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November 2015

President of Zambia Presents Award to USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub

His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu, the President of the Republic of Zambia, hands over the award to the Trade Hub’s Director of Agriculture Gerrit Struyf, with the President of ZNFU and the World Farmers Organization Dr. Evelyn Nguleka

On October 15, 2015, the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) honored USAID with an award at ZNFU’s 110th Annual Congress in Lusaka, Zambia. The award was made by ZNFU in recognition of USAID’s successful efforts to develop a Warehouse Receipts System (WRS) for Zambia. The award itself was presented to the Trade Hub by His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu, the President of the Republic of Zambia.

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Launch of New Seed Variety in Swaziland Represents Triumph for Regional Integration

Littleton TazewellOn September 29, 2015, Umlimi Lokhonile Seeds (which means “the farmer is able”) from Swaziland launched MRI514, a hybrid maize seed from Syngenta MRI in Zambia, making Swaziland the first country to demonstrate practical implementation of the SADC harmonized seed system. Under the system, once a seed variety is approved in two SADC countries, it can be released in all SADC countries without extensive trials and paperwork, making investment in seed development more attractive and profitable.

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Trade Hub Helps Launch the First National Enquiry Point in Botswana

Ambassador Earl Miller and Minister of Trade and Industry Vincent Seretse officially open the National Enquiry Point, housed at the Botswana Bureau of Standards in GaboroneUSAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub helped to launch the first National Enquiry Point in Botswana on September 28, 2015. Under the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement, each member nation must develop an effective National Enquiry Point (NEP) in order to increase trade. NEPs provide a “one-stop shop” where traders can receive crucial information for doing business with other WTO member countries.

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Promoting Women’s Engagement in Local, Regional, and International Trade

SEEP ConferenceFrom September 28-30, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub and partner organization Banyan Global participated in the 30th SEEP Network Annual Conference entitled, “Inclusion and Resilience: The Next Challenge” in Arlington, Virginia.

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Trade Hub Continues Support to National Single Window in Botswana, Malawi, and Namibia

BURS TrainingFrom October 5-7, 2015, the Trade Hub sponsored delegates from Malawi and Namibia to the 4th International Single Window Conference hosted by the African Alliance for E-Commerce (AACE) in Brazzaville, Congo. The theme for the conference was “How Single Windows can facilitate implementation of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).” The delegates will use the information and expertise gained from the conference, and consultations with representatives from Kenya and Ghana, to help inform critical decisions on Single Window operational structures and financing models.

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IKURU and the Associação Moçambicana para Promoção do Cooperativismo Moderno have provisionally agreed to participate in Mozambique’s Warehouse Receipts System that is being supported by the Trade Hub in the new harvesting season. This is a major breakthrough for independent farmer participation in WRS as the organizations represent thousands of farmers across the region.
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub is helping to establish an online management information system at the Seed Control and Certification Institute (SCCI) in Zambia. The new management information system will improve the services available at SCCI and will automate the entire seed inspection and verification process.
In Malawi, the Trade Hub's facilitation efforts have resulted in a new credit risk insurance policy from Africa Trade Insurance (ATI) that gives the commodity exchange of Malawi significant leverage to finance warehouse receipts. As a result of the deal, ATI has agreed to insure against non-performance (spoiled or disputed grain in third party warehouses) in the form of warehouse bond insurance.

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The goal of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Southern Africa Trade Hub is to increase international competitiveness, intra-regional trade, and food security in Southern Africa. With offices in Gaborone, Botswana; Centurion (Pretoria), South Africa; and embedded advisors in offices in Malawi and Namibia, the Trade Hub works primarily in Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and Zambia. The Trade Hub provides targeted technical assistance to governments, the private sector, and civil society organizations to advance regional trade within Southern Africa while incorporating gender integration, environment compliance, and strategic outreach in all activities.

The views expressed in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Agency for International Development or the United States Government

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