Botswana home to new USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub

By Fran Roberts

Tomorrow US Ambassador to Botswana Earl Miller will preside over the official opening ceremony of the new Botswana office of the USAID (US Agency for International Development) Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub.

The key objectives of the USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub are to increase international competitiveness, intra-regional trade and food security in Southern Africa.

Despite major gains in trade and market expansion, however, countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) still face significant obstacles to sustained economic growth.

Many member states lack the physical infrastructure along with trade and investment policies to capitalise upon these trade agreements.

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In addition, cumbersome export/import procedures, high transportation costs, and preferential trade regimes all hinder investment and reduce productivity while negatively affecting the region’s economy, food security, livelihoods, and public health.

The Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub, funded by USAID, will work to address these barriers and support Southern Africa to create a well-integrated regional economy that delivers tangible economic benefits and improved food security for the people of the region through increased global competitiveness, trade, and investment.

The USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub is the fourth generation of USAID projects focused on these goals.

The previous version of the Southern Africa Trade Hub made many contributions on behalf of the US Government to develop growth sectors including agribusiness, food processing, textiles and apparel, and infrastructure in Botswana and the entire SADC region.

The new Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub will continue to work closely with the Government of Botswana and in particular the Ministry of Investment, Trade, and Industry to break down barriers to trade to increase exports, achieve regional economic integration, increase uptake in utilisation of the African Growth and Opportunity Act by Botswana businesses, improve productivity, and facilitate robust regional trade and global market access.

The USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub reflects the American people’s commitment to support communities across Southern Africa, helping to ensure that the population of Botswana and countries throughout the region are provided with economic opportunities to build themselves better lives.

 

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