Guinea-Bissau

ECOWAS: Strengthening agri-food trade in the region through institutional coordination and business support
Contact
First name
Yared
Last name
Befecadu
Email
befecadu@intracen.org
Body

Video

26 March 2024

ECOWAS Agricultural Trade Programme

Agricultural trade challenges in West Africa

Credit: Aidan O'Neill

Malnutrition, rapid population growth, and heavy reliance on food imports are some of the key challenges facing the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Addressing these issues would foster economic development across the region. These factors also emphasize the urgent need to address food security and the effects of global geopolitical pressure on food prices.

Enhancing coordination on food trade policies within the region is paramount to tackling food security issues and mitigating the volatility of food prices. For this purpose, the ECOWAS Commission has developed various instruments, such as the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) and the ECOWAS Agricultural Policy (ECOWAP), aimed at boosting intra-regional agricultural trade volumes and coordination efforts.

However, recorded data on intra-regional agricultural trade volumes remains low. Customs points have Inadequate infrastructure and resources. Regional and national legislation need to be harmonized. Opaque administrative procedures lead to delays and unexpected costs. And businesses have limited information on market opportunities. 

To address these issues, which are often at the origin of informal trade practices, the EAT programme aims to foster an environment conducive to intra-regional agricultural trade. It seeks to improve the capacity of policymakers to make informed decisions on trade and food security matters, strengthen regulatory frameworks, and streamline administrative procedures at the border to ensure the safety and quality of traded goods. Additionally, it aims to equip agri-food businesses with the tools and knowledge needed to better trade within the region, with a specific focus on gender and youth inclusion.

How we work

Within the framework of the EAT programme, ITC implements a multi-level and multi-stakeholder strategy, closely collaborating with the ECOWAS Commission, Member States, civil society, the private sector, and various trade entities. This holistic approach addresses the political, economic, gender, climate, food, and nutrition security aspects of regional agricultural trade.

ITC’s commitment under the EAT programme reflects its broader objectives. Those include bolstering regional institutions in Africa, promoting gender-sensitive and sustainable agricultural trade and enhancing local trade promotion services for the private sector to ensure the sustainability of the action.

ITC will provide advice and assistance to reinforce the ECOWAS Commission's capacity in coordinating agricultural trade policies, by facilitating public-private dialogues, introducing trade intelligence and monitoring tools, as well as advocating for cooperative trade facilitation approaches.

Regional organizations and national authorities will undergo tailored capacity-building programmes to improve their services to businesses and to ensure the application of agricultural trade measures at the border, with particular attention to testing their efficacy. The whole action is ultimately tailored to benefit small businesses and small agricultural traders, by upscaling their skills and providing them with a more conducive ecosystem for trading within the region.

All the topics covered during our trainings have strengthened our abilities in preparing our businesses for trade shows and exhibitions. At the fair, this allowed us to enhance our services to our members, for example, through the preparation and arrangement of visual elements and the development of a pitch for our products.
All the topics covered during our trainings have strengthened our abilities in preparing our businesses for trade shows and exhibitions. At the fair, this allowed us to enhance our services to our members, for example, through the preparation and arrangement of visual elements and the development of a pitch for our products.
Reine Don-Koffi
Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Côte d’Ivoire
The segment of the webinar focusing on the preparation of communication tools for my business was particularly valuable. After attending the webinar, I initiated the creation of a video teaser and translated my business cards, brochures, and flyers into English. This proved to be indispensable, especially with English-speaking visitors at my booth. I am keen on participating in more training sessions as they consistently provide me with new ideas and a clearer understanding of how to enhance my work methods and habits.
Furthermore, I successfully sold dehydrated attieke, fresh attieke, soumbala, maize flour, cassava, and starch, totaling a value of $1,200.
The segment of the webinar focusing on the preparation of communication tools for my business was particularly valuable. After attending the webinar, I initiated the creation of a video teaser and translated my business cards, brochures, and flyers into English. This proved to be indispensable, especially with English-speaking visitors at my booth. I am keen on participating in more training sessions as they consistently provide me with new ideas and a clearer understanding of how to enhance my work methods and habits.
Furthermore, I successfully sold dehydrated attieke, fresh attieke, soumbala, maize flour, cassava, and starch, totaling a value of $1,200.
Florence Bassono
Owner of Faso Attieke in Burkina Faso

Programme outputs

Trade Policy Harmonization: Advising the ECOWAS Commission and Member States on the coordination and harmonization of policies and initiatives to improve the region’s agricultural trade ecosystem.

