Through its regional Trade Hub, USAID helps export-ready West African companies compete in international markets and leverages their success to address fundamental problems affecting West Africa’s ability to compete. Experts in the Hub provide technical assistance and consulting to companies and connects them to buyers and markets in five value chains--apparel, handcrafts, shea, specialty foods and cashews. It also partners with multinationals, financial institutions, government agencies, civil society, the private sector, and other donors to tackle key issues, such as transport, business environment, and access to finance.
The USAID Trade Hub works closely with the West Africa Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) and the Economic Community of West African States to report on the extent of road corruption along primary trade corridors connecting Dakar and Abidjan to Bamako, and Ouagadougou to Abidjan, Bamako, Lomé, and Tema. The Hub also works with stakeholders to reduce transport costs and delays in importing and exporting along these corridors. In May 2013, the Trade Hub opened a border information center on the Côte d’Ivoire-Ghana border, aimed at improving traders’ access to information where they need it most. As a result of USAID's work, bribes and delays at checkpoints monitored by the USAID-UEMOA road governance initiative have fallen in the participating countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo.
Since 2007, the USAID Trade Hub has facilitated over $280 million in exports from Trade Hub-assisted firms, $7 million in regional trade, and $87 million in investments. In addition, the Trade Hub prepared over 300 West African firms to market their products at 15 major international trade shows.
Last updated: August 22, 2013