Southern Africa—Trade and Investment Hub

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2016-2021

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: Regional

Solutions: Economic Growth

When the U.S. Congress and the White House celebrated the reauthorization of the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) they reconfirmed the United States’ commitment to helping Africa become the world’s next major economic success story. 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 capitalize upon these trade agreements. 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 the U.S. Agency for International Development, 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.

DAI’s approach will include serving as a capacity builder and facilitator, bolstering Southern African institutions’ trade and competitiveness initiatives while also stimulating commercially oriented public-private and private-private partnerships among and between SADC member states, the U.S. government, and African and U.S. companies.

Southern African Trade and Investment Hub

Sample Activities

  • Commercialize agribusiness and consumer goods value chains to compete in regional and global markets.
  • Use evidence and strategic communications to advocate for regional and national governments to increase regional trade and integration.
  • Facilitate increased foreign and national investments and access to finance throughout Southern Africa, with an eye toward increasing exports and trade.
  • Leverage DAI’s unique position as implementer of the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub, the Feed the Future Southern Africa Seed Trade Project, and the FoodTrade East and Southern Africa initiative to enhance the Hub’s impact and advance the vision of an integrated and prosperous Africa.
  • Empower local champions and institutions—especially the private sector—to lead value chain competitiveness and regional integration initiatives.
  • Integrate gender considerations throughout to maximize women entrepreneur’s engagement and competitiveness.


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