1998 - 2006


From 1998 to 2006, the Aid to Artisans Southern Africa Office worked under two comprehensive regional USAID Matching Grant programs: the Regional Initiative for Southern African Enterprises (RISE) launched in 1998 and continued through 2001; and the five-year follow-up Pan African Artisan Enterprise Development (PAED) program, which continued through 2006.

The RISE program provided technical, design, marketing and quality control assistance to artisans in Mozambique and Tanzania. The RISE program provided valuable insight and laid the ground work for PAED, further expanded reach in the region, in South Africa, Mozambique and Tanzania.

ATA launched RISE in Tanzania in partnership with AMKA Registered Trustees (AMKA), which was active in providing services to artisans before the RISE program. Through ATA's partnership with AMKA, AMKA's export sales increased, but as a result of ATA's influence, AMKA began to sponsor artisan booths at the annual Tanzania National Trade Show and to organize a handcraft market every two years.

In the program's third year, ATA also worked with the two SMEs, Marvelous Batik and Mikono, and a local NGO, Artisan Development Agency of Tanzania (ADAT ). ATA provided a combination of services to these producer groups including in-country product development, AMRP and MRP participation, in-country costing and pricing workshops and ATA facilitated buyer visits. As in South Africa, ATA carried out two-week workshops which provided design, quality, and costing/pricing assistance as well as to develop new product lines that target South African, US and European markets. The products designed were featured in both SARCDA and the NYIGF trade shows and a number of contacts were made with buyers in South Africa.

From 1998 to 2004, the program reached 611 crafters, of whom 22% were women. Total international sales in Tanzania reached $274,000 (approximately R 2 049 000) while local sales amounted to a robust $120,000 (approximately R900 000) Crafters in Tanzania were able to build modest new homes, and pay for educational and medical expenses as a result of the increased earnings generated through the program. Women stated that their incomes are more stable and that they used their earnings for soap, clothing, food, grain milling services, school fees, and local taxes.