The USAID Africa Trade and Investment (ATI) program is designed to bolster the U.S. Government’s ability to boost trade and investment to, from, and within the African continent. The continent-wide program is USAID’s flagship effort in support of the Prosper Africa initiative and will expand and accelerate two-way trade and investment between African nations and the United States.
Driven by market demand, ATI embraces innovative approaches to achieve its goals. ATI is designed as a small, core set of centrally coordinated technical and institutional support activities, and a large, flexible performance-based subcontracting and grants under contract facility designed to support the needs and opportunities that USAID Missions and the private sector identify.
The USAID ATI trade objective seeks to mobilize trade, including two-way between the U.S. and Africa, through a proactive approach that identifies and/or improves private sector awareness of opportunities, information sharing, and direct facilitation of new and existing business relationships. Building on almost two decades of successful Trade Hub work, the mechanism will have a particular focus on supporting African exports, intra-Africa and to the U.S. Activities must also accelerate the implementation of the existing Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) export strategies and trade preferences with the U.S.
In Southern Africa, USAID Southern Africa seeks to sustain the significant progress made on the USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment (USAID TradeHub) through a buy-in program activity under ATI from October 2022 to September 2026, titled the USAID Africa Trade and Investment Southern Africa Buy-in Activity (the Project). Specifically, the Project will focus on increasing exports from targeted Southern African countries to South Africa and boosting sustainable utilization of AGOA opportunities by targeted Southern African countries, including South Africa. To do this, the Project will deepen the market systems approach initiated under USAID TradeHub to tackle the root causes that limit Southern Africa’s agricultural and non-agricultural market systems - addressing incentives, behaviors, and relationships that impede the region’s trade competitiveness in three market systems:
- Trade promotion system refers to mechanisms linking supply with demand and helping exporters identify and meet these demands. Trade promotion activities are about raising awareness of agricultural trade opportunities among market actors;
- Trade enhancing services system, encompasses the sets of services that increase export competitiveness and functional ability to export. Trade enhancing service include all activities that build the export firms’ capacity to respond to the demand in the end markets in South Africa and the U.S.; and
- Supply chain management system deals with linking buyers to a robust supplier/exporter base and support to meet buyer needs. The activities in this market system relate to the core market functions of linking export firms to buyers with their products and services.
While the Project will initially focus on these three market systems, this list may be modified as opportunities and needs emerge and as USAID funding allows. The activity will operate primarily in the following Southern African countries: Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zambia.