Promoting SME Competitiveness in Francophone Africa: Standards open doors to trade

Companies in 16 French-speaking African countries are more likely to export when they comply with international standards, according to a joint survey by ITC and the Permanent Conference of African and Francophone Consular Chambers (CPCCAF). Among 9,000 firms surveyed, only 25% have an internationally recognized certificate, generally for quality or safety.

Getting more agriculture firms certified could boost the number of exporters. Only 7% of enterprises in the agriculture sector export, but 70% of those that do hold an international certificate. The survey also found that the smaller the firm, the less likely it was to have an internationally recognized certificate.