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Source Africa

AAFA is excited to participate in Source Africa for a fourth year!  Source Africa 2016 will be held June 8-9, 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa.

Source Africa is the most important annual pan-African textile, clothing, and footwear trade event on the international calendar encouraging linkages between buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers; promoting investment into manufacturing capacity in Africa; and accelerating job creation for many years to come.

For more information on Source Africa 2016 including how to attend, please visit

Source Africa 2015:

AAFA traveled to Cape Town for the third edition of Source Africa during June 2015. Occurring as the U.S. Congress was approving a ten-year extension of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), Source Africa 2015 created an opening for U.S., European, African, and Asian apparel and footwear executives to explore long term sourcing and retail opportunities in Africa. Panelists discussed new opportunities arising from AGOA as well as the ways in which the African textile, apparel, and footwear industry must position itself to be competitive in the years to come.

AAFA was at the forefront of this discussion — both in the seminar and on the show floor — to answer questions, foster B2B partnerships, and evaluate the on-going role of Source Africa to promote the emergence of Africa as a retail and sourcing destination. AAFA also visited several Cape Town textile and apparel factories to identify local sourcing opportunities for AAFA members and evaluate how businesses use regional supply chains to sell into Africa, Europe, and the United States.

Source Africa 2014:

AAFA participated in Source Africa 2014 In partnership with the United States Agency for International Development's Southern Africa Trade Hub and LTE - leaders in trade exhibitions. The event included two days of exhibition, a business-to-business matchmaking program, business seminars, and lots of opportunities for networking.

During Source Africa 2014, AAFA led a plenary discussion on the future of U.S.-Africa trade. Additional AAFA-led panel discussions were tailored specifically to educate the buyers and suppliers attending Source Africa on topics such as understanding U.S. sourcing needs and navigating policies for Africa trade.  A full agenda describing the topics and speakers featured during Source Africa 2014 is available here.  The event presentations are available here.

Additional components of Source Africa 2014 included:

Buyer/Supplier Matchmaking:

The matchmaking part of the event involved pre-arranged meetings to match regional textile and apparel producers with international and regional garment retailers, brands, and wholesalers. The USAID Southern Africa Trade Hub, which has annually organized textile and apparel industry business-to-business events, integrated its matchmaking program into the Source Africa event facilitating pre-arranged meetings between buyers and sellers alongside the trade expo. Furthermore, international brands and retailers were often invited to participate in manufacturing site visits to neighboring countries immediately after the event. Source Africa truly is Africa’s most important textile, apparel, and footwear event.

Service Provider Booths:

Furthermore, Source Africa showcased some of the leading global compliance service providers and associations which form the quality and compliance backbone of the textiles and apparel value chain. These include companies which assist brands with product quality and instill compliance principles consistent with internationally recognized standards such as physical safety, child labor, chemical management, material content, product safety, and labeling. These companies will help ensure African partners are safe, clean, and comfortable working environments as well as verify the factories produce quality goods under lawful, humane, and ethical conditions.


Source Africa 2013:

AAFA has participated in Source Africa since its inauguration in 2013.  The 2013 event showed off the quality, creativity, reliability, and sophistication of textile and apparel manufacturing in Sub-Saharan Africa to a global audience of buyers, industry professionals, and service providers. The trade show featured country collection pavilions as the centerpiece of more than 125 African exhibitors of workwear, childrenswear, menswear, womenswear, jeans, trims, and accessories manufacturers interested in growing their exports. The event brought together industry leaders and decision makers from across Africa, Europe, and the United States providing opportunities to network with international buyers and African manufacturers as well as build an Africa presence. It included two days of exhibition, a matchmaking program, factory site visits, and business seminars.  Overall, the 2013 Source Africa attracted around 1,400 attendees.  In the interest of its members, AAFA agreed to lead three business seminars as part of Source Africa.  The seminars addressed why sourcing from Africa makes sense, explained what buyers expect from Africa, and highlighted investment opportunities in the region. 

AAFA published an in-depth report of AAFA's involvement with Source Africa and partnership with the USAID Southern Africa Trade Hub.  The report is available here.

An archive of the presentations given during Source Africa's business seminars can be found here.


AAFA & Trade Hub Partnership:

The organizers of Source Africa and AAFA partnered to explore textiles, apparel and footwear opportunities for AAFA’s members in Southern Africa in December 2012. African manufacturers exported nearly $2 billion of apparel products to the United States representing the largest portion of Lesotho, Kenya, and Madagascar exports to the United States; and in Europe, businesses are eyeing Africa as a new source for low-cost quality apparel imports. Africa's other advantages include its abundance of skilled labor combined with the perpetual search for alternative places to produce garments. African garment manufacturers have begun to widen the range of products that they manufacture. Once known as a volume manufacturer of jeans and t-shirts, African manufacturers now produce a wide range of intricate products largely in response to South African retailers' push into the region. Although Africa is a small part of U.S. and European companies’ sourcing portfolios, the continent has a place in every company’s portfolio, either for volume/replenishment or fashion-focused exports to the United States and Europe.

A report on AAFA member interest in the region is available here.


For more information on the Source Africa event, please visit or contact Stephen Lamar.  

To learn about preferential treatment for African-made products under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), please visit AAFA's AGOA On The Issue Page

Related AAFA Resources

South Africa Country Profile

Global Access Series: Understanding AGOA Webinar

Global Access Series - Exploring Africa Trade Webinar

Related AAFA Blog Posts

Look for Our Booth Next to the Zebra

Sharks, Shoes, and Shows

See it First Hand

AGOA Show and Tell

We're Betting on Africa

Into Africa

The Most Interesting Part

A President's Journey

Africa Rising

A Little Perspective

Magical Africa

No Elephants in Sight

Start the Conversation, Know the Risks, Get the Rewards

Hot Town, Summer in the City

Asking All the Right Questions

Exploring Africa Part 2 – Good Things

Exploring Africa

Related AAFA News

U.S. and African Companies Call for Immediate Renewal of AGOA

Letter to President on AGOA Renewal

U.S. Apparel and Footwear Industry Renews Call for Immediate, and Long Term Extension of Expiring African Trade Program

AAFA Kicks off Source Africa

AAFA Testimony Before the USITC on AGOA

Obama Administration Launches Trade Africa Program

AAFA Publishes Report on Source Africa

Comments to Department of Commerce on Doing Business in Africa

New Report Shows Africa's Potential

AAFA Releases South Africa Country Profile

AAFA Visits Factories in Southern Africa

AAFA Explores Opportunities for its Members in Southern Africa

AAFA Partners with USAID Southern Trade Hub on Africa Roundtables