Trade Facilitation: Supporting the implementation of gender-sensitive and sustainable trade facilitation measures and services at the border to unleash the potential of intra-regional agricultural trade and increase incentives to conduct formal trade operations.                              

Private Sector Promotion: Equipping small businesses and small agricultural traders, in collaboration with local business support organizations, with the knowledge and skills needed to tap into the opportunities offered by the regional agricultural market.

Target countries and sectors

Nianda, Agriculture and Trading company, worker working on the drying process of cassava
Photo by Aidan O'Neill

Aside from regional policy interventions, the EAT programme focuses on field activities in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Niger and Nigeria to establish a methodology that can later be applied throughout the entire region.

Product sectors targeted by the initiative were identified keeping in mind their importance as staple food, the risk of value loss due to their perishability, as well as the comparative advantages offered by the region. These include cassava, corn, fertilizer, onion, pineapple, processed meat, rice and tomato.

Main partners and beneficiaries

The programme is implemented under the guidance of the ECOWAS Commission, involving directorates overseeing agriculture and rural development, trade, customs, free movement of people, and the Gender Development Center. ITC is an implementing partner, alongside GIZ and the OECD Sahel and West Africa Club (SWAC). Additional partners encompass regional and national trade associations, chambers of commerce and agriculture, pertinent national ministries and authorities, civil society organizations, and private sector stakeholders. Directly benefiting small businesses, cooperatives, and associations of small-scale cross-border traders operating in the agri-food sector.

Newsletters

Resources

The ECOWAS Agricultural Trade (EAT) programme, funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), "One World – No Hunger" special initiative, is a crucial component of the German-ECOWAS cooperation and implemented by The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) and The International Trade Centre (ITC). This initiative is designed to tackle regional policy coordination, economic integration and food security, focusing on enhancing intra-ECOWAS agro-food-trade.


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C232
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OIC: Trade and market intelligence for ICDT
Contact
First name
Mathieu
Last name
Loridan
Email
loridan@intracen.org

Sustainable Development Goals

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

<p>The project will strengthen ICDT services on trade intelligence to support the public and private sector from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to make better informed decisions and, in the long term, to contribute to an increase of trade between OIC Member States through the embedding of Market Analysis Tools, the development of an online Trade Helpdesk and the development of trade-related studies.</p>

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Supportive business ecosystem: Institutions and Ecosystems for Business Support
Contact
First name
Saskia
Last name
Marx
Email
marx@intracen.org
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Sustainable Development Goals

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

<p><a name="_Hlk155357558"><span style="color: rgb(97, 189, 109);">Business support organizations (BSOs) are critical actors in an ecosystem of business support, categorized by the formal and informal connections among service providers that recognises and takes advantage of shared objectives and complementary strengths.</span></a></p><p><span style="color: rgb(97, 189, 109);">ITC has developed a unique centre of excellence in the establishment, improvement and connectedness of business support organizations. This work with BSOs is embedded as a core service area for ITCs strategy and recognises the role that BSOs play in delivering results to all stakeholders through their ability to create scale, systemic change and sustained results</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(97, 189, 109);">In this strategic cycle (22-25), ITC will continue to serve a broad range of BSOs including those active in ITC&rsquo;s priority impact areas of youth entrepreneurship, green trade, digitalisation and gender, with managerial and operational solutions, but also invest more in ecosystem level interventions, and make use of digital channels for efficiency, scale and value.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(97, 189, 109);">This docu<span>ment sets out a 4-year perspective (2022-20225) and 4 strategic objectives for supportive business ecosystems with, specific outputs and activities describing the year-on-year contribution of W1 funding to the strategic core service area 2.</span></span></p>

