The Africa Women Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) has launched a USAID-funded ‘Enhanced Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Investment and Export Readiness Through a Digital Platform’ program to increase the investor, export readiness, and competitiveness of 100 SMEs in nine Southern African countries: Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zambia.
The program leverages the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), a United States Trade Act that significantly enhances market access to the US for qualifying Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, and valid until 2025, to drive export trade for the SMEs. Priority industry sectors include Agriculture, Agro-processing, Textiles, and Apparels.
The objectives of this new AWIEF program are to:
- Increase exports from the Southern African countries to South Africa.
- Increase exports from all the nine targeted Southern African countries to the United States, leveraging AGOA.
- Support firms seeking specific trade-related technology transfer (e.g. labelling, branding, laboratories).
- The program will help strengthen participants’ governance, regulatory compliance, and risk management capabilities.
- An SME registered and operating in one of these Southern African countries: Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zambia.
- Either already exporting or interested in exporting your products to South Africa and/or to the United States leveraging AGOA.
- Seeking to raise capital for business expansion and international trade.
- Priority industry sectors include: Agriculture, Agro-processing, Textiles and Apparel.
For more information, visit https://www.awieforum.org/awief-launches-usaid-funded-program-enhanced-small-medium-enterprises-investment-and-export-readiness-through-a-digital-platform/