Increasing international competitiveness and intraregional trade

Southern Africa Trade Hub

Countries: SADC
Contract Period: September 2010 - 2014
Client: U.S. Agency for International Development (subcontract to AECOM)

The 15-country Southern African Development Community (SADC) region - including government, private sector, and civil society - is realizing the advantages of greater regional and global trade linkages and export-oriented business development. Led by prime contractor AECOM, the project team is advancing this regional integration agenda and increasing the trade capacity of regional value chains in selected sectors. Particular attention is being given to moving primary products such as staple foods more easily from surplus to deficit areas, alleviating food insecurity.

DAI, through its subsidiary ECIAfrica, has lead responsibility for increasing the trade capacity of regional value chains by:

  • ■ Establishing new trade linkages and greater competitiveness in staple foods and other strategic value chains;
  • ■ Enhancing private sector capacity to comply with regional and international market standards, including agricultural standards;

■ Increasing the use and availability of financial products and services for trade and investment; and
■ Increasing the use and availability of trade-related information and communication technology products.

Identifying specific constraints along value chains enables all interested parties to focus on their removal. Since many of the bottlenecks are generic, targeting priority sectors will have a positive multiplier effect. Further, while each element of the value chain operates within a national enabling environment, the cost determinants often relate to cross-border policies and regulations. DAI is supporting AECOM’s regional approach - one that is required when addressing cross-border issues - that assists with building a broader coalition for reforms, brings peer pressure for implementation, and raises awareness of best practices.