Sierra Leone: West Africa Competitiveness Programme
The project aims to enhance the competitiveness of the cocoa, palm oil and cassava sectors in Sierra Leone in order to boost the country's connection to regional and global value chains, create more jobs and strengthen its resilience against economic chocs. A market driven and flexible approach will be embedded in the project interventions such that other value chains can benefit from the project activities and outputs. This approach is consistent with the multi-sectoral investment programme led by the Government focusing, amongst others, on private sector development to drive socio-economic transformation in the aftermath of Ebola and falling iron prices. The Ministries in charge of Trade, Industry and Agriculture, our main partners, are working to increase the competitiveness of 1 000 SMEs to add value and find new markets for farm products, to ensure diversification of economic activities and avoid falling in the trap of an exclusively mineral based economy. Ensuring equal access of female and male entrepreneurs to the benefits of this national policy will be key for its success.
Sustainable Development Goals
About WACOMP Sierra Leone.
Within the framework of implementing the Sierra Leone West Africa Competitiveness Programme, which is financed by the European Union under the 11th European Development Fund and implemented in partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), ITC is supporting the country’s competitive trade in cassava, palm oil and cocoa nationally, regionally and internationally. We are doing this by strengthening the competitiveness of small and medium-sized businesses in these sectors and making sure they get the support they need from national institutions.
Agriculture has a key role in Sierra Leone’s economic development. As cocoa, cassava and palm oil represent already important products for the economy, we believe that with a more modernized model and greater access to markets, the industry could grow, creating jobs and employing more women and youth.
The Sierra Leonean government has strengthened the country’s institutional, legal and regulatory framework to better promote its export and market diversification efforts. ITC is working with the government as well as farmers and producer organizations to further ensure high quality produce, open market opportunities and provide small businesses with access to financial services.
ITC is increasing transparency in the processing operations of the cocoa sector for improved quality, quantity and competition.
WACOMP Sierra Leone is also establishing sustainable tracing mechanisms, reinforcing producer associations and increasing export market diversification.
Cassava holds great potential to contribute to enhanced food security and reduced poverty in Sierra Leone. ITC is providing technical assistance for product development, marketing and compliance with quality standards.
In the palm oil sector ITC is reviving the relationship between producers and market buyers, by providing technical assistance to boost trade and export.