producer in the U.S. There he supervised the customer service department, se fabric specifications and managed quality assurance of the finished garments to meet international standards, design elements and product development.

He has worked on several USAID projects in the Textiles/Apparel industry and has consulted on WRAP certification, environmental and social compliance required by US buyers, regional and bilateral cooperation, international standards, evaluation requirements, export readiness requirements, sourcing and trade shows. His experience also includes working with the Egyptian Apparel Industry and E-Commerce, Sulzer-Rulti America Inc., JC Penney, the United States Department of Defense, United States Department of Commerce, National Textiles Center and several American, Mexican, Egyptian and African companies in technical and management-related functions.

Mohamed is married with two children.

What led you to your current career in international development? In 1999, I was working at the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Sciences (now Philadelphia University) in the United States. I was approached by an international consulting firm for a short-term assignment on the application of Management Information Systems in the garment industry in Egypt—my native country. I enjoyed and felt the reward of giving back to the community. Since them I have consulted in many countries around the world until coming to the Trade Hub for this long-term assignment.

In your opinion, what is the most exciting aspect of the work the Trade Hub is doing to support economic growth or the textiles and apparel sector in Southern Africa? Textiles/apparel is a migrating industry, which started in England in the 1800's and has moved around the world. Now it is Africa's turn. Occurring after agriculture, textiles and apparel is the first industry for industrialization. It employs many people, uses low to medium technology and requires low investments. It also has a timeless product: the world always needs clothing. Southern Africa has already benefited from the industry; for example, Lesotho exports more than USD $300 million to the U.S. under AGOA and employs more than 40,000 workers, mainly females. The most exciting aspect of the work is helping people by creating employment and economic empowerment.

If you could choose any other profession or job, what would it be? I would be a doctor. What would draw me to that profession is the ability to help people and work with others for their well-being and quality of life.

You have traveled extensively for work: what is your favorite city in the world? I like many cities in the world: New York, Hong Kong, Istanbul and Cape Town in particular.

What famous person most inspires your life and work? Martin Luther King, the great American civil rights leader, opened the doors for millions and gave them hope in life, inspired the vulnerable and helped ensure a better future for them.

What is the first place in the city that you would tell newcomers to Gaborone to visit, and why? Well, that would have to be the Immigration Office, to apply for their work permit.

What is the proudest achievement in your career so far? Helping people. By working in international development, you have the chance to meet and assist others from different cultures and share with them what you learned.
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Safeguarding the Environment through Trade Hub Activities

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Helping to Eliminate Aflatoxin in Malawi

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