For Immediate Release
Cotonou, Benin – Today, a Road Governance Caravan, co-organized by USAID and the Borderless Alliance, made the final stop of its journey along the main north-south commercial corridor in Benin. The aim of the Caravan was to identify transport costs and delays along the route so measures can be taken to reduce them, and ultimately to increase the flow of trade. Cotonou was the fourth of five stops the Caravan made in major towns along the corridor from June 23–30.
“By gathering importers, exporters, traders, and government agencies together to discuss Beninese transport and trade costs, this Caravan creates the forum in which both the public and private sectors may discuss and assess the transport costs that limit Benin’s ability to trade,” said U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission, Todd Whatley.
“The Cotonou-Malanville corridor serves as a conduit for wider interests in West Africa, facilitating trade not only within Benin, but also from its neighbors, particularly those who rely on the Port of Cotonou.”
Transport costs in West Africa are among the highest in the world due to a number of reasons including arbitrary check-points, inefficient trade procedures, bribery and poor infrastructure. Therefore, farmers and other producers earn less for their goods. Reducing barriers along highly-trafficked trade corridors will make West African exporters more competitive in world markets.
USAID supports the Borderless Alliance to expose trade inefficiencies throughout the region, with the premise that by working together, businesses and traders can advocate effectively for change. To involve traders all along the route in Benin, the Caravan also stopped in Bohicon, Parakou, Kandi and Malanville.
Last updated: October 10, 2014