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External ID
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UEMOA: Projet de développement des exportations sous AGOA
Contact
First name
Thomas
Last name
Bechmann
Email
bechmann@intracen.org
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<p>Pour le kit didactique, l&apos;ITC s&apos;appuiera sur un consultant sp&eacute;cialiste de la chaine de valeur de la tomate au s&eacute;n&eacute;gal qui d&eacute;veloppera avec les experts ITC le contenu du kit sur la base de consultations men&eacute;es avec les differents acteurs. La vid&eacute;o et le livret sera ensuite r&eacute;alis&eacute; par une entreprise de r&eacute;alisation de film.</p><p>Le guide de p&eacute;n&eacute;tration sera d&eacute;velopp&eacute; avec l&apos;appui de consultants nationaux charg&eacute;s d&apos;identifier les proc&eacute;dures et les r&eacute;gles pour exporter vers le march&eacute; am&eacute;ricain sous le r&acute;&euro;gime am&eacute;ricain. Un consultant am&eacute;ricain sera recrut&eacute; en parall&egrave;le pour identifier les circuits de distribution des produits s&eacute;lectionn&eacute;s.</p>

Type
Project
Date
-
External ID
B414
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Off
ECOWAS: West Africa Competitiveness Programme (WACOMP)
Contact
First name
Yared
Last name
Befecadu
Email
befecadu@intracen.org
Body

Expanding West African trade 

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 WACOMP Observatory is a monitoring tool for the trade competitiveness of West African countries, aiding policymakers in defining trade policies and supporting local SMEs in integrating into regional value chains. The Trade Obstacles Alert Mechanism (TOAM) identifies existing trade barriers with the goal of addressing them to improve regional trade flows. 

Additionally, ITC has integrated the ECOWAS trade map tool (ECOTIS) on the ECOWAS Commission’s website. This tool assists in tracking trade performance and capitalizing on potential trade opportunities in the region.  

Export products

Videos

WACOMP Regional

WACOMP Regional 12 12 July 2021

Testimonials

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)

Newsletters

Datasheets

Resources

Previous projects

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. 

WACOMP Guinea resources

Videos from previous projects

WACOMP Guinée

WACOMP Guinée 13 7 December 2022

Sustainable Development Goals

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

<p>The overall objective of the regional programme is to &quot;strengthen the competitiveness of West Africa by enhancing the production, transformation, and export capacities of the private sector in alignment with regional and national industrial and SME strategies.&quot; The specific objective is &quot;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.&quot;</p><p></p><p>The ITC&apos;s intervention through the West Africa Competitiveness Programme (WACOMP) involves implementing activities that promote better regional linkages among selected value chains, support key regional intermediary organizations, reinforce industrial competitiveness in the region, and establish the West African Competitiveness Observatory along with related business tools.</p>

Type
Programme
Projects
Guinea: Relance de la filière ananas (REFILA)
Sénégal: Programme d'appui à la Compétitivité de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (PACAO)
Sierra Leone: West Africa Competitiveness Programme
Date
-
External ID
B537
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Sub-Saharan Africa
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While multi-dimensional poverty remains high in sub-Saharan Africa, the continent's high growth rates and youthful demographics make it an attractive investment destination. Big opportunities exist to create jobs, boost incomes and reduce poverty by connecting African small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to international trade and increasing local value addition to Africa’s assets in agrifood, manufacturing and services. ITC’s emphasis on digital connectivity and the green transition is helping transform digital landscapes across Sub Saharan Africa with our support to tech startups and tech hubs.

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ITC recognizes that small island developing states (SIDS) face an unique set of challenges, particularly their vulnerability to external shocks. ITC works with SIDS to improve their export performance through regional collaboration, focused sectoral programmes, institutional support and strengthening the private sector. We also assist these states to trade mainly agricultural products that are attractive to niche markets that demand products proven to be sustainable economically, socially and environmentally.

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We deliver customized solutions for least developed countries (LDCs), enabling them to increase their participation in the global economy and reach development goals through exports. We focus on creating access to digital technologies and capabilities in LDCs, where current internet penetration is at 27%, as this is increasingly critical to ensure opportunities are universally shared. We also assist LDCs in their bid for WTO membership, and support their implementation of WTO agreements.

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95 %
of all jobs in LDCs are in small businesses
90 %
of all companies globally are small businesses
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implemented by ITC in 43 LDCs
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ITC’s One Trade Africa initiative supports the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), empowering African enterprises, especially women- and youth-led businesses, to access market opportunities from continental integration. The initiative is an integrated package of technical assistance solutions that ITC is offering to the African business community operating in both the formal and informal sectors.

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