“For many in the U.S. apparel and footwear industry, Africa remains a viable option for new and emerging sourcing opportunities,” said AAFA Executive Vice President Steve Lamar. “AAFA is pleased to be involved with Source Africa as we begin a comprehensive discussion about operational best practices and opportunities for growth to benefit the U.S. and African textile, apparel, and footwear industries. The three business seminars AAFA is presenting during Source Africa will help provide a real boost to companies interested in Southern Africa as a sourcing option.”
The seminars AAFA will be leading as part of Source Africa will address why sourcing from Africa makes sense, explain what buyers expect from Africa, and highlight investment opportunities in the region. The sessions will cover several topics which are vital to AAFA’s members including compliance and proper environmental stewardship and best practices, labeling, product safety, and customs barriers.
The three seminars include:
Customs, Logistics, Transportation
This session will focus on the practicalities of getting a product to consumers once it is manufactured as well as getting raw materials to the factories. The panel will discuss obstacles related to infrastructure and transportation and best practices in addressing these issues. Other key points include speed-to-market realities and how to deal with customs clearance with a special focus on Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) eligibility and benefits.
Building a Responsible Brand
Focusing on social issues within factories and Southern Africa in general, the panel will discuss sustainability and social responsibility issues such as environmental impact, treatment of labor, and cultural sensitivity, as well as methods for disclosing this information along a transparent supply chain. This second session is also the perfect opportunity to contemplate the phrase our industry has heard from multiple brands: “we are in Africa because it is the right thing to do.” How can brands pull these social issues into their marketing and their reputation in foreign markets?