The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) has been very key to African manufacturers including Botswana. The Act expands upon the US Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), a set of formal exceptions from the World Trade Organization’s most-favoured nation (MFN) principle, which allows developed countries to offer developing countries preferential treatment on specific goods including apparels, textiles, and footwear; hence the annual Source Africa trade event in Cape Town, South Africa.
Sponsored by the United States Agency for International Trade (USAID) under its Southern Africa Trade Hub (SATH) Programme, Source Africa trade show was held for the third time from the 9th to the 11th June 2015. It is by far becoming the pan-Africa’s most important textile, clothing and footwear trade event and pitched over 200 African exhibitors in one hall. Among the exhibitors were manufacturers, suppliers and service providers from across the African continent which are; South Africa, Mauritius, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya, Swaziland, Madagascar, Mozambique, Lesotho, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Botswana.
BITC sponsored Tsa Gae (All Kasi), Francistown Knitters, Western Apparels and Phoenix Fashion Ambassadors to participate at Source Africa. These Botswana companies enjoyed participation and networked with different prospective alternative international and regional suppliers and buyers, who among them were US brands and retailers who have decided to source from the African region to take advantage of the free trade and duty rates.
The USAID SATH in partnership with American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) and Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) organized a three-day workshop for exhibitors with international speakers from the US. The workshops were aimed at strengthening the impact of AGOA in Southern Africa by enhancing value chain development, increased export opportunities to the US and expanding quality standards and entrepreneurship across the region. The topics discussed during the workshop included the Tools for Developing International Business, AGOA renewal in the next 10 years and Regional Supply Chains.
Other notable governmental and private organizations at the show were Enterprise Mauritius, The South African Department of Trade & Industry (DTI), Swaziland Investment Promotion Authority (SIPA), Tanzania Trade Development Authority, Tanzania Textile Development Unit, Lesotho National Development Corporation, Apparel Manufacturers of South Africa, South African Footwear & Leather Export Council, ZimTrade, South African Textile Industry Export Council, Trade & Investment Kwazulu Natal, Export Zones Processing Authority and Cape Chamber of Commerce & Industry.