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Source Africa showcases Africa’s best textiles and apparel

Source Africa showcases Africa’s best textiles and apparel
Erica Barks-Ruggles, US Consul Generalouth Africa, at the Source Africa show
Published date:
Saturday, 13 April 2013
Southern African Tradehub

The Source Africa 2013 trade show, supported by the USAID Southern Africa Trade Hub, took place at the Cape Town International Convention Center from April 9-12, 2013. Source Africa was a showcase for the best textiles and apparel that Africa has to offer, giving the world a first-hand look at the quality, reliability and sophistication of African suppliers and service providers.

The centerpiece of Source Africa was a trade expo and matchmaking program featuring more than 125 world-class garment and textile suppliers displaying an extensive range of products. The pre-arranged matchmaking program, run fully by USAID’s Trade Hub, was intended to provide an effective platform for buyers and suppliers to explore and negotiate business relationships. Source Africa attracts major buyers from the US and Europe directly to Africa’s gateway to demonstrate that African suppliers can compete on price, quality and standards.

“For the first time, textile and apparel suppliers from all of Sub-Saharan Africa are coming together to do business with buyers from around the world,” explains Erica Barks-Ruggles, Consul General of the United States in Cape Town. “The United States government is proud to support Africa’s textiles, apparel and footwear industries, working with partners throughout the region to boost sales and encourage investment.”

Source Africa is presented by LTE South Africa, an accredited South Africa-based trade show organizer with more than 20 years’ experience covering all aspects of the exhibition industry. LTE South Africa and USAID expect this event to be part of Africa’s textile and apparel landscape for years to come.

The African Cotton & Textile Industries Federation (ACTIF), a leading voice in US-Africa trade negotiations, hosted a power breakfast series to highlight investor-friendly policies in Africa spurring investment and economic growth in the sector. The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), the leading US industry association for apparel, footwear and other sewn products, conducted business seminars shared intelligence and resources for companies looking to manufacture and invest in Africa. Both the seminars and power breakfast addressed obstacles related to infrastructure, logistics and transportation, and detailed industry practices focused on getting African-manufactured products to consumers.

The event attracted worldwide interest, with international and regional buyers, industry service providers, investment promotion agencies, interested visitors and manufacturers from all of the major apparel-producing countries in Africa coming together to make deals, share information and network within the industry.

The Trade Hub’s support of Source Africa advances USAID’s efforts to promote market linkages, improve productivity and enhance competiveness by integrating African suppliers sustainably into the global supply chain.


Source Africa is the USG’s major AGOA event. The 2013 Source Africa Trade Show, supported by USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, is designed to increase garment exports to the U.S. under AGOA and ignite interest from manufacturers in establishing operations in the region.


Garments represent a major AGOA success story for Southern Africa. Lesotho, Swaziland and Mauritius developed garment industries around AGOA and are now employing thousands of sewing machine operators making apparel for the US market. Mozambique and Botswana have developed strategies to follow the examples of their successful SADC neighbors. The potential for increasing garment exports to the U.S. under AGOA is very high: currently, total garment sales under AGOA represent a mere 1% of the $100 billion US market.

With the support of the USAID Southern Africa Trade Hub, the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) and the African Cotton & Textile Industries Federation (ACTIF), Source Africa is the premiere textiles, apparel and footwear event in Sub-Saharan Africa. The centerpiece of Source Africa is a trade expo and matchmaking program featuring more than 125 African textiles and apparel suppliers displaying an extensive range of products. The Southern Africa Trade Hub is running a business-to-business matchmaking program that will provide an efficient platform for buyers, manufacturers and suppliers to explore and negotiate business relationships.

Attendees at the trade show will include international and regional buyers, industry service providers, investment promotion agencies, interested visitors, and manufacturers from all of the major apparel-producing countries in Africa including Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Madagascar, Ethiopia, Kenya and Ghana.

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