ECOWAS: West Africa Competitiveness Programme (WACOMP)

    Overview

    Summary

    The overall objective of the regional programme is to ‘’Strengthen the competitiveness of West Africa through an enhanced level of production, transformation and export capacities of the private sectors in line with the regional and national industrial and SME strategies’’. The specific objective is ‘’to improve the performance and growth of selected priority sectors and value chains and related services by stimulating their contribution to industry, regional trade and exports’’. The intervention of ITC in the form of the West Africa Competitiveness Programme (WACOMP) will entail the implementation of the activities related to the promotion of better regional linkages among selected value chain, support to key regional intermediary organizations, the reinforcement of industrial competitiveness in the region, and the establishment of the West African Competitiveness Observatory and related business tools.

    Partners

    Sustainable Development Goals

    This project contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals, as defined by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

    Projects

    Context

    Expanding West African trade 

    West African men stand in a lush green field with a blue sky above
    Photo by ITC

    The West African Competitiveness Programme, or WACOMP, harnesses the expertise of the International Trade Centre (ITC) to increase regional integration through trade. We promote conducive business environments and greater participation of the private sector in a public-private dialogue on trade policy.

    Our regional programme concentrates on improving micro, small and medium-sized enterprises’ access to secure investments and improving their regional reach. We also work to advance production and processing in the agro-food industry.

    To improve business performance and value chain connectivity, we are reinforcing national trade and investment support institutions as well as supporting the ECOWAS Trade Promotion Organisations Network to share best practices and insights.

    WACOMP also operates national programmes in Guinea, Senegal and Sierra Leone, which advance particular national priorities. 

    Business tools 

    We are extending the use of ITC technological tools to gather comprehensive information in the region. The Trade Obstacles Alert Mechanism (TOAM) identifies existing trade obstacles, with the goal of addressing them so that regional trade flows improve.

    ITC has also embedded the ECOWAS trade map tool (ECOTIS) on the ECOWAS Commission’s website to assist with tracking trade performance and to capitalize on potential trade opportunities in the region.

    Export products

    Testimonials

    Videos

    WACOMP

    WACOMP 29 12 July 2021
    The first training session was a mind-opener to the growth opportunities that exist in other African markets. My team looks forward to learning more on how we can build resilience as we scale up.
    The first training session was a mind-opener to the growth opportunities that exist in other African markets. My team looks forward to learning more on how we can build resilience as we scale up.
    Kwesi Kwofie
    DATAWARE
    Technology and services company
    Technology and services company
    Above all, the trainings have enabled us to see our strategies from a new angle, consider export possibilities, and to think about different scenarios. Today, with our selection, which my team and I are very proud of, we hope that the tools that will be made available to us will enable us to further strengthen our strategy and be able to sell in the sub-regional market.
    Above all, the trainings have enabled us to see our strategies from a new angle, consider export possibilities, and to think about different scenarios. Today, with our selection, which my team and I are very proud of, we hope that the tools that will be made available to us will enable us to further strengthen our strategy and be able to sell in the sub-regional market.
    Aichatoun Amadou Toure
    CODESIGN
    Technology and communication start-up
    Technology and communication start-up
    Through the WACOMP trainings, we discovered insidious actions that we were carrying out without much attention. This has led us to review our commercial approaches. I appreciate the open-mindedness of the facilitators and participants as well.
    Through the WACOMP trainings, we discovered insidious actions that we were carrying out without much attention. This has led us to review our commercial approaches. I appreciate the open-mindedness of the facilitators and participants as well.
    Fabrice Sonzahi
    AFRIX
    Open data and AI technology company
    Open data and AI technology company
    Both the B2B and the trade fair were very essential to our individual businesses as we had a positive connection with potential buyers and companies. The only source of knowledge is experience.
    Both the B2B and the trade fair were very essential to our individual businesses as we had a positive connection with potential buyers and companies. The only source of knowledge is experience.
    Nyakeh Abdulai
    Sinava Women Agricultural Development Association (SiWADA)

    Resources

    Previous programmes

    WACOMP Guinea

    In retrospect, the Pineapple Sector Revival Project (REFILA) emerges as a pivotal WACOMP initiative, championed by ITC. 

    The project sought to revitalize Guinea's pineapple industry by optimizing the entire value chain, fostering sustainable economic growth, and creating a conducive business environment. During the project, 327 tonnes of pineapple were exported in Africa and internationally 

    As a result of the project, 14 businesses were launched thanks to ITC' support, including three owned by women owned. Networking activities led to 339 business contacts  reported by beneficiaries. 

    As an implementing partner, the ITC strategically facilitated Guinean pineapple access to international markets through market identification, robust marketing plans, client support in new export ventures, and crucial linkages with target markets. 

    The project spotlighted Guinea's diverse pineapple varieties, emphasizing the potential for niche markets and international exports. 

    Crucially, the initiative was made possible through the support of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and the Comité de Liaison Europe-Afrique-Caraïbes-Pacifique. 

    With a focus on the Baronne de Rothschild and smooth Cayenne varieties, the project sought to position Guinea prominently in the global pineapple market. 

    ITC contact

    Yared
    Befecadu
    Email
    befecadu [at] intracen.org